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Science Engineering Technology

Wits launches first solar district heating system in South Africa 

20th June 2019 The South African National Energy Development Institute last month launched the first solar district heating system in South Africa at the Wits University’s Junction Campus, saving the buildings millions in energy costs a year. 

Aviation technology leaders reaffirm their determination to cut industry’s CO2 emissions

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th June 2019 At the 2019 Paris Air Show on Tuesday, the Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) of seven of the world’s major aerospace companies issued a joint statement on their joint and cooperative commitment to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by the aviation industry. The companies were, in alphabetical... 

Aviation technology leaders reaffirm their determination to cut industry’s CO2 emissions

Industry 4.0 presents transformation for African manufacturing sector

14th June 2019 The Manufacturing Indaba 2019 is set to explore the impact on, and opportunities associated with disruptive and revolutionary technologies that are transforming the global manufacturing sector.  Despite its status as a developing continent, Africa’s manufacturing space stands the opportunity to... 

Industry 4.0 presents transformation for African manufacturing sector
CAPITAL IMPACT The ultimate concern is how African manufacturers can capitalise on Industry 4.0 while simultaneously mitigating the accompanying risks

Nestlé launches R&D innovation challenge in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th June 2019 Nestlé on Thursday launched a research and development (R&D) innovation challenge in South Africa as part of the company’s efforts to contribute to the local innovation ecosystem. Nestlé’s goal is to work collaboratively with startups and universities to identify sustainable and scalable science... 

Airbus has flown flapping wing-tip scale demonstrator aircraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th June 2019 Europe-based giant aerospace group Airbus announced on Thursday that it had successfully flown a remote-controlled scale-model aircraft (based on the Airbus A321 single-aisle airliner and designated AlbatrossOne) fitted with flapping wing-tips. This is the first time that any category of aircraft... 

Airbus has flown flapping wing-tip scale demonstrator aircraft
Photo by Airbus
The remotely-controlled scale-model AlbatrossOne, with unlocked wing-tips

Necsa board states agency has dire finances 

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th June 2019 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) issued on Thursday a curt response to the press release issued the day before by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union. In its statement, the union alleged that the Necsa board was proposing to retrench 400 employees and... 

Necsa board states agency has dire finances
Necsa logo

Union attacks Necsa board, claiming retrenchments and privatisations planned

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2019 The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) asserted on Wednesday that it had “reliably learnt” that the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (Necsa’s) board was proposing to retrench 400 employees and perhaps sell public assets. These proposals were part of a... 

Union attacks Necsa board, claiming retrenchments and privatisations planned
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An aerial view of Necsa’s Pelindaba complex, west of Pretoria/Tshwane

Stellenbosch University starts training data engineers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th June 2019 The Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University (SU) will introduce a new BEng degree in Data Engineering from February 2020.  This degree will be a new specialisation stream in the faculty’s existing undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. 

Ethos Al Fund invests R200-million into TymeBank

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th June 2019 Empowerment investment holding company African Rainbow Capital (ARC) and alternative asset manager Ethos Private Equity have jointly announced an investment of R200-million by the Ethos Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fund and co-investors – jointly referred to as the Ethos Al Fund – in recently... 

CSIR's new strategy aims to tap into private-sector prospects

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th June 2019 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini has announced both a new strategy and a radical restructuring of South Africa's world-renowned science council. The aim of the new strategy and structure was to strengthen the industrial research activities of the... 

Looking back at invention of the Periodic Table as world marks 150th anniversary

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th June 2019 It all started with alchemy. Of course, the ancient world had had some practical knowledge of chemistry, and had seen some advances in the applied chemistry, long before the emergence of alchemy. The distant roots of chemistry are probably to be found in Bronze Age (roughly 3 300 BC to 1 200BC)... 

Looking back at invention of the Periodic Table as world marks 150th anniversary

Chinese company opens competence centre

7th June 2019 Multinational silicon products developer and manufacturer the WACKER Group has opened a new competence centre for cement and concrete applications in Shanghai, China. The laboratory will develop novel silicone-based products and solutions, which are able to improve the performance of cement and... 

