Change the world


Doctorate after honours 

Chemistry student Lize Greyling achieved an extraordinary accomplishment by obtaining her PhD in Chemistry only three years after completing her honours degree. Her Master’s degree has been converted into a PhD, because of its superior quality. Her project is aimed at developing alternative methods that may solve current chemical processing problems in South Africa. These methods are more cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly.




Innovative formulation science students impress 

From solid shampoo bars to instant stain removers. These were part of the BSc Formulation Science honours students’ product showcase presented last week.

From solid shampoo bars to instant stain removers. These were part of the BSc Formulation Science honours students’ product showcase presented last week.

The students presented their innovative consumer products for final assessment, offering the viewer an opportunity to interact with the products and ask questions about them.

The theme of this year’s projects centered on the use of marula and moringa seeds and oil, which were used in seven of the 11 products.

The degree in BSc (Honours) Formulation Science was developed to provide the consumer products industries in South Africa with skilled formulators who understand and can apply the theoretical principles of blending various raw materials and active ingredients in different phases to produce stable, homogeneous, and useable consumer products, as well as to develop entrepreneurial skills for the establishment of SMEs.

Formulation Science is concerned with the knowledge and practice of blending and mixing of various components (chemical compounds) in a way that they do not react, but interact to provide a final product with very specific desirable properties or functions.

Below are the honours students and the products that they developed.



Avukonke Jona developed a fish feed for African Catfish formulated using marula seed cake (a waste product from marula oil extraction) as a protein source.

Luzaan Potgieter’s formulation was an instant stain remover pen to remove food-based stains from clothing.




Sivuyisiwe Gora developed an exfoliating soap bar formulated with moringa oil and moringa seed powder (a waste product from moringa oil extraction).

A natural shampoo bar formulated with natural oils including moringa oil was the brainchild of Avril Jaftha. This eliminates the need for environmentally unfriendly plastic containers.






Phila Henge developed a moringa oil hair food formulation.


An exfoliating clay facial mask with marula stone powder was formulated by Abulile Dilima.





Bryce Koeberg did something a little different and formulated a silvering solution for coating plastics to produce a highly reflective surface.

Believia Makhubela developed a body massage cream with moringa oil.






Nomahlubi Stamper’s formulation was an exfoliating foot scrub with crushed marula stone.

Another instant stain remover spray but to remove non-food stains from clothing was developed by Xolisa Hlebo.






Lyle Rockman developed a multipurpose hard surface ant-repellent antibacterial cleaner using coffee extract and essential oils as actives.





Byron's design wins public choice award 

Mechanical Engineering BTech student, Byron Blakey-Milner's optimised titanium mountain bike frame which made the top 38 entries in the world in the 2019 Permundus Challenge, won the Public Choice Award.

The Permundus Challenge is the biggest Additive Manufacturing show on the planet and Byron competed against professional and commercial entities for the award - very few of the 38 finalists were students or hobbyists. 

The competition formed part of the 2019 FormNext Conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

Byron is part of the Advanced Engineering Design Group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Mandela University which specialises in Design for Lightweighting and Additive Manufacturing collaborative projects. His design has already met with much favourable comment globally and was printed by EOS for display at FormNext.

The mountain bike frame 3D-printed seamlessly in two parts consisting of the swing-arm and the main frame. This frame is designed to be printed on the Aeroswift SLM machine in South Africa in Ti-6Al-4V utilizing their extremely large bed size (2mx0.6mx0.7m).

Due to the extremely high cost of top of the range mountain biking components, this design could possibly compete with the high-end carbon fiber designs economically. Furthermore tools such as Topology Optimization as used in this project increase it's weight/stiffness competitiveness as 3D-Printers are not limited to single/split draw mold constraints like carbon bikes are.

This will be the first time a SLM bicycle has been printed without welding sections together and will be one of the largest metal 3D-Printed objects ever.


International conference award for Mandela Uni computer scientists

Professor Brenda Scholtz and Master’s student in Computer Science, Faith Moyo received the runner-up award for Best Paper at the 4th International Conference on the Internet, Cyber Security and Information Systems (ICICS).

(Left to right) Prof Kelvin Bwalya - Deputy-Dean: Research and Internationalisation College of Business & Economics); University of Johannesburg, Dr George Anderson - Department of Computer Science; University of Botswana, Ms Stella Bvuma - Head of Department: Applied Information Systems; College of Business and Economics; University of Johannesburg, Prof Brenda Scholtz - Associate Professor & HOD Computing Sciences; Nelson Mandela University and Faith Moyo - Master's student; Nelson Mandela University.

The conference, co-hosted by the University of Johannesburg and the University of Botswana, was held recently in Johannesburg and brings together national and international researchers and practitioners. This year’s theme considered how information and cyber security has been shaped by emerging new trends in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) in the context of African businesses.

