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General News of Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Source: Kuulpeeps

Meet the Ghanaian engineering student who beat lecturers to win Top International Award

Ghanaian ladies are out there being all smart on us and kicking ass while at it.

We have intelligent smart and beautiful Ghanaian queens who just make sure we are counted among the best on the regular.

This time, the duty fell on Lois Afua Damptey, an MPhil student at the University of Ghana to make sure that the Red Gold Green with the black star flew high above the rest.

Lois was one of the hundreds of people who submitted abstracts of academic work done in terms of the crystallography of the like sources manner – the experimental science of determining the arrangement of atoms in crystalline solids.

Out of the lot, about 100 entries from about 27 countries were selected and asked to prepare a pictorial presentation of their academic research to the Pan African Conference on Crystallography.

After their submissions, a jury of expert chose Maame Afua’s research as the best and for that, she won two top awards.

One from the International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD) and the other from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

For her award as the best student, the ICDD gave her a student grant for achieving the academic award of excellence for a work.

What makes Afua’s award more extraordinary isn’t about her gender but the fact that she is an MPhil student who beat PhD students and even lecturers to win an award.

She’s like one of those intelligent primary school pupils who is called into a Junior High School class to teach her seniors Maths or Integrated Science.

However, in an interview with Kuulpeeps Lois said though she wasn’t one of the best students in her class when she got admitted to the University of Ghana, she fought her way through to become the best before she graduated.

“I wasn’t the best in my class, I was one of the least when we got to Level 100 and one thing I know about myself is that I hate to fail, so I joined study groups I wasn’t shy to go to my juniors to explain to me things I don’t understand,” she said adding that “I had a couple of resists but just before we graduated I was the best in my class.”

With her newly found best student status in her final year, Lois said she got a grant to undertake a project in the United Kingdom, a 6 months study at Aston University in the UK.

“I impressed and they offered me an MPhil which was a joint collaboration, so I did part of my study in the University of Ghana and part of my research study at Aston University,” she said.

It was this research study that she entered the competition and won the top award at the Pan African Conference on Crystallography.

Lois’ research work touched on one amazing project. She set out to find a suitable material that could convert nonedible Ghanaian oilseeds into biofuels.

…and guess what… it works… she did find that suitable material.

Her project is vital in using renewable fuels to augment the national energy needs.

On what she gets from her award, she said the award will “help me get more grants to develop my research, I can also use the facility of ICDD anytime I need it for research and I am also getting a cash prize to download scientific journals free of charge.”

“Plus it goes without saying that this award also serves as a boost for empowering women in engineering,” Lois told Kuulpeeps.