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Science Engineering Technology

South African radioisotope producer restarts production

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 7 hours ago The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary company, NTP Radioisotopes, had resumed production. Necsa shut down operations at NTP in late November due to non-compliance with safety protocols at the radioisotope producer, a step with which the... 

Russian views on the future of civil aeronautics

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th February 2018 “People are concerned about noise, emissions, and safety. We are working to make aviation safer, greener and more comfortable for people,” highlighted Professor Sergey Chernyshev, General Director of Russia’s renowned Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (much better known in English by the... 

Russian views on the future of civil aeronautics

Shutdown of radioisotope subsidiary is a crisis for nuclear corporation and for the country

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2018 The safety compliance failures at NTP Radioisotopes, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), has created a crisis within the parastatal and for the country’s nuclear medicine community and its patients. Necsa shut down operations at NTP in... 

Shutdown of radioisotope subsidiary is a crisis for nuclear corporation and for the country
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An aerial view of Necsa’s Pelindaba complex

SARB stays abreast of latest fintech developments

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th February 2018 The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has established a financial technology (fintech) programme to strategically assess the emergence of fintech in a structured and organised manner, and to consider its regulatory implications. The central bank explains that the programme is aimed at tracking... 

Revival of interest in robotics to increase safety in South African mines

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th February 2018 There is a renaissance of interest in using robotics in mining in South Africa,” affirms Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Materials Science and Manufacturing Operational Unit Mechatronics and Micro Manufacturing (MMM) Competency area research group Leader Peter Bosscha.... 

Revival of interest in robotics to increase safety in South African mines

Next-generation automated driving vehicle introduced

     9th February 2018 Research and development enterprise Toyota Research Institute (TRI) presented Platform 3.0, its next-generation automated driving research vehicle, at January’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, US. The new platform is based on a Lexus LS 600h L and combines greater technological... 

Next-generation automated driving vehicle introduced
NEXT GENERATION Platform 3.0 is one of the most perceptive automated driving test cars on the road

Lack of communication impacts on safety

By: Paige Müller     9th February 2018 Many large companies typically do not have the required technology or resources available to adequately communicate with lower-level staff, which software company Wyzetalk believes affects industry health and safety negatively. “Organisations provide a corporate email address for executives and... 

Lack of communication impacts on safety
GYSBERT KAPPERS Constant health and safety communications result in safety practices becoming habitual in an organisation

Continent has potential to gain the most from Industry 4.0, says Paramount head

By: Dylan Slater     9th February 2018 Africa is not alone in its unpreparedness for shifting into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, but it has the potential to gain the most out of such a development by finding new ways of manufacturing, says aerospace and defence company Paramount group executive chairperson Ivor... 

Continent has potential to gain the most from Industry 4.0,  says Paramount head
MADE IN SOUTH AFRICA Paramount Group’s Mwari aircraft is a testament of digital technology at work as it is designed entirely in a digital format, thereby enabling for a jigless construction

Global aeronautics body promoting networking among young researchers

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th February 2018 The International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) is seeking to develop international interactions between young professionals working in both technical and non-technical areas of aviation research around the world. This initiative is described as “early career networking” and is a focus area... 

South African professor receives prestigious award

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th February 2018 University of South Africa (Unisa) Unesco-Unisa chair in nanosciences and nanotechnology Professor Malik Maaza has been awarded the African Union (AU) Kwame Nkrumah Award for Scientific Excellence (Auknase), recognising his pioneering work in science and technology. The award is the AU's the... 

VR technology incorporated into working-at-height training programme 

     8th February 2018 Arcelor Mittal South Africa has already seen a return on investment on its newly commissioned Working at Heights virtual reality training programme, used to determine trainees’ fear of heights and to test their functioning at height. Nadine James has more. 

VR technology incorporated into working-at-height training programme
VR technology incorporated into working-at-height training programme

South Africa needs to look closer at how innovation can benefit everyone – Pandor

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st February 2018 Amid unprecedented global technological change, South African stakeholders need to ask how the opportunities presented can be leveraged to deal with the nation’s own unique and complex challenges. As deliberations on technology and innovation continue, the question of how the opportunity can be... 

