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Science Engineering Technology

Small businesses urged to continuously upskill IT personnel

By: Schalk Burger     29th May 2020 Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must define the scope of information technology (IT) work and skills they require, and should continuously invest in the upskilling of these individuals through courses and exams, ensuring they have all necessary qualifications to support the SME's... 

Expedited change in stainless steel industry expected

By: Tracy Hancock     29th May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic will have long-term ramifications, including permanent change in the South African stainless steel industry, Southern African Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) acting executive director Michel Basson tells Engineering News. “The stainless steel industry could... 

Expedited change in  stainless steel industry expected
ADDED STRESS The national lockdown has compounded the challenges faced by the already stressed stainless steel industry

NWU comes up with creative solution to screen pupils for Covid-19 using cellphones

By: News24Wire      27th May 2020 In the times in which we currently find ourselves, adequate healthcare and accompanying screening are of the utmost importance to limit the spread of the coronavirus. As the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced that Grade 7 and Grade 12 pupils will be able to return to schools... 

NWU comes up with creative solution to screen pupils for Covid-19 using cellphones

Australian-led international astronomy team finds ring-of-fire galaxy in early universe

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2020 An Australian-led international team of astronomers has reported the discovery of an extremely rare type of galaxy, early in the history of the universe. The galaxy, designated R5519, was discovered using spectroscopic data collected by the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii and images taken by the... 

Australian-led international astronomy team finds ring-of-fire galaxy in early universe
Photo by James Josephides/Swinburne Astronomy Productions
Composite image of galaxy R5519

International initiative to fund African Covid-19 research unveiled

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd May 2020 South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) has announced the launch of a $4.75-million (about R90-million) international Covid-19 Africa Rapid Fund Grant. The purpose of the fund is to support the creation and translation of knowledge to help with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of... 

Local company brings mass-screening device to the South African market

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st May 2020 Local company Granule Holdings has started distributing smart helmets to monitor people for high temperatures in the fight again Covid-19. The KC N901 smart helmet is able to scan the temperatures of up to 200 people every minute and has been well received by authorities in China, Italy, the... 

Engineers at SA's North West University develop kit to help schools screen for Covid-19

By: African News Agency      21st May 2020 Engineers at South Africa's North West University have developed a testing kit they hope will help resolve the congestion likely to occur during screening for Covid-19 when schools resume classes next month, the institution said on Thursday. South African schools and universities have been closed... 

Blimps posited to monitor Covid-19 prevention measure compliance

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2020 Unmanned aerial systems, such as small blimps, could be used as novel airborne measures to monitor people in terms of physical distancing and other Covid-19 prevention measures, says University of Johannesburg (UJ) Institute of Intelligent Systems Professor Qingguo Wang. He explains that a... 

Blimps posited to monitor Covid-19 prevention measure compliance

Applications open for $150 000 JWO research grant

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th May 2020 Applications for the second Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer (JWO) Research Grant, worth $150 000, is open to environmental researchers and conservation leaders from Africa. The closing date for pre-proposals is Wednesday, May 27. 

Early career African scientists awarded UK funding for postdoctoral research 

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th May 2020 South Africans are among the 29 early career African scientists who have been selected to receive research funding under the Future Leaders – African Independent Research (Flair) programme for 2020. Other recipients come from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Sudan and Uganda. The 29... 

South African universities isolate SA’s first novel coronavirus lab culture

By: African News Agency      12th May 2020 Collaborative efforts by the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Stellenbosch University (SU) have yielded South Africa's first isolated novel coronavirus culture.  Dr Tasnim Suliman from UWC managed to isolate the culture.  

Theranostics can play a role in nuclear medicine

By: Cameron Mackay     8th May 2020 The development and use of theranostics with nuclear medicine provides ample opportunity for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging to become more familiar to the public, and can help grow the local nuclear medicine industry, says South African Society of Nuclear Medicine president Moshe... 

Theranostics can play a role in nuclear medicine
SAFARI-1 FACILITY The facility conducts clinical trials with, and produces, radiopharmaceuticals or radioisotopes, such as key medical radioisotopes like molybdenum-99 and iodine-131

South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope makes another astronomical breakthrough

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2020 Many galaxies in the known universe are characterised by huge twin radiowave emitting jets streaking out from their centres, deep into intergalactic space. There are usually two of these jets, heading in opposite directions, originating at the massive black holes that exist in the centres of... 

