For Postgraduate Student Council (PGSC) member Darné Nunes, the choice to study chemical engineering was easy: “I love science and how chemical engineering can be used to help build a better world.” From Gaborone, Botswana, Darné’s portfolio for the PGSC includes Welcoming and International Students. Darné is committed to taking care of the environment, which is evident in her master’s research topic: Economic production of long chain microbial oils. “I feel passionate about anything I can do to rectify situations that have become unsustainable and unfair to the environment,” she explains. “I feel my project significantly contributes to society in that sense.” Darné does her research under the supervision of Profs Robbie Pott, Eugene Van Rensburg and Lingam Pillay.
To aspiring chemical engineering students, Darné advises hard work and consistency. “Falling behind creates so many problems when exams come around,” she explains. “That being said, remember that you’re a human being and that you also need some time to take care of yourself and have some fun,” she adds. As with all our PGSC members, we also asked Darné what her favourite engineering joke is. This was her contribution: Einstein, Pascal and Newton are playing hide and seek. Einstein is counting while Newton and Pascal hide. Pascal runs off and hides while Newton doesn’t move. Instead, he draws a square around himself in the dirt. After Einstein finishes counting, he opens his eyes and says to Newton, “found you, Newton! That was easy”. Newton replies, “No, you didn’t; you found Pascal.” He points down at the square under him. “One Newton over a meter.”