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SAIIE Student Awards: 2014

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 11:11

The SAIIE Council would like to congratulate the following remarkable individuals on the achievements obtained during their graduate studies. It is a true pleasure to have individuals of their calibre assisting us in moving Industrial Engineering forward!

 

Best IE Student 2014 WITS

Claudia Elizabeth Frowein

Best IE BTech Student 2014

NMMU

Nomore Musikavanhu
Best IE NDip Student 2014

NMMU

Matt le Roux

Best IE Student 2014

TUKS

Heidi Barends

Best IE Student 2014

SUN

Stefan Knoblauch

Best IE Presentation 2014

WITS

Matthew Winter

Best IE Poster 2014

WITS

Vishal Shrivastava

 

Last updated Wednesday, 29 May 2019 09:11

SAIIE Newsletter: May 2019

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Thursday, 9 May 2019 09:58

Please find attached the SAIIE May 2019 Newsletter. 


Attachments:

SAIIE Newsletter_Vol 4_ May 2019_Final.pdf 1.6M 9 May 19 09:58

SAIIE Newsletter: April 2019

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Tuesday, 16 April 2019 15:46

Please find attached the SAIIE April 2019 Newsletter.


Attachments:

SAIIE Newsletter_Vol 3_ April 2019_Final.pdf 1.7M 16 Apr 19 15:46

SAIIE Newsletter: March 2019

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Tuesday, 16 April 2019 15:45

Please find attached the SAIIE March 2019 Newsletter.


Attachments:

SAIIE Newsletter_Vol 2_ March. 2019_final.pdf 1.1M 16 Apr 19 15:45

Media Release: Mining the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 5 April 2019 17:22

 

Mining the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Chemical elements for South Africa’s future – Rare elements for new technologies
#elements4tech   #IYPT_za   #4IRsciZA   #IYPT2019

There is a lot of controversy around mining. At the same time, people use products and materials from mines just to live… from housing to technology. This tension ramps up further when we face the near future. As we look to reduce carbon output and environmental impact, we focus on green energy sources and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The latter needs minerals from the earth to operate. It seems we have much to investigate.

 

This is the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements 2019 (#IYPT2019) as declared by the United Nations.

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) held an NSTF Discussion Forum on ‘Chemical elements for South Africa’s future’ (#elements4tech #IYPT_za) from 18-19 March 2019. The first day focused on ‘Rare elements for new technologies’. The event was held in partnership with the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), SA Tourism.
 

What are rare earth elements?

Rare earth elements (REE) are elements on the periodic table that range from the atomic numbers 57 to 71.

 

The NSTF provides neutral collaborative platforms where issues and sectors meet

·         One of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) functions is to hold discussion forums, bringing the private and public sector together to address important issues and engage with government policy.

·         Feedback from these discussion forums is given to stakeholders.

·         Recommendations are put forward to government as part of the SET community’s lobbying efforts.

 

  

The REE are the 15 lanthanide series elements, plus yttrium. Scandium is found in most REE deposits and is sometimes classified as a REE. (Source: Geology.com)
 
REE are called ‘rare’ not because of scarcity. Dr Leon Kruger, Manager of the Hydrometallurgy Division: Mintek, explains that REE are found spread across the globe but in relatively low concentrations. Further to that, REEs are very difficult to separate from each other when processing. (Dr Kruger presented on ‘REE processing – A South African perspective’.)
 
The REE are also all metals, and are often referred to as ‘rare earth metals’.

REE and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) moves beyond the digital sphere. It’s defined in the Department of Science and Technology’s White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation as technological developments that blur the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.
 
Our current technologies are already the basis for 4IR technologies. 4IR is not a break from the past but an evolution – and mined elements are critical to both existing and new technologies.
 
Take the cell phone. There are about 40 elements in phones that are mined, says Mr Sietse van der Woude, Senior Executive: Modernisation and Safety, Minerals Council South Africa. “When you look at the periodic table, it’s easier to say what’s not relevant to 4IR because so many are relevant.” Mr van der Woude spoke on ‘Challenges in Mining for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
 
Mr van der Woude says that for green energy technology, even more elements are needed. As the demand for green technologies rises, so will the demand for rare metals. Other examples for REE uses include: batteries, glass, fuel cells, hybrid and electric vehicles, wind turbines, and air conditioning. Is 4IR even possible without mining?
 

South Africa’s mineral resources

Beyond REE, South Africa’s mineral resources for 4IR rank within top 10 in the world (except for iron ore), notes Mr van der Woude.
 
Dr Annelize Botes, Principal Researcher: Materials Science and Manufacturing, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), explains that titanium is considered a ‘rare’ metal because it’s a difficult metal to produce. She presented in her own capacity on ‘Rare Metals in New Technologies’. Titanium is used in many industries including aerospace, automotive, and medical. The CSIR hosts the Titanium Centre of Competence.
 
