Autumn Graduation
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Recognised for being innovative, Professor Ian Lazarus, Manager of the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Energy Technology Station called the Industrial Energy Efficient Training & Resource (IEETR) Centre was recently nominated in the category for the Innovation Award: Corporate Organisation in the 2021/2022 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) South32 Awards.

“I am honoured to have been nominated and to be a finalist for the Innovation Award, and more significantly excited that the value of work done by the IEETR Team towards a sustainable environment for our community, has been recognised,” said Prof Lazarus.

According to Prof Lazarus, the nomination falls within the category of innovation, research and development by an individual or team in a corporate organisation. Prof Lazarus explained that the IEETR Centre has invested its growth and research and development in innovative projects, its output which is vested in community development and growth through sustainable energy. Prof Lazarus’s nomination acknowledges the merit of these innovative projects and its potential benefit towards community upliftment.

He extended his appreciation to Prof Keolebogile Motaung, Director: Technology, Transfer and Innovation at DUT for nominating him for this award. Prof Lazarus shared that Prof Motaung has provided support and recognised the innovative projects generated by the team within the Energy field that has contributed to the advancement of science and technology from an academic institution working in partnership with the private and industrial sectors.

“The nomination was based on the research and development of our solar electric boat called ‘SiyaHamba’. The unique innovation is in its carbon fibre material composition which provides a lightweight and aerodynamic watercraft. Its streamlined design provides an efficient propulsion through the water which is ideal for boating purposes. The boat will participate in the prestigious annual Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge and due to its innovative design, was selected as one of 15 out of about 120 entries. The research and development of this project offers the university numerous marketing and branding opportunities locally and internationally. This annual event has provided DUT the opportunity to be the first team from Africa to compete in this prestigious event,” explained Prof Lazarus.

His research area is focused on sustainable energy, with solar energy, energy efficiency, energy management systems, bio-gasification and building energy embedded within the research that he develops and leads.

“The aim of my research is to generate new knowledge in the energy field, creating a positive impact on society. Impact research is vital as it creates the avenue to improve the quality of life of our community, addressing socio-economic challenges and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” added Prof Lazarus.

Highlighting the people who have helped him with this innovation, he acknowledged the excellent contributions of Mr Eugene Zeelie, Mr Daanish Meeran and Mr Devesh Bansiparsadh for making this innovative project a reality. He said their commitment towards the development of ‘SiyaHamba’ solar electric boat cannot the underestimated and he is proud to be part of the team.

“This innovation addresses the vision and strategic objectives of DUT, viz: creating an engaged, innovative, entrepreneurial & sustainable university that greatly benefits our community. As part of the broader ENVISION2030 Strategic Plan our aim is to provide an important contribution through our renewable energy research projects, specifically addressing the sustainable development goals 7 and 13, which is Affordable & Clean Energy and Climate Action,” noted Prof Lazarus.

The ecstatic Prof Lazarus is looking forward to the NSTF-South32 Awards Gala Dinner which will take place at the Houghton Hotel in Johannesburg on 21 July 2022, where the winners in their respective categories will be announced.

Pictured: Prof Ian Lazarus.

Simangele Zuma

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