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Science Engineering Technology

The use of recycled plastic used to store electrical energy demonstrated in the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th August 2020 Researchers in the US have successfully used recycled plastic to create rapidly-charging energy storage devices. The research team is composed of engineering professors and students at the University of California Riverside (UCR), and they have been working on using sustainable resources –... 

Radio frequency monitoring satellites to be launched on SpaceX rocket

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th August 2020 Luxembourg-domiciled space-based radio frequency (RF) reconnaissance data collection and provision company Kleos Space announced on Thursday that its next satellite cluster would be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This will be Kleos’ second satellite cluster, the first set to be launched... 

Airbus space-based radar undergoes key deployment test

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th August 2020 Airbus Space Systems, part of Airbus Defence and Space (itself part of the Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus), reported on Tuesday that the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) antenna that it had developed for the Sentinel-1C satellite had been successfully deployed for the first time in one... 

Airbus space-based radar undergoes key deployment test
Photo by Airbus
The deployed Airbus Space SAR antenna for Sentinel-1C in the Friedrichshafen test facility

South African team launches non-invasive breathing system for early-stage intervention

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th August 2020 In response to the Covid-19 public health emergency and an impending ventilator shortage in South Africa and other parts of the world, a team of experts have designed the first-ever Non-Invasive Breathing System (NiBS) in South Africa. The makers of the NiBS comprise a team of engineers, an... 

DeepMind grants first postgraduate AI scholarships at Stellenbosch University 

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2020 London-based artificial intelligence (AI) research and application company DeepMind has awarded eight scholarships for postgraduate studies in the fields of applied mathematics, statistics, electrical and electronic engineering and computer science at Stellenbosch University (SU). The DeepMind... 

Laser beam technology breakthrough could revolutionise optical communications

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th August 2020 Researchers a the University of Central Florida (UCF) in the US have developed a new category of laser beams that could revolutionise optical communications and laser technologies. These new laser beams have properties that are unique and not possessed by standard laser beams.  The new laser... 

Presidential Commission Report on 4IR to head to Cabinet 

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th August 2020 The Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is set to present to Cabinet after President Cyril Ramaphosa received its landmark report on the recommendations to harness the available 4IR opportunities. The report was presented by Communications and Digital Technologies... 

New approach suggests the universe is younger than previously believed

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th August 2020 Using a new approach, a team of scientists at the University of Oregon (UO), in the US, have come up with a new estimate for the age of the universe – 12.6-billion years. Since 2013, the generally accepted age of the universe has been 13.77-billion years. (This figure was derived using data from... 

Embedded, distributed generation will create jobs, enhance energy security

By: Schalk Burger     7th August 2020 Allowing for the greater development of embedded and distributed generation assets will help to create and sustain jobs, as well as bolster energy security and business continuity, says economic development advisory company ED Platform head of strategy and growth Maloba Tshehla. Embedded... 

UK funding capacity building at African Centre of Excellence at Stellenbosch University

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th August 2020 Stellenbosch University’s African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Energy is to receive funding of R12-million over two years from the UK. The money is being provided by Britain’s science, technology and innovation funding agency, UK Research and Innovation... 

Company goes digital to curb challenges

By: Theresa Bhowan     7th August 2020 An increasingly competitive sphere, and a large choice of partners and customers are two of the chemicals industry’s greatest challenges. Specialised chemicals company BASF aims to lead in digital transformation in the chemicals industry to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its... 

Company goes digital  to curb challenges
DALE WALKER The “new normal” that has been imposed by Covid-19 on the globe, has allowed for radical transformation in the way that the company does business

New interface’s mobile version coming soon 

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 Data-driven agricultural solutions provider SupPlant has launched a new user interface for its decision support system (DSS), with a mobile version to follow, enabling farmers to keep an eye on their crops wherever they are. The Israeli company first entered the South African market when it... 

New interface’s mobile version coming soon
ADVANCING AGRICULTURE The new platform makes all the data from SupPlant’s sensors, such as the first continuous measurement fruit sensor on Macadamia fruit in South Africa, easily accessible and understood

Researchers elucidate key details of Mars’ internal structure using seismic data

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th August 2020 Seismologists from Rice University in Houston in the US state of Texas have for the first time been able to directly measure the boundaries between the different levels that compose the planet Mars – the crust, the mantle and the core – plus a very important transition zone within the mantle.... 