Chinese company opens competence centre
Photo by Bloomberg
CEMENT INNOVATION The new competence center will develop novel silicone-based products and solutions that improve the durability of cement and concrete

Machine tools sector preparing local manufacturing for 4IR

By: Tracy Hancock     7th June 2019 Technological advancements in the local machine tools industry will help grow South Africa’s struggling manufacturing sector, says corporate association of manufacturers Manufacturing Circle (MC) executive director Philippa Rodseth. The manufacturing sector’s contribution to South Africa’s gross... 

Machine tools sector preparing local manufacturing for 4IR
PHILIPPA RODSETH A skilled workforce that can benefit from innovation and investments in new technologies is key to driving manufacturing competitiveness

South African medicine dispensing system wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th June 2019 For the first time since its inception in 2015, a South African electrical engineer has won the Royal Academy of Engineers’ 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Thirty-one-year-old Neo Hutiri and his team won R463 000, or about £25 000, for developing Pelebox – a smart locker system... 

South African medicine dispensing system wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
South African electrical engineer Neo Hutiri wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Astronomers confirm 'exoplanet hell' with SAAO telescope

By: News24Wire      31st May 2019 Astronomers have confirmed the existence of an exoplanet so hot, it can be described as hell. Planet NGTS-4b, nick-named "The Forbidden Planet", was confirmed by researchers using the South African Astronomical Observatory's (SAAO) Sutherland High-speed Optical Cameras (SHOC) 1 m telescope. 

Startups strive to recycle emissions for 'new carbon economy'

By: Reuters     31st May 2019 Jennifer Holmgren, CE of carbon recycling firm LanzaTech, explained modestly how the Chicago-based startup had cut multimillion-dollar deals on four continents, including in China, aimed at helping curb climate change and air pollution. At the Jingtang Steel Mill in Heibei province, the company... 

Boeing making ‘steady progress’ on returning the 737 MAX to safe operations

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st May 2019 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing has announced that it has concluded the development of updated software for its 737 MAX single-aisle airliner type, as well as the associated simulator testing and engineering flight test. The updated software is for the 737 MAX’s Manoeuvring... 

Innovation policy requires careful consideration – TIPS

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th May 2019 Industrialisation requires innovation and, despite increased investment into science, technology and innovation, as well as the implementation of policies designed to encourage innovation, South Africa’s innovation activities remain constrained, Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS)... 

Innovation policy requires careful consideration – TIPS
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
TIPS executive director Saul Levin

IASP elects first female president for its Africa division

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2019 The International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) has elected Hauwa Yabani as its Africa division president. She is also the first female president of the division. Yabani was elected to the role at the IASP Africa division workshop hosted by The Innovation Hub,... 

IASP elects first female president for its Africa division
Newly-elected Africa division president Hauwa Yabani

New strategy, new structure for the CSIR 

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th May 2019 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini announced on Friday both a new strategy and a radical restructuring of South Africa's world-renowned science council. The aim of the new strategy and structure is to strengthen the industrial research activities of the... 

New strategy, new structure for the CSIR
CSIR chairperson Professor Thokozani Majozi and CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini

NASA executive quits weeks after appointment to lead 2024 moon landing plan

By: Reuters     24th May 2019 A top NASA executive hired in April to guide strategy for returning astronauts to the moon by 2024 has resigned, the space agency said on Thursday, the culmination of internal strife and dwindling congressional support for the lunar initiative. Mark Sirangelo, named six weeks ago as special... 

New motor released to electric drives and controls industry

24th May 2019 Automation technology solutions provider Tectra Automation’s new MS2N Synchronous Servo Motor is the company’s latest innovative product offering to the electric drives and controls industry. The MS2N servo motor range combines high dynamics with compact dimensions and energy efficiency, with... 

New motor released to electric drives and controls industry
VERSATILITY IN APPLICATION The MS2N includes over 50 motor types in six motor sizes, five motor lengths and more than 20 fully configurable options

South Africans play major roles in international astronomy project

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th May 2019 The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (Sarao) has reported that the international consortium of computing specialists, which included South Africans, which had been developing the Science Data Processor (SDP) for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project, had completed its... 

