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Physicist earns recognition

RECOGNISED: Dr Kessie Govender.

Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Computer Engineering Physicist, Dr Kessie Govender is thrilled to be selected to serve as a member of the National Working group to develop a framework for Quantum Computing and Technology research and innovation in South Africa (SA).

This was announced recently by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) after a draft document was submitted to the ministry. Govender said: “All the major players, including me, in this area were co-authors on this document. DST simply chose the most senior person from each institution.” This working group consists of 17 members from different tertiary institutions and research centres in SA.

The purpose of the working group is to advise DST on directions in which funding should be formally allocated and also to form Centres of Excellence in Quantum Technology Research. “The Quantum Computing and Technology is the cutting edge research that is being done worldwide. It will revolutionise technology and it will be one of the driving forces in the fourth industrial revolution.

“It will also revolutionise the internet, as the next generation of the internet will be quantum-based. All major countries, United States of America, Australia, European countries… have a plan on how they are participating in this new research and the manner they are funding such research,” he said.

Govender stated that in SA there were few groups located at various universities that are working on quantum technologies, but the country does not have a formal plan on funding and driving such research. “Personally it will mean more funding from DST for quantum related research. But it will also position me to be the leader of the centre of excellence here at CPUT as DST decided to make CPUT one of the centres. From CPUT perspective, this is very important, as we are the only university of technology that is doing this kind of research. Also, we are the only engineering faculty in SA that is engaged in quantum technology research.”

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Prof Marshall Sheldon said; “Congratulations and well done on being selected to serve as a member of the National Working group to develop a framework for Quantum Computing and Quantum technology research and innovation in South Africa.”

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

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