Meet Our Postgraduates

The Department of Chemical Engineering boasts a thriving postgraduate research environment with approximately 130 registered postgraduate candidates, including researchers from across Africa and the globe. Our department is also proud of an active Postgraduate Student Council (PGSC), which leads and serves the postgraduate cohort with academic and social support, as well as community engagement. Meet them below!

Meet our Postgraduate Student Council


I’m a faculty member since 2016 – self-proclaimed departmental dynamics aficionado. I have the dirtiest labcoat in the department, since I do not see the point in cleaning it. I also frequently match my scrunchies to my outfit, and on a good day, my socks match my scrunchie too.

Veronica Louwrens

Chairperson & PG Symposium

As a compassionate individual, I derive pleasure from assisting others. My hobbies include indulging in music and practicing the art of crocheting. I enjoy reading African literature. I also laugh a lot; it makes life easier.

Moleboheng Ntsetselane


I am an introvert by nature who loves social outreach programs. I grew up in a farming community and am therefore an animal lover. I enjoy the winter; I think it makes you appreciate summer the same is applicable in life.

Jade Amos


I like to spend my free time playing first-person shooter games, listening to hip-hop, or watching anime. I may display good comedic skills sometimes and I believe that ‘‘you should always do all that you can do and leave the rest to nature and God (s)’’.

Richard Mampana

Socials & Social Impact

Growing up in Khayelitsha has taught me to make the most of what I have. I mean, we would make cars out of bricks, milk cartons, bucket lids and many other things. Even today, I still subscribe to that viewpoint. 

Lukhanyo Rode

Socials & Social Impact

A passionate, Godfearing , mineral processing junkie with the eagerness to learn and engage with individuals from different backgrounds.

Anthony Tapfuma

International Students & Safety Rep

Alternative and soul R&B music lover. I play the alto saxophone and enjoy singing too. I have a special talent for falling asleep within a minute and 30 seconds, which is what got me through my engineering studies – quality naps!

Thaakira Jabaar

Transformation & PG Symposium

Family, football, chemical engineering – in that order.

Matthew Noach

Monthly Bulletin Editor & Safety Rep

Meet our Postgraduate Candidates

Ayman Abufalgha


Bioresource Engineering

Research Topic

Development of Bioprocess and Bioreactor System for Alkane Activation

Supervisor(s) / Promotor(s)

Prof Robbie Pott

Professional Summary

Ayman Abufalgha was born in 1988 in Tripoli, Libya. He received his B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering in 2011 from the University of Elmergib, Libya where he was employed as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant. He moved to Stellenbosch University in 2016 to do his M.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering which was obtained in 2018 under the supervision of Prof K. Clarke and Prof R. Pott. In 2016, he also joined the Centre of Excellence in Catalysis (C* change), Department of Chemical Engineering, the University of Cape Town as a postgraduate researcher working on a paraffine activation project. In 2019, he started his PhD, again under the supervision of Prof R. Pott at the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. In 2021, he was awarded a fellowship from the Vice-Chancellor’s Global Challenges the Research Fellowships, to work with Prof Lea-smith on the modification of hydrocarbon-degrading organisms at the School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK.