Academics and industry representatives joined forces at the annual Stellenbosch University (SU) Engineering Industry Showcase, which took place at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton on Friday, 26 May 2023. All the academic departments, namely Civil, Electrical & Electronic, Industrial, Mechanical & Mechatronic, and Chemical Engineering, were represented.
In his welcoming address, Prof Wikus van Niekerk, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said the faculty is “a well-resourced Faculty with excellent staff and students dedicated to contributing toward the development of our economy and improving the quality of life of all South Africa’s citizens”. He provided an insightful overview of the faculty and the University before the sessions kicked off.
The programme for the day comprised a series of presentations by researchers, divided into six sessions: Energy, Automation and the Interconnected World, Transportation, Manufacturing and Materials, Environmental Impact of Engineering, and Application of Machine Learning for Improved Industrial Processes. Some of the presentations included topical research such as Electrical Mobility in the Shadow of Loadshedding by Prof Thinus Booysen, New Technologies for Wind Energy by Dr Nkosinathi Gule, and Innovation for Inclusive Development by Prof Sara Grobbelaar.
Some other innovative research fields explored were Building Affordable Housing using 3D Concrete Printing by Dr Jacques Kruger, Waste Valorisation for a Circular Economy by Zwonaka Mapholi, as well as Human-system Integration in I4.0 Environments by Dr Karel Kruger.
The South African engineering industry was well represented by attendees from various organisations and entities, including Gibela Rail Transport Consortium, Sasol, Rand Water, Exxaro and I&J, to name a few.
Positive feedback was received, with attendees naming the networking opportunities and engaging with presenters as highlights and the day ended on a high note with a networking cocktail event, where Prof Celeste Viljoen, Vice-Dean: Teaching & Quality in the Faculty, welcomed attendees that included alumni of the faculty.
The Engineering Industry Showcase in Gauteng served as an exceptional platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration between academia and industry, further bolstering progress and innovation within the engineering sector.
Click here for a complete list of research presented and electronic copies of the presentations.