Building the African City of the Future

Building the African City of the Future 2016-11-01T10:12:42+00:00

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Chair: Prof Cristina Trois, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist: Dr Rudi Kimmie, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist: Prof Anne Stark, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist: Prof Randhir Rawatlal, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist: Mr Antonio Blanco Montero, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist: Prof WK Kupolati, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
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As Dean of Engineering at UKZN, and on behalf of the “Hub for the African City of the Future” at UKZN, I will chair a plenary/panel session on “Building the African City of the Future” discussing how science, research and innovation can andshould shape the sustainable infrastructural and societal growth of our cities.

In particular we propose 5 short presentations followed by a panel session on the following:

Building the African City of the Future – Creation through ‘Synovation’ (Synergy + Innovation)! Dr Rudi Kimmie
Increasing complexity through rampant advances in technology, shifting geo-political dynamics, dwindling natural resources and enduring economic challenges, are having profoundly debilitating effects on social development. The search for enduring and sustainable solutions transcend discipline specific knowledge and point to global trends in evolving solutions through innovation from harnessing cross-disciplinary collaboration. The UKZN School of Engineering’s Hub for the African City of the Future project harnesses synergy from the diverse growth-oriented disciplines of engineering, entrepreneurship, social development, the Built environment and academia, and to interconnect with key stakeholders – corporates, government and civil society, to evolve innovative and responsive solutions.

Smart… ma non troppo! – Mr Antonio Blanco Montero
After more than three decades and an untold number of initiatives around the world, the meaning of the Smart City concept remains an intuition rather than a definite fact. What is positive consolidated for some contexts can have a negative impact on others. The side effects of these “smart initiatives” should be taken into account.

Building corridors of movement – the city without borders – Dr Randhir Rawatlal
The Chemicals without Borders (CwB) project is based on the concept of industrial symbiosis. It involves the integration of process streams in the chemicals industry with the view to minimising the use of raw materials, finding new applications of primary products and by-products, and extracting value from chemicals typically thought of as waste materials. Practically, this is achieved by creating industry partnerships based on the capacity of any one partner to supply a given chemical or set of chemicals to any other partner who would typically obtain such chemical(s) at higher costs from another supplier. This presentation outlines the facilitation of Industrial Symbiosis through modern methods in cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Closing the loop: Biorefining in the Context of the African City of the Future – Prof. Anne Stark
Prof. Annegret Stark heads the SMRI Sugarcane Biorefinery Research Group at Chemical Engineering of the University of KwaZulu-Natal since 2015. This research group brings together specialists from chemistry, chemical engineering and economics, and aims to provide sustainable solutions for the South African industry by diversifying the product and feed portfolio.

Greening, Townships and future cities – Prof. William Kupolati

The ‘Hub for the African City of the Future’ at UKZN is an innovative and multidisciplinary project that straddles diverse growth oriented disciplines of engineering, entrepreneurship, social development, the built environment and academic advancement. Through developing intellectual and synergistic capacity with key stakeholders – corporates, government, philanthropic agencies and academia, the ‘Hub’ provides a viable and necessary platform to participate in a range of creative and innovative projects geared to unlocking the growth potential on the African continent.
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troisProf Cristina Trois
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Chair

Prof. Cristina Trois is a full professor in Environmental Engineering and Dean of Engineering at the University of kwaZulu-Natal. She has over 20 years of experience with municipalities in the African Continent and in developing countries. She is the Chair of the Southern Africa Secretariat of the United Nations – IPLA Programme (International Partnership for Expanding Waste Management Services for Local Authorities) and serves as resource expert in the UN Commission for Sustainable Development. She is also an R&D advisor for renewable energy-climate change projects for the eThekwini Municipality and the World Bank. As Dean, she is the initiator of the Hub for the African City of the Future since 2014. She holds a Laurea in Environmental Engineering (summa cum laude) and a PhD in Geo and Environmental Engineering from the University of Cagliari, Italy. She is author of over 80 peer-reviewed publications, a C2-NRF rated researcher, and is recognised as a national and international expert in waste and resources management. Her research outputs became the feasibility framework for the first in Africa “landfill-gas-to-electricity project” sponsored by the World Bank’s prototype Carbon Fund through a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), whereby the city of Durban produces 10MW of electricity from waste.
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kimmieDr Rudi Kimmie
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist

Dr Rudi Kimmie is the Manager of the Hub for the African City of the Future. This multi-disciplinary project resides in the School of Engineering at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Prior to this he was Business Consultant at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s InQubate Office. He holds an undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts, Post-Graduate Degrees in Education and Human Resource Management from the former University of Natal, and a PhD in Leadership Studies from the current University of KwaZulu-Natal. Having enjoyed a successful career in education and corporate training with a major mining company, Rudi has combined his corporate experience with education to develop young minds to meet the demands of professional life. Besides his academic career, he is also the founder of the Business Organisational and Leadership Development (BOLD) initiative at UKZN, the initiator of the Student Entrepreneurship and Upliftment Project (StepUP) and is an associate of the Leadership Dialogue. Rudi has a wealth of experience and expertise having held senior positions in education, corporate training, operations management and participates in various development forums locally and internationally. A published writer, Rudi has written on travel, education and science. He is passionate about sport, music, travel, martial arts and world affairs. Rudi is a trained facilitator with extensive local and international experience. He was an executive member on the International Consortium for Experiential Learning (ICEL), a Rotary Group Study Exchange Scholar to Japan, as well as a Global Research Fellow with the Washington based Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP).
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starkProf Anne Stark
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist

Prof. Annegret Stark received her BSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the NTA Isny, Germany. After conducting research (equivalent to a Hons. thesis) at the St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, she completed a PhD in Chemistry at The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, followed by a two-year, SASOL-funded postdoctoral stint at Stellenbosch University. Between 2010 and 2014, she established herself as academic in various universities in Germany (Jena, Chemnitz, Leipzig, Darmstadt) and received the venia legendi from the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena in 2010. Since 2015, she heads the SMRI Sugarcane Biorefinery Research Group at Chemical Engineering of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. This research group brings together specialists from chemistry, chemical engineering and economics, and aims to provide sustainable solutions for the South African biomass-converting industry by diversifying the product and feed portfolio. Her research expertise lies within the field of Chemical Technology, and includes biomass conversion, catalysis, solvent-design, ionic liquids, microreactor technology, microwave-/ultrasound-assisted synthesis, life-cycle assessment, biomass conversion, and separation technology.
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rawatlalProf Randhir Rawatlal
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist

Prof Rawatlal is a Chemical Engineer with research interests in mathematical modelling, artificial intelligence and data science. He currently serves as Academic Leader of Research in the School of Engineering. Special application of the research methods including heterogeneously catalysed reactors, unsteady state particle systems and industrial symbiosis. He is actively involved in the Teaching and Learning community through projects that data mine student information to understand student progression behaviour.
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monteroMr Antonio Blanco Montero
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Panellist

Antonio Blanco is a PhD researcher at the UKZN with the topic: Smart City in the African context. He is currently a Senior Architect at Ruben Reddy Architects in Durban. He graduated M.Arch from Universidad de Sevilla in 2001. He studied Urban Planning at Università di Roma La Sapienza in 1999. From 2002 to 2012 he worked for the City of Camas (Spain) leading the Projects Department as the main architect on a number of interventions in the design of public spaces as well as urban planning.
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kupolatiProf WK Kupolati
Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Panellist

The recent work of Prof Williams Kupolati focuses on the use of waste materials, nanomaterials and advanced construction materials for building and civil engineering infrastructure. He is an Associate Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa actively involved in collaborative green research and innovation.
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