I think the CSIR’s new tv ads campaign is dope. I think its high time South Africans got to know about Africa’s answer to the likes of NASA. The CSIR should not be shy to showcase its cutting edge “22nd century” work. some of its work include: working with the SA Navy and Transnet, innovating around submarine sonar technology to produce a new type of ultrasound technology to help in fault-detection and maintenance on the hulls of submarines and Transnet’s railway lines in remote areas; titanium beneficiation and developing a world 1st continuous process, titanium additive manufacturing plant.
SA is the 2nd biggest producer of titanium in the world. In its raw form titanium oxide ore earns SA a lousy $0.20 (20cents) per kilogram but when processed along the value chain the figures start to make [meaningful] Rands & cents. Titanium ore processed to pure titanium would earn the country $20 per gram -> thats more than R200 for less than a quarter of a teaspoon of titanium! Once we convert that titanium into industrial parts, now we talking hundreds of millions – possibly billions – and being a preferred supplier to aircraft makers like Airbus and Boeing -> And according to Airbus, thats a $2trillion industry (South Korea’s economy x 2) between now and 2030.
As long as we have a shortage in the engineering pipeline and aeronautical engineering students who don’t know what the A-Darter and Umkhonto are (cutting edge missiles) nor know what the AHRLAC is (SA’s newest aircraft programme) then we have our work cut out for us. I believe “big science” – and not circuits and gadgets like cellphones – are what will attract SA’s youth to #TryEngineering -> whether it be artisan, technician, technologist or university engineer, they are all fulfilling roles within the profession. #OurFutureThroughScience