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Welcome to Lab 351 and Lab 357

Message from Professor Simoyi:

I welcome you to our humble home page and we hope you enjoy your visit. Ours is a very small but extremely active research group. Our high degree of activity comes from our great love and respect for science as well as our curiosity to always be asking the questions ‘Why?’ and ‘What if?’.

Our laboratory has a wide range of research interests. Chemical Dynamics seems to be the back bone of most of our research. Included under chemical dynamics are the following topics: chemical kinetics, chemical instabilities, chemical chaos, biological and biophysical chemistry and some environmental chemistry (sulfur chemistry). Under chaos we are also interested in both temporal and spatiotemporal chaos. We recently developed an intense interest in the mechanisms that control antioxidant chemistry especially with respect to thiols (biological chemistry), and we already have had a number of publications on the chemistry of cysteine, taurine, hypotaurine and some cephalosporins.

The chemical physics aspect of our research work is also quite vibrant. Half of our laboratory efforts and 80% of our budget goes to our research on chemically-driven hydrodynamics instabilities. We tackle the mechanisms of double-diffusive convection, Rayleigh- Benard, Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities as well as the Benard-Marangoni problems. We examine self-organization and pattern formation from the premises of convection and convective mass transport. Some of our recent publications have reported on the formation of thermal plumes, concentric patterning and convective tori.

There is something for everyone in this small, research group of ours. If you are into hard-core chemistry, we have something for you here. Should you be the biology person, the physicist, the mathematician or the biochemist, we will find a niche for you. A Ph.D. from this laboratory is a total scientist, not some charlatan of some obscure subsection of a subset of some section of chemistry. We pride ourselves in the computer-competency of graduates from this laboratory. The resident computer gurus have changed over the years, but the level of competency in computers has not wavered. During the periods 1992 - 94, Marcus Hauser was the main man: he set up our workstation ("Monster" is the name he gave it) and tinkered around with several other computer issues. 1994-96 saw the emergence of Cordelia Chinake and Rahul Jain who maintained Monster and set up several of the microcomputers still working in the labs even as we speak. From 1997 to 2000, Sergei Svarovsky (little Serge) took over the baton and did remarkable wonders with our computer systems. He linked all the computers we have (except my three computers which can access the lab’s computers but they themselves cannot be accessed....undergraduate students have been known to hack into my computers to sniff out exam questions!). He only had the fastest pentiums to work with. Initially starting with 5 computers, he named each one of the ‘Big Five’: Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, and Cheetah. As the computers have increased past 5, he has had to name the other computers names like ‘Hyena’ and ‘Kangaroo’ [fortunately, we have not yet come down all the way to the ‘weasel’ and the ‘gerbil’....]. After Serge, Rotimi Olojo took over the leadership of the group and he did more wonders with the networking of the computers that have since increased to 15. Monster has since been replaced by New Monster, a much faster machine running SGI IRIX 6.5 Operating System and currently hosting our whole research website.  Since 2003 Vikrant has been the brains behind the computer networking and maintenance. He has made our network very secure and the research website more compliant with the demands of the 21st century...
 

Our work is constantly being enriched by visitors of extreme intelligence and innovativeness. We have had excellent interactions with the following visiting scientists:

Prof. S. B. Jonnalagadda; University of Durban-Westville, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

                    Prof. M. A-Salem, University of Qatar, Doha, Qatar.

Prof. J. Darkwa, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.

Prof. Sergei Makarov (Big Serge), Academy of Chemistry and Technology, Ivanovo, Russia

Prof. B. S. Martincigh, University of Natal, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

                    Dr. Ian Love, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant,                       Zimbabwe.

Prof. Tony Howes, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia.

Prof. Tony Roberts, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.

We hope to continue interacting with more scientists who can only get us to be better scientists. Sometimes, I feel, the authors on some of our publications read like a ‘who-is-who’ of the United Nations!

We will always be open to new ideas and new research. We will always keep searching for answers. For example, just last night, I was reading an article about thiocarbamides being excellent antithyroid drugs... interesting, right? Further reading next tells me that the very same thiocarbamides are extremely efficient as rat poison (rodenticides).. Further reading yields nothing, nothing at all..... Our group would like to answer the next question.. There is a question there, is there not?

Reuben H. Simoyi, CChem. MRSC.

(Professor of Chemistry)

PS

Makepe-kepe! (Shayisa Mufaro); Makepe-kepe! (Uyai muzovaona). Gore rino! (Vakatoramukombe); Mukombe veZifa! Gore rino! (Vachatoramukombe); Mukombe we League Trophy! Makepe-kepe! ..........

                                   

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