To give coverage to environmental issues, largely in the urban environment, in various fields and across a number of disciplines. Sustainability is our focus.
The focus of this multi-disciplinary journal has broadened as the years have gone by but the core objective has remained the same: the journal, as its name implies, deals with environmental (green) issues, largely in the urban environment. These include energy and water conservation and waste management in buildings - we cover at least one 'green building' in each issue and this is becoming a much easier task because the awareness of the need to conserve resources is certainly growing amongst architectural and other building professionals, and a number of enlightened property developers and owners have come to the fore, over the past few years. Restoration and adaptive reuse of buildings is also covered, along with Environmental Management Systems for buildings.
The journal looks at waste management and recycling projects - and this aspect is emphasised in a regular feature entitled: 'words on waste'. Water purification and provision, and the conservation and restoration of urban rivers and wetlands is another theme, along with rehabilitation of mines, pipeline servitudes, road embankments and degraded sites. Erosion control and air and soil pollution are dealt with in news items and feature articles.
The journal encourages ecologically sound, indigenous landscaping and our indigenous 'tree of the issue', which involves the participation of those in the landscaping/horticultural industry, has been a very popular feature. We write regularly about invasive alien plant species and biological control measures for these species. Urban open space, in the form of parks, squares, nature reserves and golf courses is of vital importance to the journal. We write about Environmental Impact Assessments, Environmental Management Plans for the construction of projects, and Environmental Management Systems in industries and corporations, with the objective of achieving ISO 14001 certification. Aesthetics and visual impact are environmental issues. We also look at urban renewal issues, high density affordable housing and other social projects aimed at community development and poverty alleviation. People are part of the environment.
We encourage readership participation in the form of letters. In our events column we provide information on conferences and symposia in the environmental field, while our UpFront news items cover a broad range of environmental projects and issues. We do technical book reviews. The editorial comment at the start of each issue often tackles a contentious subject such as threats to indigenous plants in the wild, the eradication of invasive alien plant species, alternative sources of energy, the importance of rehabilitating and saving wetlands and the need to conserve our grasslands against the threat of development.
In the 44 years of its existence, first as a College of Advanced Technical Education (1966- 1979) then as Vaal Triangle Technikon (1979-2003), Vaal University of Technology has grown in stature as a higher education institution, drawing students from all over the country. It is one of the largest residential Universities of Technology, with about 17 000 students. This position enables it to make a substantial contribution to the development of human resources in the region and country.
The campus boasts excellent facilities conducive to learning, research, recreation and sport, art and culture, and community engagement. Lecture halls, laboratories, a number of auditoriums and offices are situated on 4.6 hectares. Four satellite campuses extend the services of the University, at Secunda, Kempton Park, Klerksdorp and Upington. An extension to the main campus is located in Sebokeng on the old campus of Vista University. Besides the four faculties, various departments serve the students, catering for their various needs.
VISION: To be a dynamic centre of technology leading in quality education for the nation.
MISSION: The Vaal University of Technology is committed to the development of higher education through:
TEACHING AND LEARNING: To achieve excellence in teaching and learning endeavours by developing entrepreneurial, technological and cognitive skills. To create an environment conductive to develop behavioural, attitudinal competencies and social skills through cultural, sporting and personal development activities.
RESEARCH: To generate innovative and relevant research which solves the problems of industry and the community.
COMMUNITY SERVICE: To create a culture of Lifelong Learning to empower our communities by sharing knowledge, skills and resources
All these functions will be enhanced by national and international partnerships in order to meet the needs of stakeholders of a democratic society.
The emphasis on career-focused diploma and degree programmes is designed to prepare students for the world of work. Many programmes include practical experience in the work-place, so that students "hit-the-ground running" when they begin their working lives. Because of its practical approach to teaching and research, involvement in the community, transfer of knowledge and technology, and entrepreneurial emphasis, Vaal University of Technology endeavours to educate people for the real world.
RESEARCH: Research has become a focal point of the University. While applied research is the main focus of a university of technology, numerous papers are presented both nationally and internationally by staff and students. The university has five Research Institutes involved in multidisciplinary, applied research:
1. Institute of Applied Electronics - The institute houses the Telkom Center of Excellence (CoE). It is co-sponsored by Telkom, M-TEC (Malesela Taihan Electric Cable (PTY) LTD) and TFMC (Telecommunications Facilities Management Company). The focus is on the development of affordable telephone facilities. This has grown into two areas of interest identified towards further research: Fuel Cell technology, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
2. Institute for High Voltage Studies - the IHVS specialises in cable research mainly in partnership with ESKOM (Electricity Supply Commission)
3. Institute for Chemical and Biotechnology - The ICBT provides for mutlidiscplinary research all in areas of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Technology. It partners with Sedichem (Sedibeng Chemical Incubator); Chemcity (Sasol) and CHIETA (Chemical Services SETA) to provide opportunities for research.
4. Institute for Sustainable Livelihoods - The ISL focuses on research on food and nutrition strategies to address poverty in an urban area. Its partners in this area of research include universities in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Africa and India.
5. Enterprise Development Unit - which focuses on entrepreneurship.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND INNOVATION: The above institutes and research are supported by the Department of Technology Transfer and Innovation (TTI) which provides for start-up companies and spin-offs; seeks opportunities for commercialisation of research; and assists inventors and researchers in their applications for patents and copyright, . TTI also houses the Technology Station in Material and Processing Technologies which assists SMEs involved in downstream chemical products.
DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT SERVICES: This department offers students services such as student development, student governance (SRC), promotes cultural and developmental activities and a host of other support services for the benefit of our students.
