18 September 2017 Women for Africa Foundation at ICFO

Science by Women program makes possible sabbatical stay of Prof Wendy Maxakato In 2016, ICFO was fortunate to participate in the first edition of the Women for African Foundation program by welcoming two senior women scientists to our centre for six-month sabbatical stays. The foundation’s fellowship program makes possible research stays, allowing the host institute to benefit from the expertise of senior African women scientists, while making these scientists’ achievements more visible in the international scientific community, thus promoting their access to research activities.

This year, ICFO has welcomed Prof. Nobanathi Wendy Maxakato to conduct research in the Organic Nanostructured Photovoltaics group led by Prof. Jordi Martorell. Prof. Maxakato received her PhD from the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and went on to work as a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Chemistry at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa). Her research field is Electrochemistry with special interest in fuel cells. Fuel cell research is a promising potential replacement for batteries in low power electronic applications such as laptop computers and cell phones. The use of fuel cells is a promising clean technology with low energy consumption and is of important interest to South Africa, a country that is experiencing rapid industrial growth.

Prof. Maxakato’s research activities involve the synthesis, functionalization and fabrication/modification of selected electrode materials with nanomaterials and transition metal nanocatalysts for direct alcohol fuel cell applications. The aim of her current research is to find new catalysts that are capable of solving the problem of surface poisoning at low potentials in Fuel Cells.

ICFO is pleased to expand our international network of collaborators and colleagues to include successful scientists like Prof. Maxakato.