Report any gender-based violence related incidents to the following numbers | 021 959 6550 | 021 959 6301 | 060 980 0286

Graduation: Faculties of Business and Management Sciences Official start: December 10 @ 9:00 am. Duration: 2h 30m

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Light years ahead

FIRE ON ALL CYLINDERS: First Year Chemical Engineering Design Competition runner up successfully converted used cooking oil to biodiesel and achieved a 100% conversion. FIRE ON ALL CYLINDERS: First Year Chemical Engineering Design Competition runner up successfully converted used cooking oil to biodiesel and achieved a 100% conversion.

The ushering of first-year Chemical Engineering students into university learning has evolved significantly and culminated in major developments in student academic performance when four top teams recently competed in a thrilling final of the department’s design competition.

The department’s First-Year Level Coordinator, Ayesha Reiners, said the students had been conducting an integrated project since February as part of a teaching and learning strategy to develop graduate attributes. “The topics in the project were carefully selected to address real life problems often confronted by chemical engineers in the industry,” Reiners said.

She added that the topics were designed around themes such as waste management, renewable energy, electrochemistry, water purification, Ion separation and biofuel synthesis.

The grand finale was in the form of high competitive exhibitions. The winning team developed a novel method of extracting lead from an aqueous solution onto a bio-sorbent. The team managed to extract more than 95% lead from a synthetic solution. The runner up successfully converted used cooking oil to biodiesel achieving a 100% conversion.

Student Namhla Siboya said the ground-breaking project managed to combine both education and fun into an instinctive and positively refreshing learning experience. “We had great tutors and mentors who constantly pushed us to do our best,” said Namhla.

Retired CPUT Chemical Engineering Lecturer, Bruce Hendry, was one of the adjudicators. Hendry said he had an exciting experience with the students and was impressed with their projects. “I was also impressed by the preparations behind projects,” he said.

Reiners added that the project runs throughout the year and is embedded in most subjects. The students work in teams with lecturers mentoring them. Students report back regularly in a collaborative seminar. They are given feedback during the seminars but are encouraged to work independently. “This is to inculcate a culture of independent learning, problem solving, team work and engineering design amongst other attributes,” she concluded.

 

Written by Aphiwe Boyce