Four students from the Department of Physics were awarded various prizes during the prestigious banquet evening of the 54th South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) conference. The conference took place during the week of 5 – 10 July in Durban, which was organized by the University of Kwazulu-Natal. The UP department of physics was represented at the conference by six undergraduate and 13 postgraduate students, who all presented either a poster or an oral presentation on research they conducted in the department.
Gwendolyn Barnes, a second year student, received a special prize for her poster in the Lasers, Optics and Spectroscopy Specialist group for her poster on ‘Iridescent colours from the exocuticle of Proagoderus Brucei’. The poster resulted from research work she performed during a first year project, under guidance from Prof. Johan Brink and Dr. Linda Prinsloo.
Ivajlo Donev, a third year physics student, won the prize for best poster in the undergraduate Condensed Matter and Material Science category.His poster, titled ‘Computer simulation of defect diffusion in germanium’ resulted from a third year project he finished under the supervision of Dr. Walter Meyer and Prof Danie Auret.
Louwrens van Schalkwyk received the prize for the best Honours oral presentation in the Applied and Industrial Physics category for his presentation on ‘Development of optoelectronic station for the characterisation of photodiodes’ figures of merit’.
Wilbert Mtangi was awarded the prize for best Masters presentation in the Condensed Matter and Material Science specialist group on his work titled ‘Capacitance-voltage characteristics of palladium Schottky contacts of ZnO’, which forms part of his Masters thesis, also with Prof Danie Auret as supervisor.
These students did not only receive certificates for the various awarded, but they also walked away with some cash prizes, sponsored by the SAIP and Industry. The SAIP give these prizes on a yearly basis, to reward excellent presentations of students and to encourage them to continue their exceptional efforts as young scientists.