Phylis Sarah Makurunje
Executive Secretary, Space Generation Advisory Council
Phylis Makurunje is a PhD candidate for the Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials at the University of the Witwatersrand. She specializes in the making of ultra-high temperature composites for rockets and upcoming space planes, which will reduce intercontinental travel to one hour. Her passion extends to the application of outer space technologies in
addressing developmental causes on the African continent. In October 2019 she was invited to be a guest speaker and adjudicator at the NASA Space Apps hackathon in Azerbaijan. Earlier in 2019 she was selected to participate at the 56th Session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee (STSC) of the United Nations Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS). In 2018 she was similarly selected to participate at the 21st session of the Committee on Sciences and Technology for Development (CSTD) for the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Phylis serves as an executive member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) in support of the United Nations program for space applications. She sits on the President’s Council of Student Advisors of the American Ceramic Society, where she is currently serving her fourth term as the first student from an African university in the history of the council. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Morningside. Makurunje has received recognition for her growing contribution to the field of outer space technologies and was listed on the 2018 Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans in the
Science and Technology category.