The paper, authored by Faith Moyo, Brenda Scholtz and co-supervisor Mohammed Alhassen, was titled "A Data-Driven Decision-Making Model for the Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Industry". Their research provides a model for assisting managers with decision-making in the information economy and 4IR. It specifically addresses the challenges faced by the 3PL and supply chain industry.



National awards for Mandela Uni QS Department 


Staff and students from the Department of Quantity Surveying were acknowledged for their excellent work at The South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP) International Research Conference in Johannesburg.

Receiving their awards from the conference organising committee member are Prof Crafford (left) and student Nangamso Macanda.

Prof Gerrit Crafford presented a paper, co-authored by Sharon Dent  entitled “Predicting quantity surveying students’ throughput rate: a cohort analysis” -  the paper received the award for the best overall contribution to the Quantity Surveying Profession.

Nangamso Macanda, BSc Honours (Quantity Surveying) graduate presented a paper, co-authored by Johann Slabber and Prof Gerrit Crafford entitled “Maintenance management challenges facing property in South African public sector schools” which received the award for the best youth presentation.

The conference is held annually, hosted by various universities. The 2019 conference hosted by Wits University, was attended by approximately 300 delegates. Proceedings at the conference also attract subsidy.

Mandela University’s Department of Quantity Surveying will host the 2020 conference.



Best paper award for Mandela Uni statisticians

Professor in the Department of Statistics at Mandela University, Prof Igor Litvine, and his PhD student, Farai Mlambo were awarded the Best Paper prize at the recent ESM Conference in Spain.

The ESM (European Simulation and Modelling) conferences are held annually, hosted by different universities and organised by EUROSIS - The European Multidisciplinary Society for Modelling and Simulation Technology.  Proceedings of the conferences always attract subsidy.

This year, staff and students of the Statistics department submitted three papers.

Co-author of the paper entitled “Wavelot Theory: for Economics and Financial Cycles” Farai, is now working as a lecturer at Wits University.

The conference attracts strong researchers from Europe and worldwide. All submissions are peer-reviewed with reviewers giving scores to the papers and the paper with highest score is awarded the "Best Paper Prize".  Presentations at the conference are also evaluated by the audience.



Mandela Uni Alumnus part of winning Springbok team 

Adding some more local flavour to the Springboks Rugby World Cup win, is Mandela University Sports Management Alumnus, Lindsay Weyer – the team’s Technical Assistant.

Weyer, who graduated with a National Diploma in Sport Management in 2012, fine-tuned his highly specialised skills at the Southern Kings before joining the Springboks.

He comes from a rugby-mad family in East London, where his father, Wayne, played more than 150 matches for Border

“My love for rugby started at school and my father always encouraged me. Like me, he also played flyhalf and fullback,” Weyer said.

“I attended Selborne College, a good rugby school, and played for the first team. Later I came to Port Elizabeth, where I played for Nelson Mandela University and also the EP U19 and U21 sides.

“So I was in the system in Port Elizabeth and when I needed to do an internship for my sport management course, I asked if I could come to EP Rugby and help wherever I was needed.

“One of the EP coaches, David Maidza (former Madibaz Rugby coach), knew my background from Border, so they said I could come and help and film [matches]. That is where it all started,” he added.

Asked about how he operates during a game, Lindsay says “I get the live television feed into the coaches’ box. If something has happened in the game, like when we miss a tackle or there was an opportunity to score a try, I can go back and have a look at it and offer some advice.

He says the difficult part of the job is that it is very time-consuming. “One frustrating thing is that we have to hit the rewind button a lot because my job is attention to detail. I am basically watching a game in slow motion over and over again to analyse us and the opposition to see where we can improve.

“One ambition is to become a head coach. I would like to be at the top and I have coached at U21 and school level and I would like to become a head coach.”

Information adapted from an article on Go! & Express Live – see:



Mandela Uni Alumni building IoT solutions 

At the forefront of technology and innovation are class of 2016 BEng Mechatronics graduates, Matthew Venter and Theo Weyers who were recently selected as finalists in MTN’s Internet of Things (IoT) Awards. They were recognised for their modular and advanced IOT-enabled platform.


The IoT Awards celebrates the major strides made in technology thanks to the Internet of Things.

Matthew (left) and Theo who graduated with their Bachelor of Engineering degrees in Mechatronics three years ago, run a company called MySmartSytems - a technology company that specialises in building IoT solutions for a wide variety of industries and applications.

MySmartSystems has developed a universal IOT platform that can be used in a wide range of industries, allowing companies in multiple sectors to set up an IOT solution in an easy and efficient manner. All hardware is designed and assembled at MySmartSystems. Edge computing is used to process data at hardware level instead of at server level. All IOT boards have artificial intelligence functions to enable real-time decisions to be made, without an end-user having to be present.