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Science Engineering Technology

Three African space agencies win opportunity to place imager on International Space Station

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th October 2021 A combined project of three African space agencies has been selected by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Airbus Defence and Space as the winner of their joint opportunity for a free 12-month science mission based on the International Space Station (ISS). The project... 

Altron’s Mteto Nyati receives honorary doctorate

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th October 2021 JSE-listed Altron Group CEO Mteto Nyati has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Johannesburg’s College of Business and Economics. “The institution recognises the outstanding contribution of Mteto Nyati, driven by elevating others, service, integrity, excellence and fairness,”... 

Image of Mteto Nyati
Mteto Nyati

CSIR nears launch of 4IR Learning Factory to bolster local skills

By: Donna Slater     25th October 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in partnership with the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education Training Authority, has opened the doors of its newly developed Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Learning Factory (LF), which is designed to help... 

CSIR nears launch of 4IR Learning Factory to bolster local skills

South African space industry showcased at world’s biggest space conference

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th October 2021 The South African space industry is being showcased at the current International Astronautical Congress (IAC), being held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, all this working week. This is by means of a pavilion in the space exhibition that accompanies the IAC, which is the world’s largest... 

A photo of the South African pavilion at the IAC
Photo by SANSA
The South African pavilion at the IAC

Nasa is targeting February for first launch in its Artemis lunar mission programme

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th October 2021 Senior officials of the US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), confirmed on Friday that the first flight in its new crewed space programme, Artemis, will now take place early next year. Although there had been a growing conviction among space journalists and... 

A photo of the Orion spacecraft mounted on top of the SLS in the VAB
Photo by Nasa
The Orion spacecraft mounted on top of the SLS in the VAB

Hydrogen Society Roadmap to guide South Africa’s hydrogen rollout – Nzimande

By: Donna Slater     22nd October 2021 The Hydrogen Society Roadmap (HSRM), which was approved by Cabinet on September 14, provides a “clear indication” of how hydrogen and fuel cell technologies could be a “game changer” for the South African economy, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande noted during the Hydrogen Economy... 

Nasa successfully launches new deep space probe, to explore ancient asteroids

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th October 2021 The latest deep space mission of the US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), was successfully launched form the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US state of Florida at 11:34 South African time on Saturday. The launch was conducted by an Atlas V rocket... 

A photo of the launch of Lucy on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral
Photo by Nasa
The launch of Lucy on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral

Sansa reports on magnetic storm triggered by coronal mass ejection from the Sun

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th October 2021 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) announced on Tuesday that moderate disturbances had been caused in the Earth’s magnetic field, creating moderate space communications disruptions, by a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the Sun. The CME occurred on October 9. Most CMEs miss the... 

BioCode receives second R7m grant from UTF for development of inflammation screening

By: Schalk Burger     13th October 2021 Rapid-test and laboratory platform development start-up company BioCode has received a second grant of R7-million from research commercialisation fund the University Technology Fund to finance its development of a rapid inflammation test that can be used as a screening and monitoring tool for... 

South Africa’s space and air traffic management agencies sign MoU

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th October 2021 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and the State-owned national air traffic management company, Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday. The MoU will strengthen cooperation between the two agencies, Sansa having expertise in a... 

FSD Africa backs fintech pioneer to build new platform increasing access to carbon markets

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th October 2021 FSD Africa, the UK government’s flagship financial sector programme in Africa, is making an initial investment of £650 000 in a digital solution connecting carbon credits from small-scale green projects across the global south with international buyers. The investment will deliver funding through... 

European Service Module for US-led Orion crewed space programme delivered by Airbus

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th October 2021 The second European Service Module (ESM) for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) -led Artemis crewed spaceflight programme was successfully delivered by air to Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre, in the US state of Florida, on Friday. The ESM is the responsibility of the European... 

A photo of the complete ESM-2 at Airbus’s Bremen facility
Photo by Airbus
The complete ESM-2 at Airbus’s Bremen facility

Sansa to host programme office for Earth observation data and products service for Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th October 2021 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has been appointed as the Programme Management Office (PMO) for Digital Earth Africa. The latter entity has been established to make Earth observation data easily available and to provide ‘decision-ready’ products to African countries and... 