Dr Botes notes that rare metals are understood as part of something – such as a cell phone. They also form part of a larger ecosystem: “Materials (including metals) are the pillar upon which most manufacturing is built…” She advocates more work with design engineers who predominantly use steel when so many other materials are available.
 
REE are used in batteries and Dr Mesfin Kebede focused on lithium ion batteries (LIBs). Dr Kebede is a Principal Researcher: Energy Centre, CSIR. He spoke on ‘The Transition Metals (Manganese, Titanium, etc) for Energy Storage Application’. There is a high availability of these minerals in South Africa. LIBs are used in the automotive industry (consider electric vehicles) and for renewable battery storage, among other things.
 

Potential futures of mining for 4IR

Mr van der Woude notes that mining’s future lies in new deposits of ‘exotics’ (such as REE where the global demand is expected to rise) and finding new uses for general mining materials. Other areas include:

·         The circular economy with the 3Rs: recover, recycle and reuse

·         Subsea mining

·         Mining of asteroids
 

It is also of use to look at the report commissioned by the German Mineral Resources Agency at the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Berlin. Dr Botes says that with Germany depending on metal imports, they examined key and emerging technologies (across industries) and the potential demand for associated raw materials. This assists with estimating long-term price and supply risks. Dr Botes says this can be used as a guideline for South Africa. (See slide 25.)
 

Impact of 4IR on the mining industry

Accelerated digitalisation heralds exciting changes in mining. Mr van der Woude sees a move to where a great number of activities are driven from inside an office. According to Deloitte, future mining technologies include:

·         Digital capturing of information

·         Autonomous equipment such as driverless trucks

·         Internet of Things (IoT) wearables for capturing real-time data

·         Drones (which help with surveying in all types of temperatures)

·         Diverse mobile workforce with integrated remote operations

·         A digital mine nerve centre with controlled, safe and healthy conditions and data-driven insights for improved planning control and decision support

 

Dr Botes says there are also new manufacturing technologies. These include: additive manufacturing, collaborative robots (robots designed to work alongside humans), and smart manufacturing (to improve productivity and efficiency).
 

New frontiers – a centralised refinery for South Africa?

Dr Kruger says that, currently, China possesses 40% of global REE reserves and produces over 80% of the global REE. China’s dominance has an overriding impact on prices, for example, just by changing export quotas.
 
Because of this, Dr Kruger says that the world is looking for alternative sources of supply. Currently there are two non-Chinese world-class REE refineries: Lynas and Molycorp. Dr Kruger believes there is a gap for South Africa. The real value of REEs lies in physically separating these elements from each other. REEs are found in mixed deposits and not individually and concentrated like gold ore. The REE deposits typically include radioactive elements.
 
He proposes a centralised refinery where South Africa takes deposits from other countries for processing. (South Africa does not have enough deposits to sustain the refinery and to make it globally competitive.) He says that South Africa has the ability to transport, dispose and store radioactive waste. Not every country can do this. Further to this, South Africa has the expertise as Mintek has been conducting commercial work and R&D on every REE project on the globe (except China).
 

Governance around mining

Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, then-Chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee (PPC) on Mineral Resources, presented on ‘Benefits to the economy vs harm to communities and environment? Stimulating beneficiation?’. The PPC role is to lead public oversight of the Minister of Mineral Resources and the Department. This looks at whether laws are being implemented and budget spent responsibly.
 
Mining is seen as the cornerstone of the economy of South Africa, contributing R400-billion. South Africa needs to make the most of its mineral resources – for the benefit of all South Africans.
 
There is also a need to look at the harm around mining regarding communities and the environment. Mr Luzipo says that South Africa needs a clear proactive strategy and risk qualifications on mine closures. We should not be dealing with disasters as they happen.
 
One of the issues is that mines often change hands at different phases and this leads to a lack of responsibility. Furthermore, there should be increased legislation or enforcement around management and process (as has been done with diamonds).
 
The above links to illegal mining and its lack of safety and impact on ground stability. Illegal mining and the ‘zamazamas’ (illegal miners) have grown in criminality, as well as supporting industries such as food trucks. This is just one of the issues showing the need for collaboration between government entities. For example, beyond the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), the Department of Water and Sanitation and police should be involved.
 
Mining is an extraction industry. This means it’s impossible to bring back to the soil exactly what was taken out. However, says Mr Luzipo, we need to see what can work with the soil. Mines range from very neglected to those running effectively – with ongoing rehabilitation and a mining area returned to productive agriculture.
 
He says, in his experience, Social and Labour Plans are not implemented. This results in appalling conditions where communities are left in poverty and there has been no environmental rehabilitation. According to the South African Human Rights Commission, neither the environmental nor the community/public benefit aspects of the laws that apply to mines are being effectively enforced by government.
 
Mr Luzipo says that the system around mining rights and permits could be redesigned – where businesses with the best motivations around community beneficiaries and socio-economic development plans are given the rights.
 
South Africa also needs to consider the limits to parliamentary oversight. There is limited manpower and capacity, as well as limited time assigned to meetings. Furthermore, the parliament budget is determined by the institutions that are monitored ie the DMR.
 
Speakers can be contacted through the spokesperson, Ms Jansie NiehausVideo clips with the full presentations can be found on the NSTF website.

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

Attachments:

Media Release: Finding a path through the maze – the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Monday, 25 February 2019 17:50

Finding a path through the maze – the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution for SET, industry, society and education #4IRsciZA

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) feels like the ghost in the machine. We have a sense about it. We know it’s coming or may already be here. It seems to be all around us. However, there isn’t a common understanding of what 4IR actually means.

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) held an NSTF Discussion Forum on ‘Implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution for SET, industry, society and education’. The event was held in Cape Town from 11-13 September 2018. It ran alongside the Innovation Summit. The aim was to unpack some of the issues around 4IR, with reference to science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation.

So what is 4IR?

There are many names and definitions for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). 4IR is the naming convention used for this article as it’s a widely-communicated definition from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

WEF positions the First Industrial Revolution to be that of mechanisation and steam and water power. The Second Industrial Revolution looks at mass production, division of labour, assembly lines, and electricity. The third is seen as electronics, ICT, and automated production.

The NSTF provides neutral collaborative platforms where issues and sectors meet
  • One of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) functions is to hold discussion forums, bringing the private and public sector together to address important issues and engage with government policy.

  • Feedback from these discussion forums is given to stakeholders. 

  • Recommendations are put forward to government as part of the SET community’s lobbying efforts.

MR(2).png

                                               Source: World Economic Forum

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about the emergence of cyber-physical systems, network and artificial intelligence (AI). Cyber-physical systems involve new ways of embedding technology within larger societies, communities, and even in the human body.
 
Presenting at the NSTF Discussion Forum, Garth Williams says the dominant narrative is the convergence of technologies and convergence of the physical, digital and biological space. Williams is a Research Specialist: Intelligence at the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), who previously worked at the Department of Science and Technology (DST). He presented in his own capacity. 
 
There is debate around whether what is happening is, actually, the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There are numerous frameworks available, ranging from this being an extension of the Third Industrial Revolution to Society 5.0. However, we need a name relevant to South Africa.
 

Is it the name or the aim?

Williams says focusing on what a country wants to achieve is more important than emphasising the name. Across the world, aims and objectives range from improving competitiveness and developing 4.0 technologies to enhancing digital start-ups and ecosystems.

Let’s consider South Africa’s objectives. Williams says this is an emergent process with various research and policies, such as the National development Plan (NDP), outlining the challenges. An overarching NDP aim is to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality while advancing the economy and increasing South Africa’s competitiveness.
 
Williams’ message is ‘Don’t use technology just for technology’s sake’. It needs to be part of a larger context.
 

Looking at the 4IR technologies

There are numerous technologies associated with 4IR, and they come with a lot of jargon. Following are some of the technologies:
  • Autonomous robots and vehicles

  • The Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Cyber security, fraud detection, and authentication

  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing)

  • Big Data and advanced analytics

  • Augmented reality, virtual reality, and wearables

  • System integration

  • Edge and cloud computing

  • Smart mobile devices

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)

  • Blockchain technologies (which is part of how bitcoin works)

  • Advanced human-machine interfaces

  • High bandwidth networks

  • Smart and internet-worked sensors
     

Impact on economic development

Williams notes that sustainable economic growth relies on productivity growth which is driven by technological change. Furthermore, “key breakthroughs… have underpinned surges in society and the economy”. 
 
For South Africa to catch up and become truly competitive, there are various factors that need to be considered:

  • We need to take the opportunities available in 4IR that are appropriate for South Africa. Williams specifically notes focusing on indigenous challenges and opportunities. Part of this is using 4IR technologies to create industries for processing raw materials (as opposed to sending raw materials out and buying the manufactured products back).  Dr Fisseha Mekuria, Chief Research Scientist from the Council for Scientific and Industrial (CSIR) Meraka ICT Institute, says that connectivity (to the internet) is critical for making the most of opportunities. However, it needs to be affordable to ensure social inclusion for all South Africans.

