Two TU-K Masters students carrying out research on electric structure work have won an exchange research fund to visit the University of Cantabria in Spain where they will meet scholars and experience research culture in their area of study. Mr. Stephen Chege Mbugua and Mr. Bill Clinton Oyomo who are studying Masters in Physics benefited from a TU-K and the University of Cantabria collaboration that will see them spend five months in Spain where they will conduct collaborative research on predictive simulation and understanding of properties and materials.
The duo who recently graduated from TU-K with Bachelor of Technology in Technical and Applied Physics will also access laboratories and equipment critical in their research.
Mr. Mbugua is carrying out research on thermo-electronic properties and optical properties. “This study will lead to efforts in establishing ways of minimizing loss of energy in properties, and would be beneficial in a wide range of appliances,” Mr. Mbugua noted. This is an advancement of his undergraduate project; ‘origin of band inversion in topology – Bismuth Selenide (Bi3 Se3). For him to carry out his study, he needs to access an open source computational code called Siesta (Spanish Initiative for Electronic Structure with a Thousands of Atoms).
Mr. Oyomo is carrying out a study on thermoelectronic of properties on tin selenide from first principles calculations. “This simply means a focus in an investigation of conversion of heat to electricity,” Mr. Oyomo said. He will be using an open source code called Quantum Espresso.
“The reason why we conduct such computational calculations in material science is to help predict properties of materials using these codes; in this sense, technological production of material is improved,” Oyomo added.
The Director, School of Physics and Earth Sciences, Prof. George Amolo, said the cooperation through universities’ networking group called ASESMA (African School on Electronic Structure Methods and Applications) has also seen Mr. James Sifuna, who is pursuing his PhD studies at TU-K, benefit from the collaboration.
The Director noted that Prof. Javier Junqera, who is the lead collaborator from the University of Cantabria, will soon be visiting TU-K on the research exchange, while Dr. Mike Atambo and Dr. Gladys Kingori, both staff at TU-K, are also scheduled to visit the University of Cantabria mid next year on the training programme.