CERA Fellows

Lakshmi Sujeeun joined COMPASS from Mauritius, a small island located off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. She is a final year PhD student at the Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research (CBBR), University of Mauritius under the tutelage of Prof. Archana Luximon-Bhaw. She holds BS and MS in biotechnology and bioinformatics from Université de La Réunion, in La Réunion, an overseas department of France.

Lakshmi’s PhD research focuses on applying machine learning (ML) and deep learning to study and predict the relationship between cell behavior and properties of bio-derived nanofibrous scaffolds. Nanoscaffolds offer promising therapeutic solutions for tissue regeneration and wound healing but face challenges in clinical application due to the dynamic and complex nature of wound healing. My work aims to develop predictive models to guide scaffold design tailored to the specific needs of the wound healing process, thereby predicting scaffold performance.

As a CERA fellow, under Prof. Kotov, she is working on advanced image processing for ML. This involves applying graph theory (GT) to analyze nanofiber images obtained from scanning electron microscope (SEM).

She is interested in a career in multidisciplinary application of data science. She is a member of COMPASS Junior Scientists Board.

Dickson Owuor joined COMPASS from Kenya. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Université de Montpellier in France. His doctoral research was focused on optimizing algorithms used in data mining, particularly those employed in mining gradual patterns.

During his PhD he developed and maintains the Python library so4gp (https://pypi.org/project/so4gp/), that provides access to optimization solutions for gradual pattern mining. Dr. Owuor is interested in developing Computer Science approaches, such as unsupervised/supervised learning, graph theory, and chaos theory, for analyzing data across various domains to increase efficiency or provide new insights. He is an Alum of CERA partner Kenyatta University and has been a lecturer at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya. As a CERA fellow, under Prof. Kotov, he is applying chaos and graph theory to analyze microscopy images of complex nanoparticles to reveal order and self-replicating patterns in otherwise disordered-looking particle distribution. Applying fractal structures in deterministic chaos reveal unprecedented attractors and behavior.

Dr. Duke Oeba holds a B.Ed. Science (Mathematics and Physics) degree from Egerton University, an MSc. (Electronics and Instrumentation) from Kenyatta University, and a Ph.D. in Physics (Electronics) from the University of South Africa.  Duke is a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Physics at Egerton University, Kenya. His research focuses on investigation of the properties of novel materials for next-generation renewable energy, climate change adaptation and mitigation and other applications. Duke is a PI in a UNESCO- TWAS funded project investigating different novel materials for solar energy applications.

Duke has published several scholarly articles in the International Peer-reviewed Journal in his areas of specialization. He has also attended and presented at several international conferences/ workshops and won awards and research grants. Duke holds leadership responsibilities at the departmental and institutional levels. He also supervises both undergraduate and postgraduate students working on experimental and computational material science and electronics projects.

Samba Sarr joins COMPASS from Senegal, West Africa. He holds an MS from Universite Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) and PhD from University of Pretoria, both in Physics. His studies were focused on condensed matter physics. His current research interests are in energy storage materials, supercapacitors and inorganic materials in general. As a CERA fellow, he is under the tutelage of Prof. Brock at Wayne State University exploring complex inorganic particles.

My name is Thabiso Masole. I hold a Master of Science in Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Materials and Metallurgy) from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. My MSc was funded by the South African Department of Science and Innovation – National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials (DSI-NRF CoE-SM). My supervisors were Professor Lesley Cornish and Dr Michael Bodunrin. I am also a new PhD student at the University of Botswana. My research journey started in my undergraduate studies, when I started working as a laboratory assistant, helping postgraduate students with their research experiments. I proceeded to do my MSc by dissertation on the optimum thermomechanical conditions for the reuse of creep exhausted 14MoV6-3 steel. Here I used repaired and restored a creep exhausted steel, modelled its hot deformation behaviour and determined its optimum processing parameters. This is when I developed my passion for sustainable material engineering solutions for African problems. I am excited to explore this further with my PhD studies at the University of Botswana, specifically in additive manufacturing.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. 2243104.

Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.