South Africa needs to look closer at how innovation can benefit everyone – Pandor
Photo by Duane Daws
Science & Technology Minister Naledi Pandor

Airbus’ new long-range narrow-body airliner makes first flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2018 The latest model in Europe-based aerospace group Airbus’ single-aisle airliner family, the A321LR, made its maiden flight from Hamburg in Germany on Wednesday. The aircraft is MSN7877 and is a long range version of the A321neo (new engine option), hence the suffix “LR”. It is powered by CFM... 

Airbus’ new long-range narrow-body airliner makes first flight
Photo by Airbus
The A321LR takes off from Hamburg on its maiden flight

Oldest human remains outside Africa found in Israeli cave

By: Reuters     26th January 2018 A partial jawbone bearing seven teeth unearthed in a cave in Israel represents what scientists are calling the oldest-known Homo sapiens remains outside Africa, showing that our species trekked out of that continent far earlier than previously known. Researchers on Thursday announced the... 

Rosatom competition winners tour nuclear facility

By: Nadine James     26th January 2018 Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom’s African subsidiary Rosatom Africa sponsored an all expenses paid trip to Russia for winners of the yearly student competition, held for the third time last year. The students visited the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (NPP), as well as its training... 

Rosatom competition winners tour nuclear facility
RED SQUARE The prize comprised of a site visit to a Nuclear Power Plant and a cultural tour of Moscow, including Red Square and the Museum of Cosmonautics

Wits University launches technology innovation programme

By: African News Agency      22nd January 2018 Wits Univesity says it has launched a digital innovation programme to help local technology start-ups grow. The project, part of local firms BCX and Telkom's innovation programme, is targeted towards digital business working in fields like agriculture, smart cities, safety and security, education... 

Toothpaste ingredient could fight malaria, research shows

By: Reuters     19th January 2018 Research carried out in part by an artificially-intelligent (AI) ‘robot scientist’ has found that a common ingredient of toothpaste could be developed to fight drug-resistant strains of malaria. In a study in the journal Scientific Reports, scientists from Britain’s Cambridge University who used... 

Wits unveils oldest hominid fossil

By: Schalk Burger     19th January 2018 The oldest and most complete fossil of an Australopithecus prometheus, named Little Foot owing to the 1994 discovery of four small foot bones by University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Evolutionary Studies Institute Professor Ron Clarke, in the Sterkfontein caves, was unveiled in December. The... 

Wits unveils oldest hominid fossil
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand
CLARKE AND LITTLE FOOT The Little Foot fossil is the oldest and most complete known fossil of Australopithecus

UK announces further funding for small modular nuclear reactor programme

By: Keith Campbell     19th January 2018 The British government last month announced the next phase in its programme of funding the development of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), which forms part of a larger programme to develop the nuclear technology and energy sector in the UK. This phase will see Westminster awarding up to... 

Top UK group, varsity unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th January 2018 British aerospace, defence, security and shipbuilding group BAE Systems and the University of Manchester unveiled their joint Magma experimental jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme in the middle of last month. They announced that the Magma had successfully completed its first... 

National nanotechnology centre developing prototypes, commercialising technologies

By: Keith Campbell     19th January 2018 The National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research plans to commission its third pilot plant during the course of this year (2018). The centre’s current two pilot plants were both brought into operation in the middle of 2016. One of... 

De Beers turns to blockchain to track diamond origins and purity

By: Reuters     16th January 2018 Anglo American's diamond unit De Beers aims to launch the first industry-wide blockchain this year to track gems each time they change hands starting from the moment they are dug from the ground, its chief executive said on Tuesday. De Beers, the world's biggest diamond producer by the value of... 

De Beers turns to blockchain to track diamond origins and purity
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver

UJ researchers seek origin of stone that casts questions over solar system’s formation

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th January 2018 Researchers are still seeking answers to the origin of a small pebble found in south-west Egypt in 1996 after a 2013 analysis sparked “significant questions” on a widely held view about the primitive pre-solar dust cloud from which the Sun, Earth and other planets were formed. A 2013 study... 

UJ researchers seek origin of stone that casts questions over solar system’s formation

Dell to recycle gold from e-waste for use in new motherboards, jewellery

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th January 2018 Technology company Dell is piloting a project to recover gold from used electronics for use in new computer motherboards and jewellery. Dell has partnered with Wistron GreenTech, which uses an environmentally responsible extraction process to break the used electronics down into individual... 

