Engineering students excel at SU Hackathon

[Article: Kyra van Rensburg, MatieMedia and Nane Zietsman]

Stellenbosch University’s (SU) annual hackathon recently took place for the third year since it started in 2019, but this year it has a new set of facilitators.

SU LaunchLab, in partnership with the SU Department of Industrial Engineering, were the facilitators for the 2021 hackathon, which ran from 15 to 17 October.

According to Dr Stephan Nel, a lecturer in the Department of Industrial Engineering, all registered SU students were qualified to participate in the 2021 hackathon. Teams of three to five students took part. A total of 120 people, of which 103 were students and 17 were mentors and judges, participated in the online-only event.

The Faculty of Engineering would like to congratulate our undergraduate and postgraduate student teams that participated in the annual SU Hackathon.

From the Department of Industrial Engineering, the dynamic duo Phillip Christian Malan and Ryno Kleinhans were placed second while Jacobus Jacobs and Jacobus King proudly claimed third place. Both these teams competed in the Capitec Data Science challenge. Postgraduate students Nicolas Bunn, Daniel van Niekerk, and David Biggs, from the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, showcased their skills in the Fintech challenge and were placed second overall.

The hackathon is intended to bridge the gap between academia and the data science and software-engineering industries, by providing students with the opportunity to solve business challenges for a cash prize. These challenges are put forward by the companies that sponsor the event. Capitec [data science] and Entersekt [financial technology] introduced this year’s challenges.

We are proud of our students who took on these challenges and look forward to seeing what next year’s Hackathon will bring!

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Photograph: (from left to right) Daniel Maloba from LaunchLab, Dr Stephan Nel from the  Department of Industrial Engineering, and Megan Gannon, the production manager at De Plate Kompanjie, were the local organising committee for the 2021 SU hackathon.