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Science Engineering Technology

South Africa needs to look closer at how innovation can benefit everyone – Pandor

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st February 2018 Amid unprecedented global technological change, South African stakeholders need to ask how the opportunities presented can be leveraged to deal with the nation’s own unique and complex challenges. As deliberations on technology and innovation continue, the question of how the opportunity can be... 

Airbus’ new long-range narrow-body airliner makes first flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2018 The latest model in Europe-based aerospace group Airbus’ single-aisle airliner family, the A321LR, made its maiden flight from Hamburg in Germany on Wednesday. The aircraft is MSN7877 and is a long range version of the A321neo (new engine option), hence the suffix “LR”. It is powered by CFM... 

Airbus’ new long-range narrow-body airliner makes first flight
Photo by Airbus
The A321LR takes off from Hamburg on its maiden flight

Oldest human remains outside Africa found in Israeli cave

By: Reuters     26th January 2018 A partial jawbone bearing seven teeth unearthed in a cave in Israel represents what scientists are calling the oldest-known Homo sapiens remains outside Africa, showing that our species trekked out of that continent far earlier than previously known. Researchers on Thursday announced the... 

Rosatom competition winners tour nuclear facility

By: Nadine James     26th January 2018 Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom’s African subsidiary Rosatom Africa sponsored an all expenses paid trip to Russia for winners of the yearly student competition, held for the third time last year. The students visited the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (NPP), as well as its training... 

Rosatom competition winners tour nuclear facility
RED SQUARE The prize comprised of a site visit to a Nuclear Power Plant and a cultural tour of Moscow, including Red Square and the Museum of Cosmonautics

Wits University launches technology innovation programme

By: African News Agency      22nd January 2018 Wits Univesity says it has launched a digital innovation programme to help local technology start-ups grow. The project, part of local firms BCX and Telkom's innovation programme, is targeted towards digital business working in fields like agriculture, smart cities, safety and security, education... 

Toothpaste ingredient could fight malaria, research shows

By: Reuters     19th January 2018 Research carried out in part by an artificially-intelligent (AI) ‘robot scientist’ has found that a common ingredient of toothpaste could be developed to fight drug-resistant strains of malaria. In a study in the journal Scientific Reports, scientists from Britain’s Cambridge University who used... 

Wits unveils oldest hominid fossil

By: Schalk Burger     19th January 2018 The oldest and most complete fossil of an Australopithecus prometheus, named Little Foot owing to the 1994 discovery of four small foot bones by University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Evolutionary Studies Institute Professor Ron Clarke, in the Sterkfontein caves, was unveiled in December. The... 

Wits unveils oldest hominid fossil
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand
CLARKE AND LITTLE FOOT The Little Foot fossil is the oldest and most complete known fossil of Australopithecus

UK announces further funding for small modular nuclear reactor programme

By: Keith Campbell     19th January 2018 The British government last month announced the next phase in its programme of funding the development of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), which forms part of a larger programme to develop the nuclear technology and energy sector in the UK. This phase will see Westminster awarding up to... 

Top UK group, varsity unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th January 2018 British aerospace, defence, security and shipbuilding group BAE Systems and the University of Manchester unveiled their joint Magma experimental jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme in the middle of last month. They announced that the Magma had successfully completed its first... 

National nanotechnology centre developing prototypes, commercialising technologies

By: Keith Campbell     19th January 2018 The National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research plans to commission its third pilot plant during the course of this year (2018). The centre’s current two pilot plants were both brought into operation in the middle of 2016. One of... 

De Beers turns to blockchain to track diamond origins and purity

By: Reuters     16th January 2018 Anglo American's diamond unit De Beers aims to launch the first industry-wide blockchain this year to track gems each time they change hands starting from the moment they are dug from the ground, its chief executive said on Tuesday. De Beers, the world's biggest diamond producer by the value of... 

De Beers turns to blockchain to track diamond origins and purity
De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver

UJ researchers seek origin of stone that casts questions over solar system’s formation

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th January 2018 Researchers are still seeking answers to the origin of a small pebble found in south-west Egypt in 1996 after a 2013 analysis sparked “significant questions” on a widely held view about the primitive pre-solar dust cloud from which the Sun, Earth and other planets were formed. A 2013 study... 

