Alumni Profile of Keamogetsoe Ipeleng Maroo
I started grade 7 at Tsogo High School in 1997 and matriculated in 2002. Earlier I attended Modiselle Primary School in Ga-Rankuwa, my mother was a teacher there. I got my BSc. Eng in Bio-resources/Agricultural Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. I am currently undertaking post graduate studies in MSc. Eng Process Engineering with Stellenbosch University and also undertaking studies for Award in Theology through the Theological Education by Extension College.
Currently, I work for the Agricultural Research Council-Institute for Agricultural Engineers (ARC-IAE) where I conduct research and integrate engineering principles in Renewable Energy applications. My research area is biofuels, particularly developing sustainable methods of biodiesel production.
I am also involved in a few initiatives to promote engineering as a desirable career path for high school girls also to support and encourage university students who are enrolled in the engineering faculty.
*To keep my head on my shoulders: My paternal grandmother Seapei Henrieta Maroo, from her I have learnt through observation and experience what “love in action” is and I hope that through the little things I do, someone can learn the same from me. My parent’s journey in their own path of life inspires me to take pride in who I am and to appreciate life and all that it has to offer.
*To take my feet of the ground and soar: Various women engineers dating all the way from the 1800’ the likes of Ada Byron Lovelace and Ellen Swallow Richards who’s excellent work has paved the way for women in the engineering field. To the current pioneers like Danai Magugumela and Elekanyani Ndlovu who are young professionals pioneering and setting high standards in the engineering field. My list increases everyday as I meet or read about incredible women engineers, I realise that we are surrounded by excellence especially if you have eyes to see and appreciate it.
Sister Colmcille always emphasised the importance of discipline and for me it actually made perfect sense once I stepped out of the protected environment of Tsogo and stepped into “the real world”. In this interesting journey of life, be kind to yourself and embrace every step of development and growth, both pleasant and challenging. Most importantly, whenever you have a chance to do something worthwhile, be disciplined enough to give it your best!
To current Students
Mrs. Mahlangu (now known as Mrs. Pila) once told me that “your brains will open the way, if you work hard bursaries and scholarships will chase after your brains”. This has been directly applicable in my life as I have had the privilege of being awarded various bursaries since grade 10, yes while still at Tsogo (from Eskom bursary scheme), throughout my university studies (scholarship from Ernest Oppenheim Memorial Trust, bursary from Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture and the ARC-Professional Development Program) and even currently for my postgraduate studies (through AgriSETA). There is a lot of funding and support out there, especially for the African child. Keep your ears on the ground for opportunities and do your best to cease them. Let your brains open the way for you!
Tsogo was a blessing and there are so many great memories. I treasure the wonderful singing during the morning assembly, opening and closing masses. I enjoyed the walk up the mountain with friends. What I liked the most was the interaction of our class 12C, we were a hardworking bunch and we also had fun, for me school was cool!
*Academic achievements: Recognition of my academic achievements whilst at the University of Kwazulu-Natal includes an excellence award in 2004 from the Golden Key International Honours Society and recognition in the 2008 BHP Billiton top achievers ceremony.
*Public speaking: I am grateful that Sister Colmcille developed my talent and passion for public speaking and debating, I have continued to grow and participate in this route. In cooperation with my debate partner, I have won the 2004 KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Universities debating tournament and went on to place in the top four finalists in National Universities Debating tournament hosted at the University of Cape Town.
*International exposure: I have had the privilege to be selected to represent the ARC-Institute for Agricultural Engineering and South Africa on an international realm. In June 2010 I underwent 6 weeks training course entitled “International Training Course on Biogas Hygiene Technologies” at the People’s Republic of China where I also presented a country report on the applications of Renewable Energy in South Africa. My recent highlight is an award for best young presenter for my research paper entitled “Experiences of Small-Scale, Batch Biodiesel Producers in South Africa: Challenges and Success Factors” in April 2011at the Republic of Serbia at the Second international Conference on Sustainable Postharvest, Food Technology and Energy in Agriculture.
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More Alumni Profiles
- Alumni Profile: Kgomotso Sekhute (Tsogo 1986)
- Alumni Profile: Botlhale Mabatshidi Nong (Tsogo 1986)
- Alumni Profile: Vukosi Marivate (Tsogo 2003)
- Alumni Profile: Boingotlo Joan Legalamitlwa (Tsogo 1997)
- Alumni Profile: Mapela Motshabi-Custodio (Tsogo 1997)
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