“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein

Beauty Shibiri



Organisation / Company

Materials Modelling Centre, University of Limpopo


Beauty Shibiri, 30, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Limpopo’s Materials Modelling Centre. She says: “I am working on energy storage materials, particularly spinel Li-Mn-O cathodes for lithium-ion batteries, and lithium titanium phosphate (LTP) solid state electrolyte for lithium batteries as an alternative for liquid electrolytes.” Beauty is advancing her research skills and professional development through training to become an independent researcher. She also has a few leadership roles, including being a cluster coordinator for the energy and storage group under the Materials Modelling Centre. She serves on the university’s school of physical and mineral sciences research committee as the representative of the Materials Modelling Centre and assists in the supervision of postgraduate students. Beauty says a good work challenge can keep her awake at night and have her waking up early in the morning to find a solution. She is motivated by her family’s educational background; her parents never had the privilege of education but they made sure that she did. Beauty has completed her PhD and is proud that she is the first person in her village to do so and feels she has represented her family and community well.


Bachelor of Science in Physics and Geology
Bachelor of Science Honours in Physics
Doctor of Philosophy (Physics)


The biggest achievement thus far in my life is being the first PhD holder in my family and village, and having it by the age of 28. I feel like I have represented myself, family and community very well as a young black woman. During my school days in the village, the only fancy professions I knew of were a teacher, police officer, nurse or doctor. Becoming something beyond that gives me joy and pride. It gives me a sense of validation that everyone can dream and become beyond expectations. Throughout my PhD journey, one lesson I always kept in mind is that tenacity brings success and that one must always be willing to serve before one can be anything in life.


Yes, I am lucky enough to have mentors and supervisors who have achieved so much in their lifetime and this makes me believe that if I work hard and continue to drink from their well of knowledge, I will one day be where they are and maybe beyond.