‘The Department has become a special place for me.’ – Meet PGSC member Roelof Maritz

Unsure of his future after high school, Roelof Maritz of Melkbosstrand decided to study chemical engineering. “I thought, at the very least, that completing a Chem Eng degree would make me a smart and confident person,” explains Roelof.

The Department of Process Engineering has since become a special place for Roelof. Here, he lives out his passion for people and social interaction by serving on the Postgraduate Student Council (PGSC), as Socials and Postgraduate Symposium Coordinator. “I hope that, through my effort and dedication as an engineer, I can make 2022 an extra fun year to be a postgraduate student.” Roelof is also a master’s candidate, under the supervision of Profs Christie Dorfling and Guven Akdogan. His research topic is: The Life Cycle Assessment of different hydrometallurgical flow sheeting options for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. Roelof is passionate about this topic because of its relevance. “It is very closely linked to sustainability and the subsequent creation of a circular economy,” he explains. Roelof’s advice to aspiring chemical engineering students is to stay focused. “Also, learn to think on your feet and to use your own reasoning, ” because the answers that you are looking for are seldom in textbooks.”

When not studying or organising fun social events on behalf of the PGSC, you’ll find Roelof honing his woodworking skills or out camping. Looking for an engineering joke to add to your collection? Roelof also has a great contribution to submit: To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.