South Africa’s digital migration accelerates

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th October 2021 South Africa’s long-delayed transition from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television (TV) under the broadcasting digital migration (BDM) programme has been accelerated, with an ambition of concluding the analogue switch off (ASO) across all nine province by the end of January 2022.... 

Hormone therapy does not increase the risk of dementia in older women – UK researchers

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st October 2021 The most comprehensive study yet undertaken, incorporating the most reliable risk estimates so far achieved, has shown that hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also known as menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), did not increase the risk of dementia in women. The research team was led by Dr Yana... 

European-Japanese probe to make its first flyby of Mercury on Saturday morning

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th September 2021 The European Space Agency (ESA) has highlighted that its joint space mission with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa), BepiColombo, will make its first flyby of the planet Mercury in the early hours of Saturday morning, South African (and Central European) time. Saturday (October 2)... 

An artist’s impression of BepiColombo during its first Mercury flyby
Photo by European Space Agency
An artist’s impression of BepiColombo during its first Mercury flyby

Industry developed through strategy

By: Anna Moross     24th September 2021 While the Aluminium Federation of South Africa’s (AFSA’s) role in the South African Aluminium Industry Roadmap (SAAIR) has been to promote the roadmap and ensure that policymakers are aware of the envisaged, ambitious deliverables, there have been major challenges and milestones, including... 

An image of Muzi Manzi the CEO of AFSA
MUZI MANZI At the height of the pandemic, the LME's aluminium prices plummeted to a low of $1 425/t in April of 2020, resulting in increased stockpiles

Cybersecurity becoming part of industrial practices as digital applications and risks multiply

By: Schalk Burger     24th September 2021 As industrial facilities and systems become increasingly connected to capitalise on digital capabilities, countering cybersecurity risks is becoming part of industrial best practices and digital technologies are being subjected to the same rigorous safety and security standards as other... 

Cover image

Company highlights advantages of aluminium for industry

By: Anna Moross     24th September 2021 Water-jet cutting company MAXJET GLOBAL highlights why aluminium is becoming one of the main materials used in the aerospace, automotive and signage industry and the steps taken to process aluminium through water-jet cutting.  

An image of the water-jet cutting machinery
WATER-JET CUTTING When using precision water-jet cutting and profiling with aluminium, there are different steps in the process of implementation for different projects

SA telcos moving aggressively to add fintech offerings to mobile money base

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th September 2021 South Africa’s major telecommunications companies are accelerating their financial technology (fintech) strategies and betting big on Africa’s untapped digital economy potential to bolster dwindling traditional revenues in an ever-evolving digital era. Boasting huge volumes of customers with... 

Image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly cover

Major international telescope being built in South Africa by local artisans

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th September 2021 An international radio telescope array project, led by the US National Science Foundation, is being built in South Africa’s radio astronomy reserve in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape province by local artisans, and has already started doing valuable science, the South African Radio... 

SA’s quantum technology initiative, led by Wits University, to side-step competitors

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th September 2021 The South African Quantum Technology Initiative (SA QuTI), headed by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), does not intend to directly take on the major international quantum technologies competitor countries. “South Africa cannot compete with the billions of euros invested in quantum... 

Science and Innovation Department grants funds to Wits University for quantum research

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th September 2021 The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has awarded R8-million in seed funding to the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to implement Phase 1 of the South African Quantum Technology Initiative (SA QuTI). Wits had already set up its own WitsQ quantum research initiative and is the... 

Wits invites research community to join consortium advancing AI use for Africa

By: Schalk Burger     8th September 2021 Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) offer huge opportunities for development and progress in Africa, and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) invites Africa’s research community to join its newly formed AI Africa Consortium, which aims to develop a collaborative network... 

CSIR develops polymer composite for steel pipe maker for push-fit applications

By: Schalk Burger     3rd September 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a polymer composite solution for, and in partnership with, steel pipe manufacturer Hall Longmore. The solution advances Hall Longmore's aim to offer the South African water industry a localised push-fit application for... 

