We need special materials to make the things we use in our lives every day. From cell phones, to jewelry to treating cancer, gold is one of these important materials. I started learning about gold in the country of my birth: South Africa, where I studied to become a chemical engineer. Then I came to the United States to learn about gold mining and how to use bubbles to recover really fine gold particles. After I got my doctorate in metallurgical engineering, I started working for a gold min
What inspired you to explore STEM when you were young?
I have always found chemistry and mathematics a lot more interesting than languages (although I do like to read a lot). They were my favorite classes in school, and I really wanted to pursue a career where I would be able to work using chemistry and/or mathematical concepts.
What do you enjoy most about what you do in your STEM career?
I love solving problems and in my career that is what I get to do every day. I also really enjoy learning more about my field. It seems every day there is something that you can still learn, that may help you to solve a problem that you are working on.
What is an interesting fact you would like to share with students about your STEM field?
I loved playing with bubbles when I was really young (the little containers filled with soap that you could create bubbles with a little bit of air and effort). Now in my job, I get to use bubbles to make mineral separations. Who would have thought, that you can use bubbles to make a separation.