FACULTY OF NATURAL SCIENCES
School of Physical and Chemical Sciences
Subject Group: Physics
Profile: Physics Student
Profile: Dr. Jaco Minnie (ex-Physics student)
Where did you grow up
In Vryheid, Kwazulu-Natal.
Which qualifications did you acquire at the NWU's Potch Campus
B.Sc. (Physics and Applied Mathematics), 1999; M.Sc. (Physics), 2002; Ph.D. (Physics), 2006.
What are your research interests
During my second year of study I realised that I have a greater interest in the field of natural sciences. So I changed courses in my third year (1998) from electronical engineering to Physics and Applied Mathematics.
How much time did you spend here in total
1996-2006 (Eleven years)
Tell us a little bit about the road that led you to where you are now.
In 1999 I was selected to be part of the 39th South African National Antarctic Expedition and I spent 15 months in Antarctica from November 1999 to January 2001. During my employment by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism; I was also registred at the School of Physics at the Puk. After my return from Antarctica in 2001, I resumed my studies in physics on a full time basis and completed my M.Sc in the beginning of 2002. I then undertook my Ph.D under the guidance of prof. Adri Burger and completed my studies in the beginning of 2006.
In September 2005 I commenced a post doctoral position at the Bartol Research Institute at the University of Delaware in the USA.
What are your research interests
My post graduate study was mainly about charged particle transport in turbulent magnetic fields. The primary component of my study involved the solution of numerical models and the overall study mainly consisted of software development.
Terminator 2,3; The Matrix Trilogy; Lord of the Rings; Harry Potter; Star Trek.
A little bit of everything -very dependant on my mood.
Favourite professors and lecturers at the Puk
Prof. Harm Moraal (Physics), Prof. Adri Burger (Physics) and Prof. Japie Spoelstra.
Where are you now
Shortly after my arrival at the University of Delaware in 2005, I met my future wife, Rachel Mayrer. We have since been married and are expecting our first child, due in May 2009.
I am currently employed at Intergraph -a software company. Their head office is situated in Huntsville, Alabama in the USA. Intergraph has satelite offices in the US (Hampton and Virginia), France and India.
I work in Hampton on the SmartMarine 3D-product for clients like Samsung Heavy Industries that uses the product for designing and producing ships. My team of about 30 software developers and I have to sustain the functionality of spesific components of the SmartMarine 3D software and to build in new functionalities as required by our clients.
How condusive was your time at the NWU to what you do now
My job requires a decent amount of critical and analytical thinking. These two abilities was without a doubt developed and cultivated at the NWU. Especially during my post graduate studies where I was taught essential problem solving techniques which I now utilise on a daily basis.
Where would you like to be in 10 years
I would like to be settled in my vocation as a software developer here in the USA.
To share in the opportunities presented by Physics at the NWU-Puk Campus, contact Prof. Stefan Ferreira at 018 299 2423.
Visit Intergraph where Dr. Jaco is currently employed.