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TUT and SARAO Explore Potential Collaboration

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TUT and SARAO Explore Potential Collaboration

TUT and SARAO Explore Potential Collaboration. The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory recently visited the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) to discuss possible collaborations and funding opportunities.

Faculty members from ICT, Science, Engineering and the Built Environment hosted the delegation along with Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement, Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka. 

TUT and SARAO Explore Potential Collaboration

SARAO provides support to students in pursuing their academic, career, and research interests and identifies potential areas of mutual interest. As a result, the SARAO visit to TUT represents an important step toward cultivating academic-research collaboration.

“We are honoured by the visit of SARAO and look forward to the prospects of collaboration that will help us produce future-ready graduates with the ability to make a positive impact on society,” Papu-Zamxaka said.

There were tours, discussions, and presentations by the faculty members on the agenda for the day. During the conversation, the parties discussed ways in which they could jointly advance knowledge and innovation.

During the first stop, we visited the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI). The F’SATI team demonstrated innovative projects in robotics, artificial intelligence, and assistive health devices that were being developed by Prof Anish Kurien, Prof Nico Steyn, and their students.

Aside from highlighting their research capabilities and programmes, they also highlighted their strengths.

We stopped at the ICT faculty’s lab of Prof Pius Owolawi, the 4IR Research Chair Holder for the Soshanguve South Campus. Their presentation included research projects and innovative equipment, including a drone that was flown.

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After the visit, students and SARAO executives engaged in robust discussions, with the executives being blown away by the students’ knowledge and quality.

Last but not least, we visited Ditsela Place in Hatfield, where Prof Khumbulani Mpofu leads the Gibela Research Chair helping to resolve manufacturing value chain challenges. In his presentation, Martin Manmohan, project leader for RMCERI incubator, provided an overview of their work, emphasizing that the incubator was founded to help universities develop intellectual property.

One of the many entrepreneurship advances was the XR-lab, a virtual reality start-up that is on the cutting edge of virtualizing learning environments for reducing capital laboratory setup costs. The team pointed out that this involves improving the simulation of scenarios for learners and industry manufacturers.

We highlighted such cases during the tour to demonstrate how the University is interested in collaborating with SARAO from a business standpoint.

In addition to VR development, visitors expressed interest in the applications developed at Spiral 8, as well as additive manufacturing capabilities related to fabricated parts and computer aided design.

It was also interesting to learn about the development of technologically based enterprise and cooperatives, which are critical to a thriving economy.

SARAO may explore possibilities for collaborating with the different faculties and environments on research, funding, and innovation initiatives due to the presentations delivered by the different faculties and environments.

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