College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

A Passion for Science

Mr Lehlohonolo Lekesi has entered his research project entitled: Investigating the structure, morphology, optical, and thermal behaviour in a TiO2/MAPbI3 heterogeneous film for solar cell applications for the Postgraduate Research and Innovation Symposium (PRIS 2021) to be hosted by UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) from 9 to 10 December.

Free State-born Lekesi completed his matric in 2015 with outstanding results in Accounting, Natural Science, Mathematics and Life Science at Kgola Thuto Secondary School where he was rated the fourth best performing student in Natural Science.

He is fascinated by the different disciplines of science that seek to find viable solutions to real-life problems. ‘This was the driving force that motivated me to pursue a Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry and Physics (2018) and Bachelor of Science Honours majoring in Polymer Science (2019),’ he said.

Lekesi is inspired by the impact that the new ideas and knowledge that his type of research is producing could have on the science community: ‘As researchers we work together through publications. This enables us to use the knowledge shared creatively to develop new technologies with an impact on the wider community.’

He is currently registered as a second-year Master’s student in Physics working on the fabrication of third generation solar cells in the School of Chemistry and Physics on the Westville Campus.

‘The curiosity that characterises the natural sciences, motivates me,’ he said. Despite the draining nature of careful laboratory work to test theories and hypotheses, he finds pleasure in finally producing meaningful results and bringing the research to life. He is also motivated by young emerging scientists working hard to make a positive contribution to the science society.

This led him to participate in PRIS 2021. He has not published any of his research work yet and the symposium is the perfect opportunity to showcase his research. ‘I also see PRIS as a way of establishing myself in the research community,’ he commented.

To find out more about Lekesi’s research as well as other CAES researchers at PRIS 2021, visit

Words: Samantha Ngcongo

Photograph: Supplied