Research and development are the foundation of innovation, absolute requirements for progress no matter the industry. That’s something that Cliffton Masedi understands better than most, as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Limpopo’s Materials Modelling Centre, where he works to better understand and subsequently improve the technologies of today.
Masedi is using years of academic experience — which culminated in him getting a PhD in Physics focusing on Computational Modelling of Energy Storage Materials — to do the work he is passionate about. In addition, he’s fuelled by the idea that the work he is doing is producing results that matter to people everywhere. While it’s often difficult to trace the source of a technological breakthrough years down the line, he enjoys praise for a job well done and feeling appreciated, even within his own industry.
And appreciated he has been, having recently collaborated with the producers of batteries for clients such as Samsung, working to discover and improve materials utilising the power of computational modelling and experimentation. Masedi was also awarded Best Oral Presentation at the South African Institute of Physics conference, though he maintains his proudest moment was receiving his PhD with his parents in the audience.
When prompted about the future, Masedi says energy storage will be more important than ever. “The issues of load shedding, the discovery of electric vehicles and the latest technological developments require new and powerful batteries in the future,” he explains, as he tries to imagine new applications for energy. Luckily for all of us, the positive impact of his work on so many people is what gets him up every morning, he says.