Dell to recycle gold from e-waste for use in new motherboards, jewellery

Personal devices soon to become more intuitive, Gartner predicts

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th January 2018 As artificial intelligence (AI) development continues on a path of exponential growth, a new research report by Gartner indicates that, by 2022, personal devices will know more about an individual's emotional state “than his or her own family”. The ‘Predicts 2018: personal devices’ report notes... 

IEB achieves 98.76% matric pass rate

By: African News Agency      3rd January 2018 The Independent Examination Board (IEB) has announced an increase in the pass rate in last year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric examinations to 98.76%, from 98.67% in 2016. There were 11 464 full-time and 666 part-time candidates across South Africa. This is also an increase from 2016... 

IEB achieves 98.76% matric pass rate

Local pharma firm targets cost drivers to ensure competitiveness

By: Keith Campbell     15th December 2017 Cost-competitiveness is the key element in the market strategy of local pharmaceuticals company CPT Pharma (CPT standing for Chemical Process Technologies). The company opened its R50-million generic active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) pilot plant in Pretoria in early November. This is a joint... 

Mobile lab for polymer powders launched

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 Munich-based chemical company Wacker launched a mobile containerised laboratory – MyLab – together with their long-term distributor IMCD in Randburg at the end of November.  

Mobile lab for polymer powders launched
MYLAB LAUNCH Wacker’s MyLab officially opened at its new South African home at IMCD

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 The regulations and laws governing access to South African air space for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are sound and among the “best in the world”, according to Edenvale-based commercial drone operator Visual Air Productions director Stephen Verheul.  

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

Data analytics trends spill over into energy sector 

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th December 2017 The vision of a low-carbon future allied with advances in the information technology sector are set to become game changers that will shift the future energy landscape as technology gives rise to peripheral industries and cross-sector transformations. The future of energy generation is embedded... 

UK group and top university unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th December 2017 British aerospace, defence, security and shipbuilding group BAE Systems and the University of Manchester unveiled on Wednesday their joint Magma experimental jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme. They announced that the Magma had successfully completed its first phase of flight... 

UK group and top university unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV
Photo by BAE Systems
The Magma UAV. Chairs just visible in the background give a rough idea of scale

Ballistic firearms ‘fingerprinting’ futile, wasteful – SA Hunters

By: Dylan Slater     8th December 2017 Recent proposals by the South African Police Service (Saps) to establish a national “ballistic fingerprint” database of legally owned firearms in South Africa and for this database to be used as a forensic tool in criminal investigations is a largely futile and wasteful exercise in Saps’... 

CSIR nanotechnology centre: foundations laid, future challenging

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2017 A key success of the National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM), a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been its role in developing skilled researchers. This was highlighted by NCNSM Director... 

CSIR national nanomaterials centre celebrates decade of achievement

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2017 The National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, having being launched in 2007. It was set up to help implement the National Nanotechnology Strategy. Nanotechnology is concerned with... 

Small business agency in venture to incubate tech hardware startups

By: Schalk Burger     8th December 2017 The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), under the Department of Small Business Development, is leveraging the capabilities of hardware technology investor and incubator Savant Technologies to help science and technology inventors start businesses. The partnership was launched at the... 

European technology groups cooperating on electric propulsion for airliners

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus, British high performance power systems company Roll-Royce and German engineering and technology business Siemens have partnered to develop a hybrid-electric propulsion system for commercial aircraft which will be test flown in the near term, the three enterprises... 

Oldest hominid fossil ‘Little Foot’ unveiled – Wits

By: Schalk Burger     7th December 2017 The oldest and most complete fossil of an Australopithecus prometheus, named Little Foot owing to the 1994 discovery of four small foot bones in the Sterkfontein caves by University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Evolutionary Studies Institute Professor Ron Clarke, was unveiled on Wednesday. The... 

Oldest hominid fossil ‘Little Foot’ unveiled – Wits
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand
CLARKE AND LITTLE FOOT The Little Foot fossil is the oldest and most complete known fossil of Australopithecus
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