Physics excels in Afrikaans Academy for Science and Art symposium

UFS postgraduate students in the Department of Physics attended the Student Symposium of the Afrikaans Academy for Science and Art. From the left are Izak van der Westhuizen (PhD) and Hélène Szegedi (MSc) who both came in second place in their respective sessions. On the right of the banner are Dina Oosthuizen (PhD) and Lucas Erasmus (MSc) who claimed first place in their respective sessions. Photo: Supplied

Every year postgraduate students from all universities and universities of technology in the country are invited to participate in the student symposium of the Afrikaans Academy for Science and Art

Honours, masters and doctoral students from different universities in different scientific fields, including chemistry, physics, computer science, engineering, geography, medicine, etc. participated in the symposium. From the Department of Physics at the University of the Free State (UFS), Dina Oosthuizen (PhD) won a first prize in session 1, Hélène Szegedi (MSc) won second prize in session 2 where Lucas Erasmus (MSc) claimed first place and Izak van der Westhuizen (PhD) took second place in session 3. 

Students from the UFS do incredibly well each year at this symposium. “These achievements speak of the excellent education and training we receive especially in the department.. Physics students not only have lecturers and supervisors who are well respected in their own research fields but have access to world-class instruments in our physics laboratories. We also love what we do and see it as a privilege to share our work. 

“The symposium is also an opportunity to gain valuable experience in presenting our own research as well as getting exposure to various research topics, methods and scientific disciplines,” said Hélène Szegedi, who is a junior lecturer in the Department of Physics. 

Although every participant has to present in Afrikaans, it is not only Afrikaans-speaking students who participate in the symposium. Szegedi said: “The language requirement for the symposium does however create the opportunity to develop Afrikaans further as a science language, and we sometimes have to coin new words or terms to describe our research, making this symposium unique and beneficial on many levels.”

Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Communication and Brand Management