GR ADUATE STUDIES PROFILES
PhD, Chemical Engineering
Sizi Bebe has overcome much adversity in her life, but
collaborates with St. Lawrence College and the University of
her positive and hopeful attitude shines through. Born in
Waterloo on the complex and evolving world of polymers and
Zimbabwe, Sizi’s knack for science and mathematics led her
nanotechnology. DAS researches and develops innovative
to study engineering at the University of Zimbabwe. Her
technologies that improve day-to-day living conditions and
undergraduate degree further piqued her scientific curiosity,
alleviate challenges, such as energy storage systems.
so she decided to head to Australia to do graduate work in polymers, a substance with a molecular structure made
Sizi is also contributing in her homeland: she has helped to
chiefly from a large number of similar units bonded together.
establish the Polymer Sciences Institute in Harare to bring awareness of how important polymers are in everyday life. This
“Almost everything we use on a daily basis contains polymers,”
will also advance research and development of polymer products
says Sizi. “I find this fascinating.”
derived from Zimbabwe’s abundant natural resources, including
A family crisis brought her back to Zimbabwe, making it
coal, platinum, and chromium.
impossible to complete her PhD in Australia, but not before
“Quite a lot can be done with natural products found locally in
she had earned an MSc from the University of Sydney. A health
Zimbabwe,” she says.
crisis brought her to Kingston to stay with her sister. Sizi warmed to the city and decided to raise her two children there. During
When Sizi comes to Canada, she has a chance to see her children,
her recovery she contacted Dr. Robin Hutchinson, a Chemical
who are now of university age. When in Zimbabwe, Sizi likes to
Engineering professor at Queen’s, who encouraged Sizi to
explore the natural beauty of her homeland.
continue her doctoral studies. “Victoria Falls, game reserves, the mountains … it’s all beautiful,”
Today, Sizi is the co-founder and Executive Technical Director
she says. “I’ve really come to appreciate it since I’ve been away
of DAS Innovations Corporation, an Ottawa-based firm that
and come back.”
THE COMPLETE ENGINEER