At the AGM of the Western Cape Branch of the Southern African Institute for Mining and Metallurgy held on 7th August, Dr Christie Dorfling was elected as Chairman of branch for the 2014-2015 year.
What’s the latest news in the Department of Process Engineering
The department was shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dr. Denise Venter on 16 August 2014. Denise, originally from Somerset West, obtained her matric from Parel Valley High School in Somerset West in 1991 and then spent the next 10 years at Stellenbosch University, after which she joined Sasol Technology. Since leaving the university she remained involved in the department, often acting as an external examiner.
Denise obtained her B.Eng (Chemical) in 1995 and passed no less than 16 of her subjects Cum Laude. She then pursued a masters degree under the supervision of Prof. Izak Nieuwoudt and obtained MScEng Cum Laude in December 1997. Denise continued her postgraduate studies and obtained a Doctoral degree in March 2001, again under the supervision of Prof. Nieuwoudt with the thesis entitled “The separation of phenolic compounds from neutral oils and nitrogen bases”. Her doctoral studies contributed significantly towards the development of a separation process implemented at Sasol. Denise was one of the first two female students to obtain her doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering from Stellenbosch University and the first female student to be awarded a bachelors, masters and doctoral degree, all from our department. Upon completion of her doctoral studies, Denise spent a year as a post-doctoral researcher/part-time lecturer where she assisted in teaching thermodynamics and separation processes.
Find out more about our exciting research in Chemical Engineering
The Cape region of southern Africa is endowed with a variety of plant diversity, unmatched on the planet, representing a unique resource of potentially useful compounds rarely found elsewhere. Many of these compounds are valuable in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and nutraceutical industries. The sub-continent is also rich in indigenous plants known to contain bioactive compounds and essential oils that have been used for thousands of years as herbal remedies. Some, like buchu, aloe, hoodia, and rooibos, have been domesticated and industries have flourished for their exploitation.
Student life at the Department of Process Engineering
Willem Rossouw, a postgraduate student in the Department of Process Engineering, has been awarded an Outotec Postgraduate Scholarship by the Western Cape branch of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM). This scholarship is awarded to postgraduate students in their first year of study that conduct research focussing on sustainability in mineral processing and extractive metallurgy. Willem’s postgraduate research work forms part of a project aimed at developing a hydrometallurgical process for the recovery of metals from electronic waste; this project is also supported in part by the National Research Foundation of South Africa.