Importance of scientific cooperation with South Africa reaffirmed by Japan

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd May 2019 Japan regards South Africa as an important research partner. This was affirmed on Thursday during the first session of the 4th South Africa-Japan University (SAJU) Forum Conference, at the University of Pretoria. "South Africa is a very important country for Japan," highlighted Ministry of... 

International science cooperation benefits South Africa – DST

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd May 2019 International cooperation has been most beneficial for the development of scientific capacity in developing countries, and South Africa was no exception. So pointed out South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) acting Deputy Director General for Research Development and Support Dr... 

Africa’s solutions to its challenges lie in 4IR

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd May 2019 Africa’s readiness to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will be dependent on its youth and the pressure it puts on government to create an enabling environment that will foster collaboration in developing solutions to the challenges facing communities, says Innovation Hub CEO... 

Africa’s solutions to its challenges lie in 4IR
Inforcomm MD Andile Tlhoaele

Digital innovation outside of the ‘factory’ needed for manufacturing success – tech advisory

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd May 2019 The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is blurring the boundaries between how people traditionally see an organisation and what people call a “factory” in the first place, says technology advisory company On-a-Cloud CEO Geoff Scott. During a seminar at the Local Manufacturing Expo, in... 

Airbus announces range extensions for its new A220 family

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st May 2019 Europe-based global aerospace group Airbus announced in Canada on Tuesday that it would be offering airlines an increased range version of its A220 small (100 seats to 150 seats) single-aisle airliner family, from the second half of next year. The A220 family is composed of two models, the... 

Boeing reports 'clear and steady progress' on returning 737 MAX to safe operations

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th May 2019 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing announced on Thursday night (South African time) that it had concluded the development of updated software for its 737 MAX single-aisle airliner type, as well as the associated simulator testing and engineering flight test. The updated software is for... 

Boeing reports 'clear and steady progress' on returning 737 MAX to safe operations
Photo by Boeing
A Boeing 737 MAX-8 airliner

UAV without conventional flaps, ailerons or elevators takes flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th May 2019 British major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems (BAES) announced on the first day of this month that its MAGMA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) had become the first aircraft ever to be manoeuvred in flight using “blown air”. The MAGMA has been designed and developed by University of Manchester... 

Fourth Industrial Revolution could offer manufacturing and mining boost

By: Schalk Burger     17th May 2019 Digitally-enabled changes, called the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) – the most profound changes in the past 2 000 years – can boost and reinvigorate the mining and manufacturing industries if they seize on the opportunities presented by the digital disruption. This is one of the views of... 

User experience lab could assist in product development, government programmes  

16th May 2019 Global consulting firm Nihilent officially launched its first user experience laboratory on the African continent last month. The facility, located in Bryanston, is the second of its kind globally and was inaugurated by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Nadine James has the story. 

User experience lab could assist in product development, government programmes
User experience lab could assist in product development, government programmes

South African nuclear corporation CEO axed  

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th May 2019 South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) CEO Phumzile Tshelane has been dismissed from his post and removed from the State-owned organisation’s board. This was announced on Tuesday by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe in a short press release. The decision was made because of the serious... 

South African nuclear corporation CEO axed
Photo by Creamer Media
Jeff Radebe

UJ designs mobile lab to aid in water contamination testing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th May 2019 The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has created a mobile lab for water testing, amid various sewage spills in South Africa. The Transnet National Ports Authority reported earlier this month that it had prohibited angling and diving activity at the Durban port, owing to a massive sewage spill in... 

Working group meeting to address impact of neonicotinoids in Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th May 2019 The potential risk of neonicotinoids in Africa will be assessed at a working group meeting hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, in Nairobi, Kenya, from May 13 to 15. The working group meeting follows on a workshop held in... 

737 MAX woes reflected in Boeing’s first-quarter results

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th May 2019 US aerospace and defence giant Boeing, with the release of its results for the first quarter of this year, has assured that it is working with aviation regulators and customers around the world to ensure a safe return to service of its troubled 737 MAX, the fourth generation of its hitherto... 

Altron marks completed turnaround with double-digit growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th May 2019 JSE-listed technology company Allied Electronics on Thursday posted double-digit increases across the board for the year ended February 28, 2019. The technology company achieved a 30% increase in normalised revenue to R19.2-billion and a 24% increase in normalised earnings before interest, tax,... 

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