Researchers using Joburg as live lightning research laboratory

By: Schalk Burger     3rd September 2021 The University of the Witwatersrand' (Wits') Johannesburg Lightning Research Laboratory (JLRL) is turning Johannesburg into a laboratory where live lightning events are measured and characterised through the use of high-speed cameras, direct current measurements, fast electric field measurements,... 

South Africa’s radio telescope success stimulates international expansion investment

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd September 2021 The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) has already awarded the contracts for the construction of the infrastructure required for the expansion of the country’s world-leading MeerKAT radio telescope array. Located in the Karoo region, roughly west of the Northern Cape town of... 

Cover image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly magazine

Wits physics student helps develop method to quickly reveal structures of quantum-entangled states

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2021 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) PhD student Isaac Nape is part of a team of physicists who developed a new tool to reveal the hidden structures of quantum-entangled states in a study published in science journal Nature Communications on August 27. Nape's PhD focuses on harnessing... 

A photo of Wits PhD student Isaac Nape
Wits PhD student Isaac Nape

Women-developed products launched with the help of the Technology Innovation Agency

By: Donna Slater     30th August 2021 Five women-led products and innovations, developed with the assistance of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), were launched and showcased to the market on August 30. The products include skincare products, a personal tracking device for children, an alternative to drinking yoghurt and a... 

New Electrolux South Africa MD outlines sustainable growth plans for Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th August 2021 International home appliances maker Electrolux expects strong demand to continue as a result of the stay-at-home trend prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. “For so many of us, our homes aren’t just a place to live – they are offices, schools, gyms and so much more. With people spending so much more... 

Company offers laser cladding services

27th August 2021 High-technology coatings specialist Thermaspray is the only ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 3834-2 certified company offering laser cladding services to industry in Southern Africa.  

Picture of laser cladding in progress
CLADDING AWAY The lasers used for laser cladding exhibit a more uniform distribution of energy in the melt pool

Laser tech benefits medical implant industry

27th August 2021 The use of laser manufacturing solutions provider LPKF Laser & Electronics’ laser technology ushers in new era in the medical implant industry. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted, electronic medical device that provides the sense of sound to people with hearing loss. In use for a few... 

Picture of the inside of the laser system
LASER OPPORTUNITIES The laser structuring process is also destined for manufacturing for microwave applications, flexible electronics, and glass

Airbus, Zurich scientists cooperating to grow human tissues in space

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th August 2021 Airbus Defence and Space reported on Thursday that it had cooperated with scientists at the University of Zurich (UZH) Space Hub to develop a technology demonstration experiment which will produce human tissue in almost zero gravity conditions onboard the International Space Station (ISS). The... 

Fossil of previously unknown four-legged whale found in Egypt

By: Reuters     26th August 2021 Scientists said on Wednesday they had discovered the 43-million‮-‬year-old‮ ‬fossil of a previously unknown amphibious four-legged whale species in Egypt that helps trace the transition of whales from land to sea. The newly discovered whale belongs to the Protocetidae, a group of extinct whales... 

Interstellar objects might be more common in our Solar System than previously thought

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th August 2021 Interstellar comets, generally believed to be very rare visitors to our Solar System, might be very much more common than normally assumed, two US astrophysicists have suggested. The scientists concerned are Amir Siraj and Avi Loeb of the Centre for Astrophysics/Harvard & Smithsonian. The... 

New Mars mission passes key Nasa review

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd August 2021 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has reported that one of its future Mars scientific investigation projects had passed a key mission review, known as Key Decision Point C. The project is designated Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers... 

An artist’s impression of the two Escapade spacecraft in Martian orbit
Photo by Rocket Lab USA/UC Berkeley
An artist’s impression of the two Escapade spacecraft in Martian orbit

Shoprite launches digital business unit, tests AI payment innovation

By: Irma Venter     18th August 2021 The Shoprite Group has officially unveiled its new digital business unit, ShopriteX, which it says “combines data science, technology and innovation with [the group’s] operational strength to provide increasingly enhanced customer experiences”.  Incubated over the past year, ShopriteX aims to... 

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