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Science Engineering Technology

‘Little Foot’ hominid is much younger than originally thought

By: African News Agency      30th March 2017 New research by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and James Cook University (JCU) in Australia has found that the “Little Foot” hominid is much younger than originally thought. “A human ancestor thought to be 3.7-million years old, should be younger than 2.8-million years, says the newest... 

Stellenbosch University and CubeSpace to launch nanosatellite

By: News24Wire      27th March 2017 Stellenbosch University and CubeSpace are expected to launch a nanosatellite to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday. The nanosatellite will be launched from the US on Monday, or Tuesday. 

Longer-ranged artillery shell unveiled by South African defence company

By: Keith Campbell     24th March 2017 South African defence company Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has reported that it has successfully qualified its 155 mm calibre M2005 Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (VLAP). This is a longer-ranged enhancement of the company’s Assegai series of 155 mm artillery rounds. The qualification... 

South African in the Mars mix as race to the Red Planet heats up 

By: Dylan Slater     24th March 2017 It is 2031 and the next space race has started with the launch of the largest-ever interplanetary space rocket and spaceship carrying four carefully selected astronauts on a mission to establish a human settlement on Mars – a planet that is, on average, 225-million km away.  

South African in the Mars mix as race to the Red Planet heats up
Theoretical physicist Adriana Marais tells Engineering News about her dream to go to Mars. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Innovative Kruger Park surveillance technology stops poachers in their tracks

By: News24Wire      17th March 2017 Two weeks after its introduction in January, the Kruger National Park's wide range surveillance technology, the Meerkat, managed to stop five out of nine detected rhino poaching incidents. "It's almost like the angel on your shoulder that can see where you cannot see and that makes it a lot safer... 

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Although the power and electricity sector in Africa faces massive challenges, it also offers massive opportunities, says Power & Electricity World Africa (PEWA) event organiser Terrapinn.  

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities
MOMENT IN THE SUN Africa’s largest power and electricity event offers innovative, cost-effective means of tackling Africa’s power challenges

Extra funding for another SA-based international radio telescope project

By: Keith Campbell     17th March 2017 The international Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (Hera) telescope, being constructed in South Africa’s radio astronomy reserve in the Karoo region in the Northern Cape province, has received a significant new cash injection, that will fund a major expansion of the array, SKA South Africa... 

New air and ground urban transport concept pops up

By: Keith Campbell     17th March 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus and Italy-based transport design, engineering and production services company Italdesign have combined to design a new approach to meeting future traffic snarl-ups in major cities, which they have designated Pop.Up. This was unveiled at the recent 87th Geneva... 

UK remains committed to helping research and development in South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     16th March 2017 The British government has assigned up to £35-million from its Prosperity Fund to South Africa. This money will be disbursed over the remaining period of the current UK Parliament (that is, until 2020). This was pointed out by outgoing British High Commissioner to South Africa, Dame Judith... 

UK remains committed to helping research and development in South Africa
Photo by Duane Daws
Dame Judith Macgregor

European groups unveil new air/ground urban transport concept

By: Keith Campbell     8th March 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus and Italy-based transport design, engineering and production services company Italdesign have combined to design a new approach to meeting future traffic snarl-ups in major cities, which they have designated Pop.Up. This was unveiled on Tuesday at the... 

European groups unveil new air/ground urban transport concept
Photo by Airbus
This image shows a passenger capsule coupled to a ground module and a second passenger capsule coupled to an air module

South Africa-based international radio telescope project gets more cash

By: Keith Campbell     6th March 2017 The international Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (Hera) telescope, being constructed in South Africa’s radio astronomy reserve in the Northern Cape province, has received a significant new cash injection, that will fund a major expansion of the array, SKA South Africa (SKA SA) announced on... 

South Africa-based international radio telescope project gets more cash
Photo by SKA South Africa
Hera antennas under construction. The workers to the right give scale

Nearly £1-trillion to be invested in nuclear energy globally over 20 years 

By: Keith Campbell     1st March 2017 It is estimated that, over the next 20 years, more than £930-billion will be invested in expanding civil nuclear energy capacity worldwide. This was affirmed by UK Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox in his keynote address at the Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017 in London, on... 

Nearly £1-trillion to be invested in nuclear energy globally over 20 years
Photo by UK Government
UK Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox

Blue Label expects higher H1 earnings

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th February 2017 JSE-listed Blue Label expects to report a surge in earnings bolstered in part by 58.18%-owned subsidiary Oxigen Services India’s fair value gains of R150-million in the six months ended November 30, 2016. Earnings a share are expected to increase by 54% to 58% to between 80.79c and 82.89c for the... 