  • South Africa needs to do its own R&D on technologies and also manage (assimilate and adapt) inbound technologies. An example of this is some of the work done in scientific computing at the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Africa. NSTF Discussion Forum presenter, Mr Simon Ratcliffe, is the Technical Lead for Scientific Computing at the SKA. He explains that at various times they had to build their own hardware from scratch or re-engineer. Data storage was developed and manufactured locally, showing how SKA can seed other industries. The homegrown solutions meant not having to use expensive overseas resources nor paying for expensive software licences. Mr Ratcliffe says that the democratisation of tools (ie the access to open source tools) was a key enabling factor.

  • Part of 4IR is building people’s capabilities and skills around technology. Dr Tshiamo Motshegwa notes that we need to think about skills that make us relevant in the future. (He is from the Computer Science faculty, University of Botswana. He also represents the Southern African Development Community – SADC – Cyber Infrastructure Expert Working Group.) The 4IR technologies noted above are a guide to some of the future skills needed.
     

Digital transformation and disruptive technologies

Dr Motshegwa explained that digital transformation is about the outcomes achieved when entities, such as businesses, fully leverage the changes and opportunities that digital technologies bring.

Digital disruption refers to the changes that occur when new digital technologies and business models impact an entity’s value proposition (offering), market position, and competitiveness. Examples include Uber shaking up the taxi industry and Airbnb changing the hotel industry. Other industries and sectors that have been significantly changed by 4IR technologies are: bookstores, print advertising, music, and photography.
 
These definitions of digital transformation and disruption are based on those from the Learning Experience, Cisco Networking Academy. Note that other definitions and meanings also exist.
 

Reacting to 4IR

There is a lot of anxiety around 4IR. One example is ‘technology singularity’. This represents the time when machines and AI are so advanced, they surpass humans as the smartest and most capable beings on Earth. For many people, there is a more immediate concern – all signs point to 4IR technologies driving job losses as ‘machines’ take over jobs. Current thinking envisages rote and routine jobs as being the most vulnerable.

There will most probably be job losses, especially in the low-skilled sectors, says Prof Babu Paul. He is the Director, Institute for Intelligent Systems, University of Johannesburg. Further to that job creation will probably not match job losses, plus the nature of current jobs will evolve. This means education becomes critical, as does reskilling and upskilling. A national dialogue is needed.

Williams says we have a choice, collectively and individually. It isn’t an ‘either/or’ ie being led by technology versus society defining the way. He sees society and technology as co-evolving, where technology is embedded in society. South Africans need to shape their own future, including taking measures to prevent widening inequality and deepening poverty.


South Africa and 4IR

South Africa has plans around 4IR. Williams says these include a government-wide 4IR Country Strategy and Action Plan. It will be led by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) and supported by DST and the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). The group will report to The Presidency. It is looking at various thematic areas:
  • Digital society, ICT policy, and regulatory and legislative reforms

  • Innovation, research, and development

  • Economic policy and inclusive growth

  • Industrial restructuring and trade

  • Labour market restructuring

  • Education and skills development

  • Transforming government and service delivery

Science, technology and innovation initiatives will be led by the DST, informing the national strategy and aligned with DST strategies, policies and plans. The department will be supported by TIA, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI), and CSIR.
 
Ms Nontombi Marule-Director: Innovation and Technology Policy, the dti, notes the regulatory implications for 4IR need to be managed. This is not a simple matter due to the fast-changing pace of technology advances, technology disruption, and the extensive impact on systems. She says that a paradigm shift is needed, such as policy and regulation that is futuristic and agile.
 
Dr Mekuria advocates strongly for technology test beds as part of evidence-based research to inform decision making. Test beds are “crucial platforms to perform a controlled testing of relevant 4IR use cases before introduction commercially”.
 

Implications of 4IR for industry

NSTF Discussion Forum presenter, Dr Nimrod Zalk from the dti, says that there have been no cases of successful catch-up by developing countries with advanced economies without industrialisation. Furthermore, successful industrialisation has to have an industrial policy. Countries best placed to benefit from 4IR are those with an established industrial base.
 
Dr Zalk sees 4IR, specifically technological change, as “often more evolution than revolution”. Various 4IR technologies aren’t that new (for example, robotics and additive manufacturing). It has just taken a long time for the technology to spread. He suggests integrating 4IR considerations into organisational, sector, and industrial strategies rather than ‘dropping everything’ for the 4IR.
 
In terms of industry opportunities around 4IR, Dr Zalk provides the automotive-mining nexus as an example. With the global shift to electric vehicles, there is a reduced need for fossil fuels. However, this shift means an increased demand for platinum group metals (PGM) minerals. He says that South Africa needs to be in at the start with developing new sources of demand for PGMs.
 

Collaboration and partnerships – including a regional perspective

For South Africa, Williams notes that the overriding aim is to tackle big societal problems such as high youth unemployment and water scarcity. This is a multi-disciplinary endeavour and that means partnerships. The issues also straddle the mandates of various government departments. This means more collaboration between traditionally-siloed government departments.

We need collaboration and integration at all levels so we can all benefit. This is the message from SADC’s Dr Motshegwa. To move forward with regional 4IR strategies, we need alignment with the various regional and national policies. We need to invest in supporting infrastructure and human capital development and skills for regional collaboration.
 

The importance of Big Data

The general definition of Big Data describes large volumes of structured and unstructured data that can be mined for information. How we use this data (analysis and interpretation) can reveal patterns and trends, and more. Dr Motshegwa says we need to share data, and that includes data from government departments.
 
Dr Motshegwa notes the emerging policy consensus of FAIR data – findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. He explains that FAIR data is extremely important within the SET and innovation environment. Considering that research data is publicly funded it should automatically be a public asset. Open research data also provides the evidence, allowing for reproducibility and self-correction while reducing replication.
 
Open data practices have transformed certain areas of research, such as genomics and astronomy. Furthermore, research data often have considerable potential for reuse and reinterpretation. All this fosters innovation and accelerates scientific discovery.
 

How does the smart city fit into all of this?

According to Prof Babu Paul, the Smart City uses smart technology and Big Data, for example, to improve quality and performance in services (energy, transportation and utilities). This can reduce resource consumption, waste, and overall costs. Prof Paul is the Director, Institute for Intelligent Systems, University of Johannesburg.
 
Components of a smart city include: smart manufacturing, smart government, WiFi, digital citizens, open data, smart agriculture, smart buildings, smart energy grids, smart waste management and other utilities, and smart transport.
 
Examples of potential smart city job titles of the future are: urban informatics analyst, energy efficiency engineer, autonomous transport technician, virtual reality technician, and cybersecurity officer.
 

Finding clarity

There was much discussion around the presentations. Following are some of the points raised:
  • There needs to be a common understanding, definition, and standards for 4IR – specific to the South African context. Information needs to be clear and practical and cover the entire ecosystem. There should also be clear communication about the limitations, potential harm, and ethics with the various 4IR issues.

  • The process of coordination and collaboration for 4IR needs to be made clear to all. Individuals and entities should be able to ‘plug into’ the larger coordinated structure. The SET community need specific goals and actions around 4IR. These should include real-life examples rather than conceptual terminology.  


Speakers can be contacted through the spokesperson, Ms Jansie Niehaus.
Video clips with the full presentations can be found on the NSTF website.

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF


Attachments:

Last updated Monday, 25 February 2019 15:50

SAIIE Newsletter: February 2019

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 11:27

Please find attached the SAIIE February 2019 Newsletter. 


Attachments:

SAIIE Newsletter_Vol 1_ Febr. 2019_Final.pdf 1.0M 12 Feb 19 11:27

SAIMechE Elects First Female President

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 19 October 2018 10:57

The South African Institution for Mechanical Engineers (SAIMechE) recently voted in their new National Council members for the 2018-2020 session at their AGM on 8 August 2018, electing Prof Debby Blaine as their new President.  Debby is an Associate-Professor at Stellenbosch University, in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering.

See the attachment for more information. 


Attachments:

PressReleaseSeptember2018.docx 93.4K 19 Oct 18 08:52

Last updated Friday, 19 October 2018 08:57

Winners of the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 6 July 2018 19:34

 

 

Winners of the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards

 

The NSTF-South32 Awards were held at a prestigious Gala Dinner in Gauteng on Thursday, 28 June 2018. This is the 20th anniversary celebration of the flagship project of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF). To celebrate the event, tributes were made to the 204 NSTF Awards recipients (since 1998) and a special anniversary award to Dr Xolani Humphrey Mkhwanazi.
 
Outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation were awarded and celebrated in the following broad areas under 13 categories:

  • Scientific research
  • Innovation
  • Management and related activities
  • Capacity development in engineering research
  • Environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation
  • Water research and innovation
  • Data management and stewardship
  • Communication
  • Technology transfer, as well as education and training
  • Sustainable energy for all (special annual theme award in recognition of the International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (#SEforAll) declared by the United Nations)

SA needs to develop new products, technologies and services: As previously stated by the previous Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s science mission is to create wealth thus creating jobs and eradicating poverty. Its success depends on our ability as a nation to develop new products, technologies and services.
 
About the NSTF and the awards: The NSTF is the most representative multi-stakeholder non-profit forum in South Africa promoting SET and innovation. The NSTF-South32 Awards showcase the research and development capacity of our nation. The excellence of the winners supports to South Africa’s advancement and the social upliftment of our people.
 
