On 1 April, Professor Genevieve Langdon became the first female Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCT. She joined the department in 2006, after being a research fellow at the Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU) from 2004 to 2006.
Genevieve reflects the ethos of transformation, nurturing and building her students and colleagues and effecting meaningful change to the curriculum.
She is the director of BISRU and her research involves examining the blast resistant properties of novel lightweight materials such as fibre-metal laminates and hybrid structures, passive blast mitigation, confined explosions and the failure modes of lightweight structures. You would probably never imagine the mother of two with the gentle Liverpudlian accent is a master blaster. But master blaster is one of her professional tags. One of only three people at UCT with a blasting certificate from the South African Police Services, Professor Langdon spends her working hours measuring the impact of explosions in a test laboratory at the top end of campus.
Professor Langdon has received a number of awards, including an 1851 Royal Commission Research Fellowship and the UCT College of Fellows Young Researcher Award. She is the recipient of the Southern African Association for the Advancement of Science (S2A3) silver medal for outstanding research by a person under 40 years old. She also holds a C1 National Research Foundation rating and has co-authored over fifty journal articles and is a chartered engineer.
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