Duduzile Kubheka – Project Coordinator
Duduzile Kubheka works at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) as the BRICS Astronomy Project Coordinator, where she also collaborates with the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and the African Astronomical Society (AfAS). Her primary responsibilities include the administration and coordination of BRICS Astronomy activities as well as coordinating and developing societal benefit activities that contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Currently, Duduzile is pursuing her MPhil in Science and Technology Studies (Science and Public Engagement) at Stellenbosch University. In the past, she played a significant role in the Horizon 2020 RRING Project H2020 for the National Research Foundation (NRF) at the SAASTA business unit. This project aimed to promote responsible research and innovation while addressing global sustainability and social justice issues such as Sustainable Development Goals, Gender Equality, Public Engagement, Open Access, Ethics, and Integrity.
Duduzile also co-chairs the AfAS/IAU-GA 2024 Outreach, Education, and Development committee.
Eslam Hussein – Data Scientist
Eslam Hussein is a research scientist with broad experience applying machine learning across several fields. To date, Eslam has published several academic papers with more than 70 citations. Research codes are then reorganised into educational tutorials to ensure a broader societal impact. In 2014, he enrolled to study Computer Science at the University of the Western Cape. He has since completed his BSc, Honours and finally graduated Magna Cum Laude with an MSc in Computer Science. Today, Eslam works as a Data Scientist at the Inter-university Institute for Data-Intensive Astronomy (IDIA).
Moloko Hlakola – Software Developer
Moloko Jeremia Hlakola grew up in a small rural village located in Sekhukhuneland, Limpopo Province. After completing his Secondary Teachers Diploma in 1995, Moloko worked as a Mathematics and Science teacher for almost 13 years until 2008. While employed as a teacher, he managed to complete a BSc in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. A few years later, he completed an Honours Degree in Applied Mathematics. Moloko worked at the CSIR in Pretoria for nearly five years as a Candidate Technologist, measuring military technology using infrared imagers. From 2016 to 2022, Moloko worked as a Radio Telescope Operator for SARAO, and now currently holds a position as a Software Developer at SAAO.
Moleboge Lekoloane – Communication and International Relations Officer
Moleboge Lekoloane currently serves as the Communication and International Relations Officer for the BRICS Intelligent Telescope and Data Network flagship project, based at the South African Astronomy Observatory. His professional trajectory commenced within the field of engineering, where he honed his skills as a mechanical fitter and turner. Transitioning from practical application to academic pursuits, Moleboge pursued a path of academic distinction, culminating in the attainment of a BA Honours degree in International Relations with a specialised focus on Foreign Policy Analysis and Science Diplomacy from the University of Pretoria.
During his tenure at the University of Pretoria, Moleboge demonstrated a fervent commitment to education by assuming the role of a French undergraduate tutor. This role not only showcased his linguistic proficiency but also underscored his dedication to cultivating knowledge and fostering intellectual growth in others. Expanding his engagement within the academic sphere, he seamlessly assumed pivotal roles such as an Administrative Officer within the Humanities Student Administration and a prominent support figure within the Department of Research and Innovation at the University of Pretoria.
As a crucial member of the BRICS Astronomy team, Moleboge navigates the complex landscape of International Relations with proficiency and acumen. His diverse background and multifaceted expertise serve as a testament to his professional versatility and adaptability. Moleboge epitomises the essence of a well-rounded professional, consistently motivated by a passion for continual learning and an unwavering eagerness to make substantive contributions to his field.
Mission of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group
The mission of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group is to promote cooperation between BRICS member countries in the field of astronomy and enabling technologies through joint activities of government, universities, research institutions, and industry, as relevant, to develop astronomical sciences, generate new knowledge, train human capital, develop new technologies and applications, and improve public understanding of science.