Utrecht University chemist Peter Ngene is one of the seventeen Next Einstein Forum Fellows 2017-2019, Africa’s most outstanding and promising young scientists. On 27 March, he formally received the award from the hands of Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda and currently Chairman of the African Union.
The ceremony was held at the NEF Global Gathering, a Pan-African scientific event in Kigali, Rwanda, in the presence of African leaders and of renowned scientists from all over the world.
Peter Ngene is working on novel materials for energy storage that will enable the energy revolution the world is hoping for. “We are moving to renewable energy like solar and wind energy. They are not available all the time, so we need to develop ways to store the energy. I am trying to make the next generation of batteries for this aim. With those batteries in electric cars, we will be able to drive 500 km instead of 150 before they will have to be recharged.”
The award, which is an initiative of the African Union, is named after Albert Einstein, illustrating the African wish to deliver the ‘next Einstein’. With the award, Peter Ngene and the other sixteen winners have been offered mentorships by excellent more experienced African scientists. Ngene: “During the Gathering, we spent three days together, discussing our research and the future of science in Africa. The discussions with more experienced and accomplished scientists were very useful for me.”