UJ researchers seek origin of stone that casts questions over solar system’s formation

Dell to recycle gold from e-waste for use in new motherboards, jewellery

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     11th January 2018 Technology company Dell is piloting a project to recover gold from used electronics for use in new computer motherboards and jewellery. Dell has partnered with Wistron GreenTech, which uses an environmentally responsible extraction process to break the used electronics down into individual... 

Dell to recycle gold from e-waste for use in new motherboards, jewellery

Personal devices soon to become more intuitive, Gartner predicts

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th January 2018 As artificial intelligence (AI) development continues on a path of exponential growth, a new research report by Gartner indicates that, by 2022, personal devices will know more about an individual's emotional state “than his or her own family”. The ‘Predicts 2018: personal devices’ report notes... 

IEB achieves 98.76% matric pass rate

By: African News Agency      3rd January 2018 The Independent Examination Board (IEB) has announced an increase in the pass rate in last year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric examinations to 98.76%, from 98.67% in 2016. There were 11 464 full-time and 666 part-time candidates across South Africa. This is also an increase from 2016... 

IEB achieves 98.76% matric pass rate

Local pharma firm targets cost drivers to ensure competitiveness

By: Keith Campbell     15th December 2017 Cost-competitiveness is the key element in the market strategy of local pharmaceuticals company CPT Pharma (CPT standing for Chemical Process Technologies). The company opened its R50-million generic active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) pilot plant in Pretoria in early November. This is a joint... 

Mobile lab for polymer powders launched

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 Munich-based chemical company Wacker launched a mobile containerised laboratory – MyLab – together with their long-term distributor IMCD in Randburg at the end of November.  

Mobile lab for polymer powders launched
MYLAB LAUNCH Wacker’s MyLab officially opened at its new South African home at IMCD

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 The regulations and laws governing access to South African air space for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are sound and among the “best in the world”, according to Edenvale-based commercial drone operator Visual Air Productions director Stephen Verheul.  

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

Data analytics trends spill over into energy sector 

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th December 2017 The vision of a low-carbon future allied with advances in the information technology sector are set to become game changers that will shift the future energy landscape as technology gives rise to peripheral industries and cross-sector transformations. The future of energy generation is embedded... 

UK group and top university unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th December 2017 British aerospace, defence, security and shipbuilding group BAE Systems and the University of Manchester unveiled on Wednesday their joint Magma experimental jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme. They announced that the Magma had successfully completed its first phase of flight... 

UK group and top university unveil radical flight control technology demonstrator UAV
Photo by BAE Systems
The Magma UAV. Chairs just visible in the background give a rough idea of scale

Ballistic firearms ‘fingerprinting’ futile, wasteful – SA Hunters

By: Dylan Slater     8th December 2017 Recent proposals by the South African Police Service (Saps) to establish a national “ballistic fingerprint” database of legally owned firearms in South Africa and for this database to be used as a forensic tool in criminal investigations is a largely futile and wasteful exercise in Saps’... 

CSIR nanotechnology centre: foundations laid, future challenging

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2017 A key success of the National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM), a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been its role in developing skilled researchers. This was highlighted by NCNSM Director... 

CSIR national nanomaterials centre celebrates decade of achievement

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2017 The National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, having being launched in 2007. It was set up to help implement the National Nanotechnology Strategy. Nanotechnology is concerned with... 

Small business agency in venture to incubate tech hardware startups

By: Schalk Burger     8th December 2017 The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), under the Department of Small Business Development, is leveraging the capabilities of hardware technology investor and incubator Savant Technologies to help science and technology inventors start businesses. The partnership was launched at the... 

European technology groups cooperating on electric propulsion for airliners

By: Keith Campbell     8th December 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus, British high performance power systems company Roll-Royce and German engineering and technology business Siemens have partnered to develop a hybrid-electric propulsion system for commercial aircraft which will be test flown in the near term, the three enterprises... 

Oldest hominid fossil ‘Little Foot’ unveiled – Wits

By: Schalk Burger     7th December 2017 The oldest and most complete fossil of an Australopithecus prometheus, named Little Foot owing to the 1994 discovery of four small foot bones in the Sterkfontein caves by University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Evolutionary Studies Institute Professor Ron Clarke, was unveiled on Wednesday. The... 

Oldest hominid fossil ‘Little Foot’ unveiled – Wits
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand
CLARKE AND LITTLE FOOT The Little Foot fossil is the oldest and most complete known fossil of Australopithecus

The economy must develop young scientists – Ramaphosa  

By: Sane Dhlamini     7th December 2017 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address at the third Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) on Thursday in Pretoria and stressed the importance of using the economy to develop young scientists. The SFSA was being held under the theme ‘Igniting Conversations About Science’. 

The economy must develop young scientists – Ramaphosa
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Science holds answers to Africa's ills – Pandor  

By: African News Agency      7th December 2017 The third Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) kicked off in Pretoria on Thursday, with Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor saying groundbreaking scientific innovations were changing the African continent. "This forum will cover a broad range of topical issues with regards to the role of... 

 Science holds answers to Africa's ills – Pandor
Science & Technology Minister Naledi Pandor

Ocean science key to supporting sustainable ocean health

By: Anine Kilian     6th December 2017 Studying and understanding ocean science is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations (UN) and to sustain the health of the world’s oceans, according to Department of Environmental Affairs oceans research director Ashley Johnson, who unpacked the key... 

Ocean science key to supporting sustainable ocean health
Department of Environmental Affairs oceans research director Ashley Johnson

DTI, EU negotiating new tariff deal for electric vehicles, small cars

By: Irma Venter     6th December 2017 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is negotiating with the European Union (EU) to reduce import tariffs on electric vehicles (EVs) down from 25% to 18%. In return, South Africa would like to increase the import duties on vehicles with an engine size smaller than 1 000 cc to 18%, said DTI... 

DTI, EU negotiating new tariff deal for electric vehicles, small cars

Second Norway-South Africa Science Week to stimulate oceans science and economy 

By: Schalk Burger     1st December 2017 The second Norway-South Africa Science Week will provide a platform for scientists, researchers, civil servants and business people from both countries to share best practices and policies to promote the sustainable use of ocean resources. Norwegian ambassador to South Africa, Botswana,... 

Second Norway-South Africa Science Week to stimulate oceans science and economy
Norway Ambassador to South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar and Nambiia Trine Skymoen discusses the upcoming Norway-South Africa science week. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Engineer to unveil new industry technology

1st December 2017 High-pressure equipment and technology manufacturer Haskel has revealed that its product engineer Poova Mahmoudian will be unveiling new industry technology, as part of a collaborative technology and research alliance with the US Army. The technology is said to dramatically impact those... 

Engineer to unveil new  industry technology
NEW TECHNOLOGY Haskel engineers will explain solutions to mitigate hydrogen embrittlement in pressure vessels at the annual Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Energy Summit in 2018

Necsa shuts down key unit because of compliance failure 

By: Keith Campbell     1st December 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has executed an immediate shut down of its NTP Radiochemical Facility, because of non-compliance with licensing conditions. NTP produces radioisotopes for both industrial and an especially medical purposes, and many cancer and other patients in... 

Nasa outlines the developments to watch in civil aeronautics

By: Keith Campbell     1st December 2017 The global aviation industry continues to be a rapidly growing sector, far from reaching maturity. This was stressed at the recent International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) open session at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) International Convention Centre (ICC) in... 

Nasa outlines the developments to watch in civil aeronautics

FLSmidth launches new, modular Reflux Classifier plant 

30th November 2017 Minerals and cement industry equipment and services supplier FLSmidth has officially launched its modular Reflux Classifier plant, which is suitable for fines gravity separation applications. Mia Breytenbach has the details. 

FLSmidth launches new, modular Reflux Classifier plant
FLSmidth launches new, modular Reflux Classifier plant

Big development push for electric propulsion for airliners by European groups

By: Keith Campbell     29th November 2017 European aerospace giant Airbus, British high performance power systems company Roll-Royce and German engineering and technology business Siemens have partnered to develop a hybrid-electric propulsion system for commercial aircraft. This is intended to be test flown in the near term, the three... 

Big development push for electric propulsion for airliners by European groups
Photo by Airbus
An artist’s impression of the flight demonstrator aircraft; the electric motor is the inner engine

CSIR nanotechnology centre: foundations laid, future challenging

By: Keith Campbell     27th November 2017 A key success of the National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM), a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been its role in developing skilled researchers. This was highlighted on Monday by... 

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