Wilson Mogodi

Post-doctoral research fellow

I was born in Soweto then moved to Johannesburg when I was a child. South Africa is made up of many different cultures and has 11 languages.  I’ve always enjoyed meeting people from different cultures. It’s my first experience of living in Europe and my first opportunity to mix with European cultures rather than African ones. I like the open border system in Europe, which means mixing is easier. At the ESRF you get a lot of daily exposure to other nationalities as well as to the world of research. Suddenly I’ve found myself surrounded by many skilled people working in my field. Here, you really feel that you are working at the cutting edge of science and society. Whatever I do here, it gives me a better understanding of the world around me and of how things work. I’ve always been interested in the natural sciences and I first wanted to become a medical doctor, inspired by my Uncle. I studied anatomy, maths, physics, biochemistry and chemistry and gradually my interest in chemistry as a central science started to grow. I stemmed into solid state chemistry and now X-ray crystallography. One good thing about X-ray research is that it covers so many disciplines that there’s a whole new world of learning out there. I started dabbling in programming when I arrived at the ESRF and now I’m starting to love it.  After my stay at the ESRF, I have a job as a lecturer in Cape Town waiting for me. And I hope I can continue doing experiments here and being a bridge between the synchrotron and the science community in South Africa."

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