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Science Engineering Technology

MeerKAT telescope takes part in start of new era of astronomy

By: Keith Campbell     16th October 2017 South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array, although still under construction, has successfully participated in an unprecedented international collaboration that has opened a new era in astronomy. For the first time, a major astronomical event – the collision of two neutron stars – has been... 

South African Weather Service battered by faulty equipment, decries CEO

By: News24Wire      13th October 2017 The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has blamed the poor state of their equipment for failing to warn citizens earlier of the stormy weather that devastated parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. SAWS CEO Jerry Lengoasa on Thursday said although a severe weather warning for the catastrophic... 

Nonconformance of standards exacerbates drought conditions

By: Nica Schreuder     13th October 2017 Fundamental conformities not being upheld during the manufacturing stages of pipe production has exacerbated South Africa’s current water scarcity, says plastics and polymer testing laboratory P.E.S.C. MD Graham Marsberg. “The basics of pipe manufacturing involves quality workmanship. This... 

Nonconformance of standards exacerbates drought conditions
CONFORMING TO STANDARDS SATAS or SABS accreditation is essential to ensuring reliable water infrastructure that adheres to strict standards

South Africa’s space sector hobbled by lack of support

By: Keith Campbell     13th October 2017 South Africa's space sector has been hobbled by lack of adequate support from the South African Government. This was made clear during a panel discussion on space technology at the recent Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference 2017 in Pretoria. "Most space programmes, worldwide, have been... 

Not a cent available to implement the Defence Review, Wakeford warns

By: Keith Campbell     13th October 2017 The South African defence sector needs to bring home to the country the importance of defence for the technological, innovation and economic development of the country. So affirmed Armscor CEO Kevin Wakeford in his address to the recent fourth annual Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference in... 

Finance and critical communications seen as initial markets for quantum encryption

By: Schalk Burger     13th October 2017 A real-time quantum-encryption system can be deployed onto existing networks to secure communications in the banking and finance industries and for critical applications, says University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Physics professor Andrew Forbes. Forbes and his team, along with... 

Finance and critical communications seen as initial markets for quantum encryption
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand School of Physics
QUANTUM DEVICE The working prototype at the Wits School of Physics can differentiate between 200 patterns of OAM of photons simultaneously

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale battery storage prospects improve

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following the release of an energy storage techno-economic study ‘The South Africa Energy Storage Technology and Market Assessment’, advocating that South Africa requires market preparation to take advantage of growth opportunities in the stationary and mobility value chains of energy storage,... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale  battery storage prospects improve

ASSAf awards Fanaroff a gold medal

By: Anine Kilian     11th October 2017 The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has recognised astronomer and former leader of the biggest global science project in Africa, the Square Kilometre Array, Dr Bernie Fanaroff with a gold medal at its annual awards ceremony on October 11. Fanaroff received his PhD in radio-astronomy... 

CSIR seeking to develop new methods to improve local infrastructure production  

By: Keith Campbell     11th October 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) continues to research innovations and initiatives to transform the local construction industry. This was reported by CSIR principal researcher Llewellyn van Wyk at the recent sixth CSIR Conference in Pretoria. He noted that the country has... 

Company upgrades Verderflex Vantage 5000

     6th October 2017 Pumps products and services provider Verder Liquids, part of the Verder Group, has released a new remote terminal unit (RTU) version of its Verderflex Vantage 5 000 peristaltic pump. The RTU brings easier system integration and real-time communication to form a sophisticated, remotely operated... 

Company upgrades Verderflex Vantage 5000
MODBUS UPGRADE The Verderflex Vantage 5 000 peristaltic pump has recently improved, integrating a Modbus RTU that allows for increased communication and control

Scottish, SA scientists demonstrate entanglement swapping for quantum communications

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2017 A team of Scottish and South African researchers demonstrated that quantum correlations could be established between previously independent photons and that this could be used to send information across a virtual link. In research published in science journal Nature Communications in September,... 

Scottish, SA scientists demonstrate entanglement swapping for quantum communications
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand School of Physics
OAM ENTANGLEMENT RIG Entanglement swapping allows the establishment of entanglement between two distant points

Bolivia and Paraguay sign nuclear cooperation agreements with Russia

By: Keith Campbell     6th October 2017 Russia’s State-owned Rosatom nuclear energy group is to establish a Nuclear Research and Technology Centre (NRTC) in Bolivia. The contract was signed in Vienna, Austria, on September 19, between Rosatom group company State Specialised Design Institute (SSDI) and the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency... 

Geospatial products distributor launches world’s smallest image laser scanner locally

By: Mia Breytenbach     6th October 2017 Geospatial products distributor Aciel Geomatics has officially locally launched the Leica BLK360 imaging laser scanner – the world’s smallest and lightest image laser scanner. Aciel Geomatics, the appointed distributor for Switzerland-based Leica Geosystems AG, launched the scanner at the... 

Geospatial products distributor launches  world’s smallest image laser scanner locally
EASE OF USE The integration of the Leica BLK360 laser image scanner and Autodesk software streamlines the reality capture process

South Africa’s use of nonweapons-grade uranium to produce medical radioisotopes recognised

By: Keith Campbell     6th October 2017 South African company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP), a subsidiary of the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), has been presented with an Award for Outstanding Achievement by the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), an agency of the US Department of Energy (DoE),... 

Fourth Industrial Revolution prioritises innovation – Davies

By: Keith Campbell     5th October 2017 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has highlighted the challenges being posed to the South African economy, and especially industry, by what is called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. He was delivering the keynote address at the sixth Council for Scientific and Industrial... 

Fourth Industrial Revolution prioritises innovation – Davies
Photo by Duane Daws
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

Conference to tackle maritime training challenges

By: Anine Kilian     2nd October 2017 Challenges and solutions facing the maritime training sector will be discussed at the first Maritime Education & Training (MET) conference, which will be hosted by the South African International Maritime Institute (Saimi) from November 14 to 17, in Cape Town. The aim of the conference is to find... 

South African space sector needs more support but has to market itself better

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2017 South Africa's space sector has been hobbled by lack of adequate support from the South African government. This was made clear during a panel discussion on space technology at the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference 2017 in Pretoria on Friday. "Most space programmes, worldwide, have been... 

South African industry must adapt 4th Industrial Revolution to local needs

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2017 South African industry needs to find ways of adapting and using the technologies driving the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) to remain globally competitive, yet maintain and create jobs in a high-unemployment environment. So argued productONE MD Charles Anderson at the... 

Align education, skills development with needs of next industrial revolution, NBI urges

By: Dylan Slater     29th September 2017 Education and skills development need to adapt to meet the requirements of the next industrial revolution or a significant number of development opportunities will be missed, according to voluntary nonprofit business organisation National Business Initiative climate change, water and green... 

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Khobab Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape has completed all 61 wind turbine installations, ahead of schedule this month. Further, Khobab, together with its adjacent wind farm, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, in the Hantam municipality, in the Northern Cape province, have achieved more than two-million... 

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule
SOARING CONSTRUCTION The 100-m-tall Siemens wind turbines, which allow for optimum energy production, take between one and three days to construct, assuming favourable weather

BMG invests R400m in Joburg distribution centre 

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Technical solutions provider BMG, which is part of Invicta Holdings, has officially launched its BMG World site, in Johannesburg, which is the culmination of a consolidation and supply chain re-engineering strategy that began nearly ten years ago. “The company’s R400-million investment to upgrade... 

BMG invests R400m in Joburg  distribution centre
BMG MD Gavin Pelser discusses the upgraded BMG World site facility in Johannesburg. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

South African nuclear achievement crowned by US award

By: Keith Campbell     22nd September 2017 South African company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP), a subsidiary of the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, has been presented with an Award for Outstanding Achievement by the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), an agency of the US Department of Energy (DoE), the two... 

South African nuclear achievement crowned by US award
Photo by Necsa
NTP Group Executive for Operations Gavin Ball

Necsa plans to restart nuclear pebble-fuel production

By: Keith Campbell     22nd September 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is reactivating its ability to manufacture nuclear pebble fuel, originally created to support South Africa's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) programme. The corporation is also looking for a strategic equity partner for its speciality... 

Intercontinental alignment agrees to increased economic cooperation

By: Keith Campbell     22nd September 2017 The five member countries of the Brics alignment – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are to strengthen trade and investment between themselves. This was affirmed in the “Xiamen Declaration” issued during the IX Brics Summit in the southeastern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen. The... 

Building the safety case for operating drones beyond visual line of sight

By: Dylan Slater     22nd September 2017 Applications that can benefit from using drones are increasing worldwide, almost daily, but commercial users of drones are being scuppered by highly generalised legislation, which is difficult to understand and expensive for operators to implement. A much-contested application – and one that is... 