Researchers elucidate key details of Mars’ internal structure using seismic data
Photo by Nasa
Mars

South African stakeholders to bring together partners for AI development discussions

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th August 2020 Academia, private sector and civil society have signed an Expression of Interest (EoI) aimed at bringing together experts to lead the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in South Africa and establish an internationally aligned AI institute. Inked during the virtual AI Dialogue South... 

South African National Space Agency explains its role in launch of Mars 2020 probe

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th August 2020 The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has completed its involvement in the launch of the Mars 2020 spacecraft, which has now started its cruise through interplanetary space. It is the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency’s (Nasa’s) latest probe to... 

South African National Space Agency explains its role in launch of Mars 2020 probe
Photo by Nasa/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech
A computer-generated image of the Mars 2020 spacecraft en route to Mars

SpaceX’s first crewed mission ends successfully with safe splashdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd August 2020 The first ever commercial crewed spacecraft mission ended successfully on Sunday when the Crew Dragon capsule plashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of the US state of Florida. The spacecraft, designed, developed, owned and operated by private-sector company SpaceX, was carrying US... 

SpaceX’s first crewed mission ends successfully with safe splashdown
Photo by Nasa
Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour moments before splashdown

Wits researchers achieve major leap forward in secure quantum communication

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st July 2020 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) scientists have achieved a major advance in the field of secure quantum communications, the university announced on Friday. The team, led by School of Physics Professor Andrew Forbes, has had its research paper published online by Laser & Photonics Reviews.... 

Strategic partnerships in science, technology will aid economic recovery – Ramaphosa

By: News24Wire      31st July 2020 Strategic partnerships in science, technology and innovation will play an essential role in economic recovery, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said. Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande delivered the president's speech on his behalf during the National Summit on Science... 

Strategic partnerships in science, technology will aid economic recovery – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Free State researchers part of international team showing that monkeys can get Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th July 2020 Two scientists from the University of the Free State (UFS), plus a third who is affiliated with the South African institution, are co-authors of a recently published international study of Covid-19. Their paper was published in the internationally peer-reviewed journal Plos One. The UFS... 

South African space agency providing support to Nasa’s latest Mars mission

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th July 2020 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) is supporting the launch and early flight phase of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) Mars 2020 mission, which is carrying the Perseverance rover to the Red Planet. The mission lifted-off from Space Launch Complex 41, at... 

South African space agency providing support to Nasa’s latest Mars mission
Photo by Nasa
The Atlas V rocket carrying the Mars 2020 spacecraft (including the Perseverance rover) within its nose cone, standing at Launch Complex 41 just hours before lift-off.

CSIR makes breakthrough in developing local Covid-19 test 

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th July 2020 The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a faster way of testing for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which causes the Covid-19 disease. The CSIR’s achievement will replace a two-step testing process with a one-step test. The CSIR is working with... 

CSIR makes breakthrough in developing local Covid-19 test
Photo by CSIR
CSIR senior researcher Dr Lusisizwe Kwezi

African Centre of Excellence at Stellenbosch University to receive UK research grant

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th July 2020 Stellenbosch University’s African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Energy is to receive funding of R12-million over two years from the UK. The money is being provided by Britain’s science, technology and innovation funding agency, UK Research and Innovation... 

New research suggests the universe is younger than previously believed

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th July 2020 Using a new approach, a team of scientists at the University of Oregon (UO) in the US have come up with a new estimate for the age of the universe – 12.6-billion years. Since 2013, the generally accepted age of the universe has been 13.77-billion years. The universe started with the Big Bang, and... 

Researchers build AI tool capable of identifying individual birds

By: Schalk Burger     27th July 2020 New research demonstrates for the first time that artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to train computers to recognise individual birds; a task humans are unable to do. Researchers from the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, based at the University of Cape Town (UCT); the French... 

China successfully launches its first Mars lander mission

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th July 2020 The China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Thursday successfully launched its first mission aimed at landing on the planet Mars. Not only that, but the mission, named Tianwen-1, will deploy a rover on the surface of the Red Planet. (Tianwen means ‘Questions to Heaven’.) The probe was... 

Astronomers announce they have imaged two planets orbiting a Sun-like star

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd July 2020 The European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced on Wednesday that its Very Large Telescope (VLT) had taken the first ever image of a young Sun-like star with two giant exoplanets orbiting it. The star is designated TYC 8998-760-1 and lies some 300 light years away. The planets have been... 

ShotSpotter assisting in reducing rhino poaching in Kruger National Park

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd July 2020 Gunshot detection systems provider ShotSpotter says the ranger service of the Kruger National Park has successfully achieved an almost 60% reduction in the number of rhino killed within the areas where the company's ShotSpotter technology has been deployed. Since November 2018, ShotSpotter has... 

New study indicates that Venus has active volcanoes

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st July 2020 The use of more refined numerical models of thermo-mechanical processes beneath the surface of the planet Venus has led a joint University of Maryland (in the US) and the Zurich Federal Institute of Technology (in Switzerland) research team to propose that there could be 37 active volcanoes on... 

Arab world’s first interplanetary probe launched

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th July 2020 The Hope (in Arabic, Al Amal) space probe of the United Arab Emirates Space (UAE) Agency was successfully launched on Sunday from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre (located on an island in Kagoshima prefecture, in the far south of the country) by a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket. The... 

4IR skills map way forward  

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th July 2020 With continuous improvements in technology, there is a need for concurrent upskilling across all sectors, especially as the reality of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has set in locally. 

4IR skills map  way forward
Polytech Africa MD ​Astrid Straussner​ tells ​Engineering News ​about the company’s Mechatronics Academy. Camerawork: ​Creamer Media’s​ Kutlwano Matlala​.​ Editing: ​Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd​.​ Recorded: 28.02.2020

Drones Council launched to expedite advancement of regulatory environment

By: Donna Slater     15th July 2020 The Drone Council South Africa (DCSA) was launched on July 15 with its first webinar to update global stakeholders in the private and public sectors on progress being made in the drones industry, both internationally and in South Africa. The DCSA was formed in part to address South Africa’s... 

Deloitte says Covid-19 has shown the necessary collaboration between humans, tech

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th July 2020 Consultancy Deloitte in its latest 'Human Capital Trends' report says the “social enterprise” which it first introduced in its 2018 'Human Capital Trends' report, has gone to work, with technology and human collaboration at the forefront of discussions. The 2018 report embodied a new social... 

Nasa’s latest Mars rover now on top of its launch rocket

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th July 2020 The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) announced on Thursday that its latest Mars rover, Perseverance, had been attached to the top of the Atlas V launch rocket (produced by the United Launch Alliance) that will carry it into space. The operation actually took place on Tuesday. The... 

Nasa’s latest Mars rover now on top of its launch rocket
Photo by Nasa
Encased within the nose cone, the Mars 2020 spacecraft is manoeuvred into place on top of its Atlas V launch rocket

Although vaccine trials are generating optimism, concerns about access are rising

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th July 2020 Should all go well with the South African-led vaccine trial or with similar trials in the UK and Brazil, commercial lots of vaccines be developed as early as the first quarter of next year. However, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) clinical infectious disease epidemiologist and... 

Although vaccine trials are generating optimism, concerns about access are rising

Drones being used to help governments fight the Covid-19 pandemic

By: Donna Slater     10th July 2020 With the onset of Covid-19, technology has come to the fore, as people have been forced to work from home or increasingly remotely to ensure physical distancing, thereby increasing reliance on remote, and even autonomous, methods of conducting duties, with keen interest in the potential use of... 

Drones being used to help governments fight the Covid-19 pandemic

Home automation add-on launched

10th July 2020 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand has launched its Arteor-with-Netatmo which is a simple home automation solution that uses traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi. The company explains that it expanded on its Arteor range of wiring devices,... 

Home automation add-on launched
PLUGGED IN Legrand has add to its home automation solutions that use traditional house wiring and is controlled through WiFi

HealthSpace signs first paid contract with contact tracing solution

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th July 2020 Vancouver-headquartered HealthSpace Data Systems has signed the first paid contract in a package that includes the use of its extensive contact tracing solution. Mecklenburg County Health Department, in North Carolina, will use HealthSpace’s HSCloud Suite for contact tracing in a deal worth $157... 

HealthSpace signs first paid contract with contact tracing solution
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