SA makes engineering prize shortlist

By Drum Digital
01 October 2014

Two South Africans have been shortlisted for an engineering prize that recognises innovation in Africa.

Two South Africans have been shortlisted for an engineering prize that recognises innovation in Africa, the United Kingdom's Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) said on Wednesday. Ernst Pretorius was recognised for his fence security alarm system called the Draadsitter (fence sitter). The device uses sensors to detect tampering along a fence for up to 800m. It then warns property owners of the exact location and nature of the tampering. The sensors are also able to detect fire.

Dr Reinhardt Kotze, of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, was recognised for an industrial fluid system called Flow-Viz. The system improves quality control of fluids in an industrial operation.

A sensor unit and software allows continuous real-time monitoring of fluids on a production line, which avoids having to do so in a quality control laboratory.

Twelve entrants had been shortlisted for the Africa Prize for Engineering innovation, which recognises all disciplines within the field.

The shortlisted candidates will receive six months of training and mentoring from business and engineering experts. They will then need to submit a revised and comprehensive business plan for their innovation.

Three finalists will present their work to a judging panel next May.

The winner will receive UK25,000 (around R455,000) and two runners-up UK10,000 each (around R182,000).

Judging panel chair and RAE fellow Malcolm Brinded said engineering was crucial to social and economic development.

-SAPA

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