The Unit for Energy and Technology Systems (UETS) strives to be recognised as a centre of expertise for research in and development of energy and technology systems that are relevant to society, the environment and the country. We address national strategic goals and contemporary issues through engineering solutions that meet industry needs, while maintaining a balance between basic and applied research.

Focus

Within the context of this broad vision, focus is accomplished by means of faculty-supported focus groups. Many of these groups are primarily concentrated on Energy Systems, i.e. three SARChI chairs in (1) Nuclear Energy, (2) Biofuels and other clean alternative fuels and (3) Coal Research as well as the Hydrogen Energy-hosted entity and other faculty-supported focus groups such as Thermal Fluid-Systems, Energy Management and Smart Power Systems.

The number of focus groups that do not relate exclusively to Energy Systems increased to the extent that the name and identity of the Unit for Energy Systems was changed to the Unit for Energy and Technology Systems (UETS) in 2015 to include these groups, for example Intelligent Systems, Telecommunications and ICT (Telenet), Dynamic modelling and control of large scale Industrial Systems (McTronX), Aircraft Development, Advanced Manufacturing, Industrial Engineering and Water Research.

The focus of this unit a whole is to address existing and future problems and challenges of society and industry through the systemic and systematic integration of resources and technology.

Collaboration

Close ties with key industry role players such as Sasol, Eskom, Denel Aviation, Telkom and SAPPI, as well as with the main research funding bodies, ensure the relevance and sustainability of research programmes. Members of Faculty’s Innovation Support Office is pivotal in understanding, negotiating applying the rules of the new DTI-administered Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP). The increase during 2015 in participation rate in programmes of the Technology Innovation Association (TIA), the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR) and the Cluster Development Programme (CDP) will continue in 2016.

Collaborative research outputs and/or student exchange occurred between researchers of the UETS and other International HEIs, such as Louisiana State University, the University of Queensland, Texas A&M; Penn-State University; Freiberg University, Germany, the University of Ghent, Technical University Dresden, the University of North Dakota and Imperial College.