Bethuel’s professional training and involvement in innovation spans almost two and a half decades. He obtained a BSc. degree from the National University of Lesotho, a MSc. degree (Chemistry) from Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada) and a PhD degree (Chemistry) from the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) in the early 90s. An appointment as a lecturer in chemistry at the University of the North (Now University of Limpopo) was followed by a two-year post-doctoral stint at University of Cape Town.
He later worked as an industrial researcher at a Denel division, culminating in taking up responsibilities as a R&D manager. Dr. Sehlapelo subsequently joined the CSIR (Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research) in a business development capacity before proceeding to join the Department of Science and Technology (DST) as General Manager – a responsibility that entailed the development and implementation of the National Research and Development Strategy’s Technology Missions. Bethuel was later appointed as Group Executive (Deputy Director General) for the Human Capital and Knowledge Systems Programme at the DST and was responsible for providing leadership in long-term, emerging and cross-cutting research and human capital development in the South African Innovation System.
Bethuel serves as a member on a number of boards and committees including the board of Mintek (Council for Minerals Technology), THRIP (Technology and Human Resources for Innovation Programme), National Laser Centre, Central University of Technology (member of Council). He served as the acting Chair of the Board of Centre for Public Service Innovation and is the current Chair of the bursary Section Committee at the South African Institute of Race Relations.