SA Cabinet highlights progress in radio astronomy in the country

By: Keith Campbell     17th February 2017 The South African government has endorsed the creation of a single national South African Radio Astronomy Observatory. This was done at the Cabinet meeting held on February 15 and reported in a statement released by the Government Communication and Information System (better known as GCIS) on... 

SA Cabinet highlights progress in radio astronomy in the country
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
HartRAO’s 26 m radio telescope

Third Women in Energy conference cohosted at Energy Indaba

     17th February 2017 The yearly Women in Energy conference, organised by the Africa Energy Indaba, will bring together Africa’s leading women in the energy sector for its third iteration on Monday, February 20 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The Africa Energy Indaba was the first energy conference... 

Third Women in Energy conference cohosted at Energy Indaba
DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES The Women in Energy conference is designed to aid the increase in leadership and development of women involved in the African energy sectors

Arc Flash workwear passes international testing

     10th February 2017 Technology solutions to personal protective equipment (PPE) supplier Dromex’s Arc Flash Protera workwear recently passed the Open Air Arc test. The test was performed by life cycle management solutions company Kinectrics, at its Arc test facility in Canada. 

Arc Flash workwear passes international testing
Photo by Bloomberg
HOT STUFF The Arc Flash Protera workwear protects against the thermal hazards of electric arc

Circumventing the challenges of impaired drug tests

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th February 2017 There is a need for testing methods that do not cross-react, especially when employees are HIV positive, says drug and alcohol testing equipment and accessories company Alco-Safe. “. . . people who are HIV positive are not obligated to disclose their HIV status, and rightly so. However, it does... 

Circumventing the challenges of impaired drug tests
INACCURATE TEST RESULTS Antiretroviral medication can affect the outcome of drug tests

New CSIR chief intends building on ‘excellent work’ of predecessors

By: Keith Campbell     10th February 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced its new CEO. He is Dr Thulani Dlamini, a chemist. His previous job was VP: Strategic Research and Technology at petrochemical group Sasol. He has worked at the CSIR before, from 2005 to 2011, when he joined Sasol, initially... 

South African National Space Agency appoints new CEO 

     8th February 2017 The South African National Space Agency has a new Chief Executive Officer. The new CEO of the South African National Space Agency, or SANSA, is Dr Val Munsami. He tells us about the agency’s plans and programmes for this coming year. 

South African National Space Agency appoints new CEO
South African National Space Agency appoints new CEO

Conference aims to foster low carbon economy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd February 2017 With South Africa’s signing of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations twenty-first Conference of the Parties in 2015 requiring it to have met certain greenhouse-gas emission reduction targets from a mitigation and an adaptation point of view by 2020, this year’s Industrial Efficiency... 

Conference aims to foster low carbon economy
TRANSFORMING INDUSTRIES The Industrial Efficiency Conference aims to guide industries in energy, water and waste efficiency

UK outlines 'modern industrial strategy' vision

By: Keith Campbell     3rd February 2017 On January 23, British Prime Minister Theresa May formally unveiled what is officially described as “proposals for a modern Industrial Strategy”. That same day her administration published a 132-page Green Paper entitled “Building Our Industrial Strategy”. (Green Papers are effectively the same... 

CSIR announces its new CEO

By: Keith Campbell     1st February 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) announced its new CEO on Wednesday. He is Dr Thulani Dlamini, a chemist. His previous job was VP: strategic research and technology at petrochemical group Sasol. He has worked at the CSIR before, from 2005 to 2011, when he joined Sasol,... 

Engineering partnership helping to develop cheaper prosthetics

By: Schalk Burger     27th January 2017 A partnership between engineering and technology firms is being leveraged to test the design, suitability and production of affordable prosthetics for Africa using three-dimensional (3D) printing, says 3D design technology firm Solid Edge Technology business development manager Jared de Waal. The... 

Engineering partnership helping to develop cheaper prosthetics
MEAGAN VAN DER MERWE Van der Merwe with her 3D printed left hand, which used an open source design

New Sansa head looking at new opportunities for the agency

By: Keith Campbell     27th January 2017 Newly appointed CEO of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa), Dr Val Munsami, will be actively seeking to identify and exploit potential areas in which to grow the activities and income of the organisation. “Our baseline budget is constrained,” he points out. “We are matching inflation.... 

Open data initiative to boost African R&D and innovation – ASSAf

By: Schalk Burger     27th January 2017 Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor launched the African Open Science Platform initiative in December to promote the development and coordination of data policies, data training and data infrastructure. The Africawide Open Science Platform aims to promote the value – and exploit the... 

