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VUT scoops bronze award at Rand Show

A bumper year was expected at this year's Rand Show and preparation began in earnest long before the event. Everyone involved worked tirelessly to help put the Vaal University of Technology on the map. Their hard work was rewarded with a bronze award in the category of Science and Edutainment.

The Vaal University of Technology and VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park exhibited together again and showcased some of their best designs, which captured a lot of attention.

The exhibition, which was held at Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nascrec, from 14-23 April, explored the themes: Design Pavilion, Science and Technology, the Feel Good, Out and About, and Showcase SA.

VUT featured in the Science and Technology hall and had people of all ages intrigued with its interactive activities. Passersby said they could not believe how much science has evolved.

The exhibition was successfully managed by staff members and students from the Departments of Metallurgical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT). VUT Enactus and Additive Manufacturing staff from Science Park also assisted.

Ike Sikakana: HOD in Physics and NDT from the faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences, said he was very happy with how the exhibition turned out and is proud of everyone who made the event a success.

Enactus VUT is a team that invests in each other and in the lives of the people whom their work is intended to serve. It aims to impact lives by advancing the quality of life and standard of living of all communities using entrepreneurial actions and skills. The students from Enactus displayed their products and projects and managed to garner a lot of interest, with potential clients and investors coming to the fore. The students represented the institution proudly and showed confidence when engaging visitors, telling them more about the capabilities of their projects.

Projects included the hydro-farms, where a small-scale hydroponic system was made; the genesis, which was about the farm commercialisation application; and bantu-bonke, which is a farm situated in Three Rivers, Vaal, and uses a large-scale hydroponic system. The students produce cucumbers, tomatoes and spinach from this farm and sell them to make profit.

On behalf of the Science Park, the Design Department, Idea to Product Lab and Additive Manufacturing members all provided knowledge of 3-D printing and its benefits to the country.

"We provide product design services to clients who would like to get their ideas transformed into physical products, and being here interacting with them live is such a privilege," said Thando Nxelewa: Industrial Designer at VUT Science Park.

VUT is proud to have done well this year and looks forward to a gold medal next year!