01 November 2017

SAIChE-IChemE KZN Research Day 2017


The South African Institution of Chemical Engineers KwaZulu-Natal branch hosted their annual Research Day on the 30th of August 2017 at the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Engineering building. Six researchers from local universities and universities of technology participated in the event, delivering talks on waste resource valorization, energy recovery and management, prediction of phase equilibria and cogeneration. The participants also presented posters on their topics during a mid-programme poster session and refreshment break. This year, five of the six presenters were women researchers.

The overall winner was Grace Kakonke, a researcher at the CSIR Forestry and Forest Products Research Centre. Her presentation was entitled “Valorisation of chicken feathers: Needle punched superabsorbent nonwoven fabric for diaper production”. Her talk stimulated a good discussion amongst the attendees and was very well received.

In second place was Dakalo Ndou, also from the CSIR, who presented work on the transfer hydrogenation of acetophenone using copper complexes, a study that she undertook at the University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg.

Matthew Lasich, a researcher and lecturer from the Mangosuthu University of Technology, came third overall for his work on the prediction of gas hydrate equilibria.

The judges for the half-day event, Dr Suren Moodley and Dr Babatunde Bakare, were impressed with all the participants and scored them highly in both the oral and poster presentations. Prof Anne Stark, SMRI Sugarcane Biorefinery Research Chair at UKZN and chair for the event, thanked all attendees for supporting this edition of the Research Day and said she was encouraged by the showing of women researchers in the list of participants.

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IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).