Operation Phakisa making strides in ICT in education

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th January 2017 Progress is being made in the implementation of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Education segment of South Africa’s Operation Phakisa, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) said on Friday. Implemented by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in... 

Operation Phakisa making strides in ICT in education

Business use of wellness and performance wearables growing

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2017 The insights generated from wearable and connected devices are expected to enable more effective management of employee wellness and productivity within the next four years, says Deloitte human capital technology and digital learning associate director André Vermeulen. On average worldwide, a... 

Business use of wellness and performance wearables growing
ANDRÉ VERMEULEN Deep analysis of data from many devices and systems will enable companies to identify operational areas that can be improved

IAEA says SA nuclear regulator effective, but warns on control gaps in health

By: Keith Campbell     20th January 2017 South Africa's National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) is in good shape, but the oversight of radiation safety in the country, which is the responsibility of the Directorate of Radiation Control of the Department of Health, could be improved. These were findings of an Integrated Regulatory Review... 

Scientists use high-tech methods to deliver accurate agricultural information

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2017 Scientists at the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) are using high-technology methods to provide accurate information and research for the agricultural sector, such as the use of genomics to significantly and rapidly improve breeding of animals and plants, and using high precision mapping to... 

Scientists use high-tech methods to deliver accurate  agricultural information
STANDARDISED PRECIPITATION INDEX 2010 – 2014 The gradual shift in dry areas can be observed on the 36-month time scale from June 2010 to June 2014

CSIR heeds call for more young people in photonics industry

     16th January 2017 There is a growing need to boost the number of and accelerate progress within tertiary education of young people embarking on a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) senior researcher Dr Sandile Ngcobo says.... 

South African National Space Agency announces its new CEO 

By: Keith Campbell     12th January 2017 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) announced on Thursday that its new CEO is Dr Valanathan Munsami. His appointment took effect on January 3. He has replaced Sansa’s first CEO, Dr Sandile Malinga, who resigned last August after five years in the office. (Potlaki Maine acted as... 

South African National Space Agency announces its new CEO
Photo by South African National Space Agency
Dr Valanathan Munsami

NexOptic prototype lens to go on road show in New Year

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd December 2016 Canadian imaging technology developer NexOptic Technology expects the imminent completion of assembly of the ground breaking Blade Optics lens, planning to take the prototype on a road show from January early in the New Year. “We are indeed very close to completing the project now, with final... 

NexOptic prototype lens to go on road show in New Year
Photo by NexOptic Technologies
A rendering of the Spectrum Optix Telescope

Fast-dissolving sugar to help reduce sugar in chocolate by 40%

By: Schalk Burger     16th December 2016 A new fast-dissolving sugar developed by Swiss food multinational Nestlé will help it to reduce the amount of sugar used in its chocolates by 40% by 2018 without reducing the sweetness of the chocolates, says Nestlé chief technology officer Stefan Catsicas. “Using only natural ingredients,... 

Fast-dissolving sugar to help  reduce sugar in chocolate by 40%
Photo by Duane Daws
SWEET CHOCOLATE Even while much less sugar is used in the chocolate, the tongue perceives an almost identical sweetness to before

South Africa’s National Nuclear Regulator hosts international nuclear mission

By: Keith Campbell     16th December 2016 An Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited South Africa from December 5 to December 15. The purpose of the IRRS mission was to examine South Africa’s nuclear regulatory system and compare it with the IAEA’s safety standards and... 

Umkhonto missile export programme now in its final stages

By: Keith Campbell     16th December 2016 South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced at the end of last month that extensive testing of the Denel Dynamics Umkhonto (“Spear”, in English) naval surface-to-air missile, for an export customer, would take place early next year. The Umkhonto forms part of the armament... 

Open data initiative to boost African research, development and innovation – ASSAf

By: Schalk Burger     9th December 2016 Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor on Friday launched an Africa-wide initiative to promote the development and coordination of data policies, data training and data infrastructure. The African Open Science Platform aims to promote the value – and exploit the potential – of open data... 

South African Nuclear Energy Corporation CEO reappointed for three more years

By: Keith Campbell     9th December 2016 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) announced on Friday that its CEO, Phumzile Tshelane, has had his contract extended for another three years. The decision was taken by the Cabinet. The reappointment of Tshelane was recommended by the Necsa Board, which was appointed in March.... 

South African Nuclear Energy Corporation CEO reappointed for three more years
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Necsa CEO Phumzile Tshelane
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