Why are these awards different? The national NSTF-South32 Awards are the largest SET and innovation awards in South Africa. They are known as the ‘Science Oscars’ and were the first science awards in the country. The focus is on spreading information about SET to the public, which includes the year-long engagement programme with students and learners called ‘Share ‘n Dare’. The NSTF Brilliants Programme recognises the outstanding matric performers in mathematics and physical science, exposing them to the SET network and future opportunities.
 
Award winners: The awards were presented by the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, who is the event’s patron. She celebrated along with almost 700 guests and over 50 different organisations from the broader community. It is an honour to be nominated, it is an outstanding achievement to reach the finals and an exceptional milestone and celebration of excellence to win one of these awards.
 
Ms Jansie Niehaus
NSTF Executive Director and Spokesperson
 
The NSTF and its sponsors congratulate the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Award winners.

 

 

Ukhozi Award

an essential contribution to the NSTF and the NSTF Awards (in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the NSTF Awards)

Dr Xolani Humphrey Mkhwanazi
Director and Chairman: Phathela Investments (Pty) Ltd; Vice-Chairman: Public Investment Corporation; Chancellor: Vaal University of Technology; Chairman: Central Energy Fund; and Non-Executive Director: South32, Gibela, and Murray & Roberts

Lifetime Award

(by an individual over 15 years or more)

Prof Kevin Wall
Independent Consultant; and Extraordinary Professor: Department (Dept) of Construction Economics, University of Pretoria (UP)

TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher

through research and its outputs (by an individual up to 15 years as a researcher predominantly in South Africa)

Prof Etheresia (Resia) Pretorius
Head: Dept of Physiological Sciences; Director: Applied Morphology Research Centre, Dept of Physiology, Stellenbosch University (SU)

TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Emerging researcher

through research and its outputs (by an individual up to 6 years in research predominantly in South Africa)

Mrs Wendy Collinson
Project Executant: Wildlife and Roads Project, Endangered Wildlife Trust
 
Dr Musa Manzi
Senior Researcher and Director: Seismic Research Centre, School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Management Award

through management and related SET and innovation activities (by an individual over the last 5-10 years)

Prof Stephen Tollman
Research Professor and Head: Division of Health and Population, Faculty of Health Sciences; Director: South African Medical Research Council/Wits Rural Health and Health Transitions Research Unit, Wits; Principal Scientist: International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and their Health, Ghana

Engineering Research Capacity Development Award

(by an individual over the last 5 to 10 years) Sponsored by Eskom since 2003

Prof Mmantsae Diale
Associate Professor: Dept of Physics, UP
 
Prof Ian Jandrell
Personal Professor: School of Electrical and Information Engineering; Executive Dean: Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment; Joint leader: High Voltage and the Lightning/Electromagnetic Compatibility Research Group, Wits

NSTF-GreenMatter Award

towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and a greener economy (by an individual or an organisation over the last 5 to 10 years)
Sponsored by GreenMatter since 2015

Prof Malik Maaza
Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation Nanosciences LABS, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa; Chair: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Africa (UNESCO)

NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award

towards achieving sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions with demonstrated leadership and impact (by an individual or an organisation over the last 5 to 10 years)
Sponsored by the WRC since 2017

Prof Leslie Petrik
Professor: Dept of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape

Data for Research Award

for advancing the availability, management and use of data for research (by an individual or an organisation)

South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS)
Coordinator: Mr Benjamin Roberts, Human Sciences Research Council

Innovation Award: Corporate Organisation

for innovations and their research and/or development (by a team or an individual over the last 5 to 10 years)

Sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry

Prof Keolebogile Motaung
Founder: Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd; and Assistant Dean: Postgraduate Studies, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology

Innovation Award: Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME)

for innovations and their research and/or development (by a team or an individual over the last 5 to 10 years)

SUN Magnetics (Pty) Ltd
Director: Prof Coenraad Fourie; and Professor: Electrical and Electronic Engineering, SU

Communication Award

for outreach and creating awareness (by a team or individual over the last 5 years)

University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC)
Director: Prof Christiaan (Tiaan) de Jager; and Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences
Professor: Environmental Health, School of Health Systems and Public Health, UP

Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Award

including technology transfer, and education and training activities (over the last 5 to 10 years)

The Platinum Incubator
Chief Executive Officer: Ms Sibongile Purity Shongwe

Special Annual Theme Award: Sustainable Energy for All

(in recognition of the United Nations ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’)

Prof Harald Winkler
Director: Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town

 

 

Partners and sponsors:

  • South32 (co-branding sponsor)
  • Business Report and Mail & Guardian (media sponsor)
  • Eskom, GreenMatter, Water Research Commission, Department of Trade and Industry (category sponsor)
  • South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) – (supporting the Brilliants tour)
  • Department of Science and Technology (platinum sponsor)
  • The Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation (youth outreach sponsor)
  • Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (gold sponsor)
  • proSET, a sector of the NSTF representing professional bodies (prize sponsor)
 

 

 

Send us your news

The NSTF invites all our members, as well as all SET and innovation role players, to send us information on meetings, conferences and activities of interest to the broader S&T community. Please send us your news by the 20th of the month, for distribution at the beginning of the following month, to enquiries@nstf.co.za
 

Feedback

If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve this newsletter, please e-mail the NSTF Secretariat at enquiries@nstf.co.za 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.
The NSTF-South32  Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.
The science bursaries page provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

Disclaimer

The NSTF has taken all practical measures to ensure that the material contained in this newsletter is correct. The NSTF reserves the right to make changes as it deems necessary.
 

Privacy

Registration details submitted to the NSTF will be treated confidentially and will only be used by NSTF to communicate with its members and subscribers.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: 27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025
Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

 


Attachments:

Media Release: SA’s path to sustainable energy for all #SEforAll

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 4 May 2018 12:46

 

SA’s path to sustainable energy for all

‘Sustainable energy for all’ can seem like a fanciful bumper sticker. Is it even possible? How does one begin to address it?

 

Climate change consequences have forced decision making and driven society to take on global goals to ensure the survival of earth’s inhabitants. And the goals are intertwined with one impacting on the other.
 
‘Affordable and clean energy’ is number 7 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It’s the UN’s ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’ currently. There is also ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ (SEforALL), a global non-profit organisation launched by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

 

 

Need for ongoing national discussion forum
The topic and the goal are immense – whether one considers it on a global or national level. It’s transdisciplinary and cuts across industries.

There is also an emphasis on developing partnerships to tackle the challenge. At the same time, science, engineering and technology (SET) are positioned as key to finding solutions.
 
Consequently, the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) held a Discussion Forum on ‘Sustainable Energy for All in South Africa’. It ran from 16-17 April 2018 in Gauteng.

 
The NSTF provides neutral collaborative platforms where issues and sectors meet

·         One of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) functions is to hold discussion forums, bringing the private and public sector together to address important issues and engage with government policy.

·         Feedback from these discussion forums is given to stakeholders. 

·         Recommendations are put forward to government as part of the SET community’s lobbying efforts.

 

 

NDP’s low-carbon economy
As part of the National Development Plan’s (NDP) aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030, a low carbon future is positioned as the only realistic option. While the NDP presents an integrated energy sector with adequate investment in infrastructure, it recognises that trade-offs must come into play.
 
The integrated and diversified energy sector must support economic growth through job creation, export, and R&D for competitive advantage. The focus is on environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation but this is balanced with supply security, safety, affordability, and access. These remain relevant in today’s context. While historically policies have focused on minerals and energy, renewable energy is now an integral part of SA’s energy mix.
 
Policy context
South Africa is a signatory to the Paris (COP21) Agreement 2016 – which aims to reduce global warming through each country’s actions – explains Dr Rebecca Maserumule, Chief Director: Hydrogen and Energy at the National Department of Science and Technology (DST). In her presentation, she notes that South Africa’s guiding frameworks include:

·         The NDP with its focus on investments in energy infrastructure, affordable tariffs for needy households, and diversifying energy resources and supply options.

·         The National Climate Change Response Strategy for long-term mitigation scenarios.

·         The Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) with its focus on re-industrialisation, support for local beneficiation, and local manufacturing.

·         The National Energy Act and universal access to modern forms of energy services, energy security through guaranteed supply, optimal use of economically-viable energy resources, and addressing constraints on the renewable industry. This includes the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The latter aims for 42% of electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Research focus areas include clean coal technologies, nuclear energy, renewable energy (eg solar, biofuels, and wind), energy efficiency and energy demand management, and hydrogen and fuel cells research. In most cases, says Dr Maserumule, the research has been in place for over a decade through partnerships with key research institutions.

Systems around sustainable energy
One of the ways to understand sustainable energy is to look at its impacts in various areas. Prof Sanette Marx, DST/National Research Foundation Research (NRF) Chair in Biofuels at North West University, considers three areas: environmental impact, economic impact, and social impact. We can consider something sustainable when it’s equitable, viable, and socially and environmentally acceptable.
 
Broader definition of energy poverty
Prof Roula Inglesi-Lotz, Associate Professor from the University of Pretoria, questions whether energy poverty is only lack of access? Energy poverty impacts not only on lighting – consider heating, cooking, and communications. Access to the latter has a knock-on effect because it affects knowledge transfer such as with internet access.
 
