Dr Tabitha Amollo

Dr Tabitha Amollo

Kenya

Egerton University

Physics

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Work and Research

Dr. Tabitha A. Amollo is a lecturer in the department of physics, Faculty of Science, Egerton University, Kenya. She holds a Ph.D. in Physics (solid state physics and materials sciences) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and an MSc degree in physics (solid state physics) from Egerton University, Kenya. Her fields of specialization include nanotechnology and nanomaterials, organic photovoltaics, and thermoelectricity. Her current research is focused on developing cutting-edge nanomaterials for energy conversion devices including graphene nanomaterials. She has authored several articles in high-impact journals and two book chapters. She has also won The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Research grant.

Fields Of Expertise

Solid state physics and materials science

PORTABLE, RELIABLE SOLAR-DRIVEN REFRIGERATION

Dr Tabitha Amollo specializes in solid-state physics and materials sciences. For her FAR-Leaf research, she will be developing cutting-edge solar energy conversion nanomaterials for the fabrication of a solar-driven refrigeration system.

 

Her energy devices – solar cells and thermoelectric power generators – are built from graphene and germanium quantum dots-based nanomaterials. The devices will revolutionize sustainable energy in the health and agricultural sectors, contributing to the achievement of accessible, portable, reliable and clean energy sources in Africa.

 

The use of this technology (organic photovoltaics) will impact socioeconomics and roll over into technological advancements on the continent. As a clean, renewable source of energy, it will positively impact the problem of climate change in the long run.

 

Graphene is seen as the “wonder material” of the century and is characterized by high carrier mobility, optical transparency, surface area, material flexibility and mechanical strength and is thus perfect for use in organic solar cells (OSC) for effective conversion of solar energy to electricity. Combine metallic nanoparticles and graphene nanomaterials and the result is high-performance solar cells for the fabrication of portable refrigeration units which can be used, for instance, in the health sector for the preservation of drugs and vaccines; and for perishable farm produce – even in remote rural areas. Reliable energy supply and refrigeration are key to socioeconomic and technological advancement, health and food security.

Dr Amollo got her PhD in physics in 2018 from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in only two and a half years after also having published seven articles in high-impact journals and winning the South African Chemical Institute (SACI) post-graduate award for 2019 including her first prize in the oral presentation category at the UKZN 2017 College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science Postgraduate Research Day.

 

She describes herself as a quick learner who rises easily to new research and academic environments and is always willing and able to learn. After her studies, she resumed her work as a lecturer at Egerton University, where she has since been appointed as the Chairperson of the Department of Physics, the program academic leader of the Bachelor of Science, Physics and a board member of the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies. She has authored two book chapters published by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Taylor and Francis group.

 

In 2020, she won The World Academy of Sciences research grant.

 

While carving a niche for herself through innovative scientific research that translates into alleviating societal challenges, Dr Amollo also mentors youths, especially the girlchild in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She looks forward to getting involved in transdisciplinary innovative scientific research that solves problems facing Africa – and specifically translating research outcomes to society.

 

FAR-Leaf's potential at forming collaborations, linkages and networks with researchers and industries is exciting: my vision is to increase environmental and food security by getting Africa powered through renewable energy sources.