University of South Africa

06/20/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/20/2019 01:14

Unisa at the forefront of green and sustainable technology

Professors Veeredhi Vasudeva Rao, Fulufhelo Nemavhola and Kemlall Ramdass visited the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in Vellore, India, from 27 to 29 May 2019 on behalf of Unisa, the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET), and the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Premier multidisciplinary platform in green technology

The objective of the meeting was to discuss a collaborative conference, the International Conference on Advances in Renewable Energy and Green Technologies (ICARE) 2019, to be held from 24 to 26 August in 2019. Discussions were held with the organiser of the conference, Dr Senthil Kumar; founder and Chancellor, Dr Govindasamy Viswanathan; Vice-President, Dr Sekar Viswanathan; Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof S Narayanan; and Vice-Chancellor, Anand Samuel.

The conference aims to bring together academia, manufacturers, engineers and customers from all over the world to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities faced by the energy sector in the wake of dwindling natural sources and increasing concern over climate change. It provides a premier multidisciplinary platform for stakeholders to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends and concerns, as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted towards the development of green and sustainable technology in the areas of solar, wind and biotechnology.

As a co-organiser of the conference, Unisa is provided with an international platform. The university will gain as a major stakeholder and colleagues will be exposed to research and state-of-the-art equipment with the collaborating institutions.

Exchange of students and faculty and joint research projects

While the primary objective was to visit VIT, the team called in on Vel Tech University as well. Unisa is in the process of concluding memoranda of understanding (MoU) with these two institutions.

VIT and Vel Tech were established with the aim of providing quality higher education on par with international standards. The global standards set by the universities in the field of teaching and research spur them on in their relentless pursuit of excellence.

The MoUs will provide opportunities for an exchange of students and faculty, and encourage joint research projects for the mutual benefit of the signatories.

During discussions, the team achieved a draft memo of understanding on various aspects.

Aims and form of co-operation

  • Exchange of students: Organisation of study visits and training, participation in bachelor, master's and doctoral courses, recognition of academic credits, guidance and supervision of student theses and project works. Towards this purpose, a few scholarships to meet their living expenses partly or wholly may be made available from both sides.
  • Exchange of faculty: Planning and handling of academic programmes and courses, organisation of seminars, workshops and conferences, including the exchange of mutual experiences in teaching, research and industrial practice.
  • Exchange in research: Joint programmes in research and development, including the exchange of publications and reports.
  • Twinning programmes: Explore possibilities of joint twinning programmes in interdisciplinary areas of specialisation of high relevance to both institutions.
  • Centres of excellence: Creation of centres of excellence in specialised fields of mutual interest in science, engineering and technology.
  • Faculty and student exchange.
  • Joint conference.
  • Joint research and publications.

Immediate areas of cooperation

Discussions were held on select projects of mutual benefit, such as BRICS application for funding, organisation of international conferences (annual/bi-annual), and extending research facilities to staff and students.

* By Kemlall Ramdass, Associate Chair of Department: External Affairs, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering