Change the world

School of Engineering


NMMU took part in the inaugural “Innovation Bridge” hosted and arranged by the Department of Science and Technology in February 2015 in Pretoria. A ‘technology matchmaking showcase’, the event aimed at creating links between technology developers such as universities and science councils, and investors. The programme included technology exhibitions and demonstrations, policy dialogues and plenary discussions, training sessions and one-on-one meeting opportunities.

NMMU, represented by Innovation Office staff, exhibited a number of market-ready or near-market-ready technologies, including:

Advanced Circuit Design (Prof Farouk Smith): Circuit design solutions for detecting and mitigating single event upsets in digital circuits.

Hot Rock™ (Prof Russell Phillips): A low-risk and cost-effective system for the collection, storage and generation of energy at a small scale.

Microalgae to Energy (Prof Ben Zeelie/InnoVenton): The cultivation of microalgae for the beneficiation of coal fines and further processing to energy products.

PVInsight (Prof Ernest van Dyk): A laboratory for the performance testing of photovoltaic modules.

Segmented Turbine (Prof Russell Phillips): A segmented wind turbine for small-scale applications capable of improved energy yield.

Weldcore® (Prof Danie Hattingh/eNtsa): Non-destructive sampling to determine the remaining lifespan of plant infrastructure subject to stress.

NMMU had a good presence in the media, with Jaci Barnett discussing the Microalgae to Energy project on Morning LIVE and Mary-Ann Chetty discussing the SunWheel™ Planter, a University of Fort Hare innovation, on SAfm. NMMU also assisted the University of Fort Hare by exhibiting a prototype of their SunWheel™ Planter.

Three exhibition awards and three innovation awards were given out, with NMMU winning an innovation award (and a cash prize of R100,000) for the Microalgae to Energy project, in the category of “innovation most likely to impact public procurement.”