She presents the following definition: “…the absence of sufficient choice in accessing adequate, affordable, reliable, high-quality, safe and environmentally benign energy services to support economic and human development” (Reddy, 2000). She notes that the definition acknowledges the absence of choice and the role of affordable and adequate technology.
 
Renewable energy in waste
SA continues to innovate in the renewable energy space. Take the work done by IDEAS – the Institute for the Development of Energy for African Sustainability – at UNISA.

 

 

Using a transdisciplinary approach, the research focuses on environmentally-responsible chemical conversion technologies, with particular emphasis on sustainable and flexible small-scale solutions and using surplus and underused resources (such as municipal waste and sewerage). This is waste as a resource, not a health hazard.

 

Clean energy in organic waste
Consider a rural family who cooks on a two-plate stove for 2 hours a day (at simmer) and heats up 40 litres/day water to 50⁰C. One cow, with the family’s human waste, could supply this energy.

 

 

Prof Diane Hildebrandt, Director of IDEAS, explains that they have developed small-scale anaerobic biodigesters. These are basically large double-walled bags where you feed in organic waste and slurry comes out on the other end. The slurry overflow has no smell and can be used as a fertiliser. The biodigesters produce biogas while removing pathogens from waste (with consequent reduced health risks). IDEAS is developing a business case to show employment benefits, as well as cost reduction for immediate users and the municipality.

 

 

Developing clean coal technologies
Coal is not environmentally acceptable as such, but we can make it so through clean coal technologies, says Prof Sanette Marx. One of her research areas is hydrothermal liquefaction – a method to produce biochar for creating cleaner coal. The first patent and pilot plant occurred in 2016/17.
 
Prof Rosemary Falcon, currently a Director of the Fossil Fuel Foundation, was the SARChI (South African Research) Chair in Clean Coal Technology at Wits University until she retired last year. She and Dr Samson Bada are part of the DST-NRF SARChI Clean Coal Technology Research group. Part of this is the High Efficiency and Low Emissions (HELE) Programme. It looks at options for environmentally-responsible use of coal.

 

About coal

·         SA is the 7th largest producer of coal in the world and the 7th largest exporter.

·         Coal accounts for the highest foreign exchange earnings in SA since 2011.

·         It’s the largest mining income earner, beating gold, platinum and diamonds.

·         There are over 255 000 direct employees in coal-related industries. It also supports most major towns in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and some in KZN.

(DST-NRF SARChI Clean Coal Technology Research group)

 

 

What about shale gas?
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of debate around drilling for shale gas and its environmental impact. Research from the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis (CIMERA), University of Johannesburg, looks at ‘Questioning the existence of an economic producible shale gas resource in the southern Main Karoo Basin based on results of the CIMERA-Karin drilling project’.
 
One of the aims was to establish the maturity and shale gas potential by direct measurements of gas content. Prof Nicolas Beukes explains that nothing like this had been done before. Everything previously had been speculation including shale gas estimates.
 
After the CIMERA-KARIN Drilling Project with the first true gas measurements, very little to no gas was detected. The conclusion is that shale gas potential looks to be much lower than initially estimated. There are some provisos, such as the project not specifically targeting ‘sweet spots’.
 
Prof Beukes explains that we need to do the science first. We need to answer the question of whether South Africa actually has an economically viable shale gas resource. This will avoid unnecessary environmental concerns and legal battles.
 
Models for SA’s energy mix?
The CSIR Energy Centre has been developing models for SA’s energy mix. Currently, energy is coal dominated with end use being 25% transport, 25% electricity and 50% heating and cooling.
 
CSIR’s Mr Jarrad Wright explains that globally there have been significant cost reductions in renewable energy. Solar PV technology and wind technology, for example, have now become cost competitive. Focusing on electricity, Wright showed that – whether there is a high or low demand forecast for South Africa – there is a gap. This needs to be filled in the least-cost manner and with a reliable and flexible energy supply.
 
Three scenarios were presented:

·         The Draft IRP 2016 Base Case sees the energy mix as ⅓ coal, ⅓ nuclear, and ⅓ renewable energy.

·         The Draft IRP 2016 Carbon Budget Case sees nuclear energy take a 40% share by 2050.

·         The Least Cost Case is largely based on wind and solar PV complemented by flexibility (including existing coal, new gas, hydro and concentrated solar power). This case deploys considerable solar PV and wind – and flexibility – with no new investments in coal or nuclear capacity. The scenario includes a managed system of energy supply.


Speakers that addressed the forum can be contacted through the spokesperson, Ms Jansie Niehaus.

Video clips with the full presentations and discussion can be found on the NSTF web site. 

 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

 


Attachments:


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