CO-OPERATIVE EDUCATION: Cooperative education is a programme, which formally integrates a student’s academic studies with work experience in participating employer organizations. It is a cooperative venture between an organization, a student and an academic institution. It can be in any subject or discipline area. A strategy of applied learning (learning integrated with work), which involves a structured educational program that combines productive relevant work experience with academic study and professional "reflection". This is "education for the world of work".
VUT FM: Students have the pleasure of being entertained by their very own campus radio station: VUT FM. This improves social relations on campus and amongst members of the local community.
SPORTS: VUT is well-known for its two famous sons - Mbulaeni Malaudzi (Commonwealth and Olympic 800 metre Gold and Silver medalist) and Chris Harmse (Hammerthrow Gold medalist), We boast our own sports stadium (known as the Izak Steyl Stadium named in honour of a former Vice-Chancellor of Vaal Triangle Technikon). Sporting facilities are in abundance offering a wide variety of sporting codes up to international Olympic participation. A Sports Academy has recently been established to provide specific support to sportspersons who wish to pursue academic studies at VUT.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OFFICE: This office coordinates all international exchange programmes. The Vaal University of Technology is home to over 1200 foreign students.
LIBRARY: Students have access to five floors of books and facilities in our library. Extended library hours to cater for students after hours.
STUDENT COUNSELLING: A special department has been established to cater for the needs of students for Support and Counselling.
CENTRE FOR COMMUNITY SERVICES AND LIFELONG LEARNING: The Centre is involved with industry, offering a range of in-house courses that are tailor-made to meet the needs of industry, and with the local communities in a range of Service Learning activities. Projects identified are communicated to the academic faculties for research projects by postgraduate students.
MARKETING AND DEVELOPMENT: The institution has a track record of good, sound financial management. The University makes a concerted effort to build relationships and sustain partnerships with its donors to secure adequate funding.
"Vaal University of Technology : Education for the Real World"
WHAT IS A UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY?
Current international realities in higher education, as well as trends in SA and its neighbouring countries necessitate that higher education institutions align and adopt strategies to keep pace with global trends. On the international scene the impact of globalisation, the changing world of work, the information era, new modes of knowledge production and the emergence of a new learning industry, has had, and is having, a major influence on the restructuring of higher education institutions.
In the Southern African context other dimensions need to be added to these trends. These include the international competitiveness of the region, high unemployment, economic indicators that predict low economic growth rates, and youth and literacy profiles that indicate huge demands will be made on the existing education and training facilities.
The new and critical role that technology higher education institutions (formerly known as Technikons) have to play in South Africa is becoming more evident by the day. The country has an urgent need for institutions of higher education with different academic cultures - institutions that focus on stimulating economic growth and increasing international competitiveness, institutions that inject a new generation of highly skilled graduates with relevant specialised knowledge and skills, and who will become essential tools of progress in a competitive workforce.
A university of technology is a unique institution within the family of institutions offering higher education. General universities are known for their wide range of disciplines offered through various programmes. Although technology is often used in the programme delivery or part of the curricula of a programme, technology is not the main focus of study, nor the object of study. At a university of technology, technology is the object of study. A university of technology, in addition to the basic responsibilities of a university, places particular value in its academic activities on the search for innovative applications of technology in all fields of human endeavour.
A University of Technology is distinguished by the following:
- Career-oriented : educates people for the world of work
- Relevant : industry makes input into its diploma and degree programmes
- Practical : programmes are practical and hands-on (what do you need to know and how do you apply it)
- Work-integrated Learing : Experiential Learning is part of the qualification and enables graduates to "hit-the-ground-running" when they enter the workplace
- Applied Research : Research is practical and applied. It seeks solutions to modern-day problems
- Education for the Real World
Technikons as Universities of Technology Download
A document, which lays the foundation for the repositioning of Technikons as Universities of Technology.
Wattnow, a locally produced technology magazine with original content for 'techno' enthusiasts, gives readers an alternative to other magazines in the same category.
Published in partnership by Crown Publications and the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), this monthly magazine highlights the exciting worlds of technology and electrical engineering. Topics include robotics, rockets, automotive developments, nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, astronomy, telecommunications and other 'technologies of tomorrow'. Articles are written for all levels of reader and presented in a 56-page glossy, format
The World Energy Council (WEC) is the foremost multi-energy organisation in the world today. WEC has Member Committees in nearly 100 countries, including most of the largest energy-producing and energy consuming countries. Established in 1923; the organisation covers all types of energy, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, and renewables.
WEC is a UK-registered charity headquartered in London. WEC Services Limited was established in 2001 as the incorporated trading subsidiary of WEC. WEC's Mission is 'To promote the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all people'.
WEC operates in three-year cycles. It is governed by the Executive Assembly and has a board of trustees (Officers Council) and three Standing Committees, Communications & Outreach, Programmes and Studies.
WEC's mission is to promote the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all. Every 3 years, is hold the World Energy Congress, the world’s premier energy gathering.
The World Energy Council offers a wide variety of services, programmes and activities to its members as well as to the energy industry at large and to the general public. WEC is well known on the global energy scene for its authoritative reports, analyses, research, case studies, medium and long-term energy projections, and policy and strategy recommendations. The work of the organisation spans the entire energy spectrum -- coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro and new renewables -- and focuses on such topical areas as market restructuring; energy efficiency; energy and the environment; financing energy systems; energy pricing and subsidies; energy poverty; ethics; benchmarking and standards; use of new technologies; and energy issues in developed, transitional, developing countries. For more information on WEC's activities, click on one of the following:
◦World Energy Congress
◦Partnerships with other organisations
◦Business Plan 2008-2010