Building the safety case for operating drones beyond visual line of sight

Scottish, South African scientists demonstrate entanglement swapping for quantum communications

By: Schalk Burger     21st September 2017 A team of Scottish and South African researchers demonstrated entanglement swapping and teleportation of orbital angular momentum (OAM) patterns of light, which is a crucial step towards realising a quantum repeater for high-dimensional entangled states. The team of scientists from Heriot-Watt... 

Bolivia signs contract with Russia to create nuclear centre

By: Keith Campbell     21st September 2017 Russia’s State-owned Rosatom nuclear energy group is to establish a Nuclear Research and Technology Centre (NRTC) in Bolivia. The contract was signed in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, between Rosatom group company State Specialised Design Institute (SSDI) and the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency... 

Bolivia signs contract with Russia to create nuclear centre
Photo by Rosatom
ABEN general executive director Hortensia Jiménez Rivera (left) signs the NRTC contract with SSDI director-general Vyacheslav Galushkov (right). Bolivian Energy Vice-Minister Luis Alberto Echazú and Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev stand behind them

Equipment manufacturer inaugurates new facility

By: Mia Breytenbach     15th September 2017 Heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has officially inaugurated its new parts distribution facility, near Johannesburg, in Gauteng. The 60 000 m2 facility consolidates two smaller parts-distribution sites – Linbro Park and Isando – and offers several advantages, including the ability to work... 

Equipment manufacturer inaugurates new facility
SHEER ADVANTAGE The 60 000 m2 facility allows for the ability to work more efficiently while increasing capacity to provide unmatched parts availability for customers across Africa

Machine learning will bolster human expertise in every industry

By: Schalk Burger     15th September 2017 Pattern recognition is identified as a key human skill that has supported the rise of people to become the dominant species. However, there are limits to this crucial ability, especially when confronted with masses of information that differ only slightly. Small, but significant, variations are... 

Machine learning will bolster human expertise in every industry

Jasco FY17 earnings hit by ‘unusual items’ in tough market

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th September 2017 “Unusual items” have dealt a blow to the full-year earnings of JSE-listed Jasco Electronics as the group navigates a particularly tough environment. The group on Wednesday reported a 61% decline in both headline earnings and headline earnings a share to a respective R5.6-million and 2.5c apiece... 

'Dodgy' articles in academic journals threatens integrity of South African science

By: News24Wire      13th September 2017 University scholars who publish their research in "dodgy" online scientific journals may be compromising their integrity in the new race to publish swiftly and prolifically, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) acknowledged this week. The department was responding to queries... 

SKA Africa partner countries to collaborate on radio astronomy

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th September 2017 Following the conclusion of the fourth Ministerial meeting of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Africa partner countries in Accra, Ghana, last month, members of the nine countries, represented by their science and technology Ministers and Deputy Ministers, signed a memorandum of understanding to... 

SKA Africa partner countries to collaborate on radio astronomy
PROJECT REVIEW The Square Kilometre Array Africa partner countries reviewed the African SKA, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network, and the Big Data Africa initiative

Entries open for 3D design challenge

By: Anine Kilian     6th September 2017 The US Consulate General Johannesburg is inviting young innovators, entrepreneurs and creative individuals to submit entries for the Rosa Parks Library & Innovation Studio Three-Dimensional (3D) Design Challenge.    The competition challenges entrants to design a household water-saving solution... 

Companies urged to join the digital revolution

By: Kim Cloete     6th September 2017 Companies have been advised to join the digital revolution, as innovations and technology start to change the nature of jobs and work in the rail and other industries. Siemens Mining and Freight Solutions global head Thomas Bieg on Wednesday said there would be huge demand for people with skills... 

HSRC out to measure innovation levels in thousands of SA entities

By: African News Agency      5th September 2017 The Human Sciences Research Council’s Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) on Tuesday launched the Business Innovation Survey which will examine the innovation activities in 5 000 enterprises, which are small to very large, and across a range of industries. The survey... 

Smartwatches set to dominate R4tr wearables market

By: News24Wire      1st September 2017 Over 300-million wearable devices are expected to be sold in 2017 generating almost R4-trillion, according to research firm Gartner. A recent study by the company revealed that wearable device sales are expected to grow by 16.7% during the year, with an estimated sale of 41.5-million smartwatches... 

Industry support evident despite challenges

By: Victor Moolman     1st September 2017 Although the lack of meaningful government involvement has been one of the biggest challenges in the industry, the Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA) still get support from the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI), which is part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s... 

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