Engineering design competition winners

December 4th, 2013, Published in Articles: Vector

The Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s (CPUT’s) entry in the 2013 PneuDrive Challenge Engineering Design Competition, “Waste granite to cobblestone machine”, was named the winner by a panel of specialists from various business and engineering fileds. The runners-up were Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) with the “Dust buster” and the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) with “Tailings dam water solar still”.

Initiated in 2008 and sponsored by SEW-Eurodrive and Pneumax, this annual student engineering competition acknowledges the need for business to commit to initiatives which can allow students to demonstrate their academic knowledge on a practical business level.

CPUT students Christian Mpiana and Gareth Hardman submitted a design which proposes the rehabilitation of abandoned granite mines by turning surplus granite blocks into usable cobblestones.

TUT’s Alexander Jansen van Vuuren, Francois van Dyk, Myron van Staden and Daniel Posthumus, in second place by only three judge points, won the Innovation Prize for their concept, which uses low-frequency sound waves, extraction fans and wireless systems to address the problem of removing dust in mining environments.

Gregory Behrens, Travis Bennett, Paul Hon, and Thomas Wyszkowski-Korwin from WITS submitted a design concept addressing water losses in tailings dams. Their automated solar  design showed how water can be captured on tailings dams and then fed back to the mining operation for re-use.

“Dust emission filtration system”, a second entry from WITS, received a prize sponsored by Autodesk for the best use of its design technology.

The winners received a ten-day trip to Germany and Italy where they will be hosted at the sponsor companies’ respective head offices. The winning university received R100 000 worth of products from SEW-Eurodrive and Pneumax and each participating university received products to the value of R40 000 for completing the competition.

Contact René Rose, SEW Eurodrive, Tel 011 248-7000,

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