South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope makes another astronomical breakthrough
Photo by NRAO/SARAO
MeerKAT image of the galaxy PKS 2014-55

GFM repurposes agri-tech software to manage food parcel and voucher delivery

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th May 2020 Software-as-a-service technology platform developer GreenFingers Mobile (GFM) has re-purposed its agri-tech software to assist the digital management of food parcel and voucher delivery initiatives. The free service supports nonprofits and community-based organisations to digitally manage and... 

Researchers report decrease in South African air pollution during lockdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2020 Concentrations of air pollutants over South Africa had decreased during the national lockdown (imposed to try and counter the Covid-19 pandemic), preliminary analysis of satellite data indicated. The study was focused on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). The research was being... 

South African astronomer captures images of recently discovered comet

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th May 2020 Late last month the space-based Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (Soho), a joint programme between the European Space Agency (which is not part of the European Union) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, detected a comet. Soho is located some 1.5-million kilometres from the... 

South African astronomer captures images of recently discovered comet
Photo by Heine Rasmussen
Comet SWAN

Healthcare platform launched to coordinate fight against Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     6th May 2020 Business for South Africa’s (B4SA's) health workgroup has partnered with free digital health care platform Essential Medical Guidance (EMGuidance), which has launched a dedicated Covid-19 support channel for South African healthcare professionals (HCPs) in both the public and private sectors.... 

Alternative rocket propulsion system experimentally demonstrated for first time

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th May 2020 A research team at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in the US has experimentally demonstrated a rocket propulsion system that was previously thought to be impractical. The system is known as the rotating detonation rocket engine. This technology is suitable for upper-stage rockets... 

Nasa orders new rockets for its new crewed Moon programme

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th May 2020 America’s space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has placed a $1.79-billion contract with US rocket manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne for an additional batch of RS-25 rocket engines. The new order is for 18 more of the engines, and adjusts a previous contract... 

Nasa orders new rockets for its new crewed Moon programme

Nasa announces the three companies to develop new lunar landing craft for astronauts

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th May 2020 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), America’s space agency, announced at the end of April the three companies that it has chosen to design and develop human landing systems (HLS) for its Artemis progammme. Artemis is the successor to the renowned Apollo programme, which... 

Nasa announces the three companies to develop new lunar landing craft for astronauts
Photo by Nasa
An artist’s impression of the Blue Origin Integrated Lander Vehicle on the Moon

International physics team produces super-chiral light, step to on-chip lasers

By: Schalk Burger     4th May 2020   An international team of physicists has reported that it has produced super-chiral light, which is light with an ultrahigh angular momentum; the highest yet reported for a laser. 

Companies which will develop Nasa’s new crewed lunar lander to be announced soon

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th April 2020 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has stated that it will announce the companies it has chosen to develop the ‘human landing system’ (HLS) for its crewed Artemis programme on April 30. The HLS will be used to safely put astronauts on the surface of the Moon, including... 

Companies which will develop Nasa’s new crewed lunar lander to be announced soon
Photo by Nasa
An artist’s impression of the fully assembled Gateway space station orbiting the Moon, with (top) an Orion spacecraft docked with it

SOEs cooperate to ship essential radioisotopes overseas

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th April 2020 South Africa’s globally-important State-owned company NTP Radioisotopes, a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, has cooperated with State-owned flag-carrier South African Airways to deliver essential medical radioisotopes to international customers. The deliveries were made... 

SOEs cooperate to ship essential radioisotopes overseas

CSIR partners with YES to provide technology job opportunities for young people

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th April 2020 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed an agreement with the Youth Employment Service (YES) to provide young people with technical skills and applicable work opportunities. The arrangement is formally designated a Sponsored Host Placement Agreement. Under its terms,... 

Israeli researchers examining if speech patterns could be used to detect Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd April 2020 Israel’s Afeka Academic College of Engineering, in Tel Aviv, is working on a project to see if voice and speech processing technology could be used to to identify carriers of the Covid-19 coronavirus who are not yet displaying any symptoms of the disease. The research is being led by the Afeka... 

KwaZulu-Natal researchers seeking to research Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st April 2020 Scientists at the University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN) have launched a fundraising campaign to finance independent research into the Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa. Donors will qualify for Section 18A tax certificates, issued by the UKZN Foundation. The UKZN’s Big Data Flagship Programme and the... 

EPCM Holdings producing low-cost ventilators

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st April 2020 Engineering, procurement and construction company EPCM Holdings is producing low-cost ventilator units − bag valve mask units − for delivery to several African countries in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. “In our fight against the Covid-19 virus and our determination to protect humanity, our team... 

EPCM Holdings producing low-cost ventilators
EPCM Holding’s low cost ventilator unit

Biodx says use of biotech disinfectant products can help in fight against Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     21st April 2020 Johannesburg-based biological technology (biotech) and disinfectants company Biodx CEO Burt Rodrigues says that while the Covid-19 pandemic will change the world in the short and long term, a refocus to natural products may play a key role in tackling current and future outbreaks. Rodrigues says... 

Space agency assisting other government institutions in struggle against Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th April 2020 To support government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) was working with the National Disaster Management Centre, the National Department of Human Settlements and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD). The aim was to provide these... 

Space agency assisting other government institutions in struggle against Covid-19
Photo by Sansa
Satellite image of Ha-Mphego village in Limpopo province, with the locations of the spaza shops added

South Africa-born XinaBox chips in sub-zero Antarctica, space

By: Tracy Hancock     20th April 2020 From collecting data in sub-zero Antarctica to rapid circuit prototyping on the International Space Station (ISS), South African modular “xChip” manufacturer XinaBox, pronounced "X-in-a-box", claims to be  reinventing the way in which the Internet of Things (IoT) is approached while inspiring... 

South Africa-born XinaBox chips in sub-zero Antarctica, space

Gauteng Innovation Hub calls for competition entries

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th April 2020 The Innovation Hub of Gauteng has called on entrepreneurs and researchers in the information and communication technology (ICT), green, biotech and medical industries to enter the annual Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) Innovation Competition before July 10. The hub also urged those driving... 

SEW-EURODRIVE joins national 3D printing initiative for face masks

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th April 2020 Drive and automation technology company SEW-EURODRIVE has joined a nationwide campaign to use three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to produce much-needed face masks and shields for healthcare workers and first responders. There is a global shortage of critical personal protective equipment... 

SEW-EURODRIVE joins national 3D printing initiative for face masks

3D printing moving into mainstream manufacturing, says GlobalData

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th April 2020 Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is slowly cementing its role as a key part of the manufacturing mix, continuing its journey towards Industry 4.0, says data analytics company GlobalData. The company indicates that this technology has already lowered the barriers to entry for... 

Medical robots could contribute in South Africa's fight against Covid-19  

By: Schalk Burger     15th April 2020 Robotics could prove useful as the world, and the healthcare sector in particular, seeks solutions to help in the fight against Covid-19. Medical robotics distributor Nexmed Healthcare Solutions CEO Jonathan Burger tells Engineering News its UV-D medical robot uses short-wavelength ultraviolet... 

Medical robots could contribute in South Africa's fight against Covid-19
Video courtesy of Nexmed Healthcare Solutions

‘Robot’ helps Tygerberg specialists on ward rounds during pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th April 2020 Intensive-care specialists at Tygerberg Hospital have a new infection-resistant ‘colleague’ helping them to undertake ward rounds on Covid-19 patients. “Quintin” – as ‘he’ is called – is a Double Robotic ‘robot’ that has been employed to help specialists do ‘virtual’ ward rounds – even from home... 

Innovation Hub calls on local innovators to help fight Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     15th April 2020 Pretoria-based science and technology park, The Innovation Hub (TIH), requests local innovators; entrepreneurs; scientists; small, medium-sized and microenterprises; research institutions; universities; and the public to submit solutions that can help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.... 

Online hackathon launched to spur development of Covid-19-tackling solutions

By: Donna Slater     14th April 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) and partners will host an international 72-hour online competition, the #AfricaVsVirus Challenge – aimed at developing effective solutions to the coronavirus pandemic – from April 16 to 19. The hackathon, or as the AfDB calls it, the "ideathon", is open to... 

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