UJ conference boosts African high-tech manufacturing

Minerals available in Africa should become the raw materials in a flourishing African high-technology manufacturing industry, says Prof Tien-Chien Jen from the University of Johannesburg (UJ). When this happens, mining and materials processing will become more sustainable across the continent, boosting economies even after mineral deposits have been depleted, he says.

Prof Jen is from the Department of Mechanical Engineering Science within the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at UJ. He is co-director of the NanjingTech-UJ partnership for high-technology manufacturing.

To increase sustainability in African manufacturing, the UJ hosted the first International Conference on Sustainable Materials Processing and Manufacturing (SMPM) on January 23-25, 2017 at the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, chaired by Prof Jen. The conference was convened by the Department of Mechanical Engineering Science and managed by Prof Esther T. Akinlabi, the Head of Department.

The SMPM provided a networking opportunity to exchange knowledge about technical applications for the international engineers, scientists, industry stakeholders and students who attended.

The Honourable Mrs Thoko Didiza, MP and Chairperson House Committee on Internal Arrangements addressed the conference. She was assisted by Mr. Sechaba Tsubella, Acting Director for Manufacturing, representing the Director-General of the South African Department of Science and Technology while Mr. Sean Madjoe represented the Director-General of the Department of Environmental Affairs.

The SMPM keynote speakers

Prof Xianfan Xu from Purdue University, USA, presented on ‘Laser-Based Methods For Sustainable Nanomanufacturing’.

Prof Kamlakar P Rajurkar, from the Nebraska Centre for Materials and Nanoscience at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, presented on ‘Review of Sustainability Issues in Non-traditional Machining Processes’.

Prof J. Dutta Majumdar from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, presented on Laser Surface Alloying of AISI 304 Stainless Steel with WC+Co+NiCr for Improving Wear Resistance’.

Prof Lars-Erik Lindgren from Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, presented on Integrated design of material, manufacturing, product and performance.

Papers published

Sustainable Manufacturing Systems and Techniques’ and ‘Sustainable Materials and Processing’ were the dominant themes at the 2017 SMPM.

The Adjudication Panel Chairman for the papers presented was Prof Paul Mativenga, Professor in Multi-scale and Sustainable Manufacturing at the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester (UoM) and also a Visiting Distinguished Professor of FEBE, UJ

The selected best papers from the conference will be published in two ISI Journals: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) – Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture and Part N: Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems. The ASME Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage will also publish a special issue for this conference.

See the photo gallery below for the keynote speakers and winners of the Best Paper and Best Presenter awards at the SMPM.

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