Towards a Sustainable Future

14 May 2018 - 12:45

The 2018 EBE postgraduate student council hosted the fifth EBE Research Expo which not only showcased the work that is being done in the Faculty but also provided a platform for collaboration and networking.


The theme of the expo was ‘Towards a sustainable society.’  The chair of the EBE postgraduate student council, Bonolo Skee, said, “Inequality, population growth, limited resources, degraded and degrading ecosystems and questionable leadership are but a few of the complexities which threaten our ability to sustain ourselves, for nature to sustain itself and for nature to sustain us. Thus, it has become increasingly important that we, as researchers and influencers of the future, think of ways to move towards a sustainable future.”

Professor Phakeng, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation, shared her dream of what UCT will look like in 2030. She told the audience that we should be unapologetically African. That we are African, and we do work that is relevant for Africa but also impacts globally. She said it is time to make the world sit up and take us seriously as Africans.

The guest speaker, Mr Abbas Jamie, Director, Innovation and Transformation at Aurecon, spoke on the importance of research to industry. He posed the questions of what will research look like in the future and with the technology disruption, what should we be doing as EBE. Jamie said, “We need to think differently. Technical people will need to think more systemically and use design thinking to put the human in the centre. Engineers will need to put themselves in the shoes of the end users before designing something. They will need to become a more rounded engineer who can think systemically in order to produce a sustainable future. We need to create solutions that are the best in the world with an African focus. Engineers will need to be creative, to have the ability to think out of the box and engage with people who think differently.”

34 postgraduate students exhibited their posters which were judged by a panel of judges. The winner of the best poster exhibited was Carol Ngwenya whose research title was ‘Waste to energy: Confectionery waste as a substrate for renewable energy production.’ Carol is registered for her MSc in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and her supervisors are Dr M Smart and Professor Sue Harrison. There were also Departmental awards which were awarded to the best poster in each department. The winners were: Carol Ngwenya (Chemical Engineering), Kirsten Moses (Architecture), Suzanne Lambert (Civil Engineering), Zwivhuya Ramudzuli (Electrical Engineering), Clare Lawrence (Mechanical Engineering), and Alireza Moghayedi (Construction, Economics and Management).

For more information on the posters exhibited, read the 2018 EBE Postgraduate Research Expo booklet