Mildred Airo, who was born and raised in the small town of Maseno in Kenya, has recently completed her PhD in material chemistry at the University of Witwatersrand, and is currently an Organization for Women in Science in Developing Countries (OWSD) Fellow there. Her research area focused on the synthesis and characterization of metal chalcogenide nanoparticles with potential application on electronic devices. With the aim of finding more solutions to the global energy crisis, two devices were the center of the study, namely, solar cells and sensors. Mildred is interested in the development of materials to be used in solar devices and, for environmental monitoring, in designing sensors to detect particular gases within the ambient air.
Dr Airo is currently undertaking a mini-postdoctoral fellowship with her PhD supervisor and renewable energy is still her area of focus. This year she was invited to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting scheduled for July, which has given her a new perspective in life. Mildred is an advocate for women in science and works to encourage more women to work on science-related research geared towards the achievement of sustainable goals. She also works with groups in Kenya to encourage young girls in primary and high schools to have a passion for science-related subjects.