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UJ solar team unveils Ilanga II

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Ilanga II, the prototype solar energy vehicle of the University of Johannesburg’s Solar Team set to compete in the 2014 Sasol Solar Challenge was recently unveiled at the UJ Kingsway Campus in Johannesburg.

UJ Solar Team spokesperson and Project Manager, Warren Hurter, who has been part of the UJ Solar Team since they started as undergraduates in 2011 said the new Ilanga II is one of the most advanced solar powered vehicles produced by University of Johannesburg (UJ) students and industry partners to date. “We are more than ready to take on our international and local competitors with this vehicle which echoes values of aerodynamic success and high performance. In short, Ilanga II is light and it is fast.

The UJ Solar project is the flagship project of the UJ Energy Movement and promotes the study of alternative energy, energy management and sustainable engineering design through the bi-yearly conceptualisation and construction of their solar powered vehicles which participate in international races annually. The project, which is designed to assist students in becoming industry ready by working with multidisciplinary teams and industry partners, is managed by students from design concept to the final product.

Says Mechanical Engineering Science academic and programme manager, Nickey Janse van Rensburg: “The project creates an environment where we can connect research with industry in such a way that we add value and create a mutual benefit for the university and our industry partners. It’s really inspiring to work so closely with industry, seeing all the amazing engineering projects that are out there. I’d like to think that we’ve also created an opportunity where we bring new challenges and energy to industry, creating a bit of excitement as we go.

In anticipation of the unveiling of Ilanga II and in the build up to the Sasol Solar Challenge next month, students across the University have joined the fan club – the UJ Solar Society. The society creates an opportunity for a wider audience to participate in the programme. UJ Solar Team with Ilanga II

Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) Executive Dean, Prof Saurabh Sinha said: “The Faculty fully supports the UJ Solar Team’s proactive participation and we look forward to seeing how they perform in the upcoming Sasol Solar Challenge, as we are confident that the new design and innovative engineering will outdrive our international and provincial competitors in the endurance challenge.

“As an institution of higher learning we are also focused on commercialising patents through Resolution Circle, UJ’s specialised technology research and development centre. We strongly believe and have proven that energy innovation can result in technology development, technical education, commercialisation, increase energy efficiency and a decrease in our carbon footprint.

Prof Willem Clarke, CEO of Resolution Circle said “In establishing Resolution Circle, a commercial technology platform was created that can act as a supporting environment for technology based competitions. When one includes the IntelliLab media production capabilities, the potential to win and extract the maximum marketing value increases exponentially.

“Resolution Circle provides industry standard facilities, but can also act as an integration platform between faculties, departments and research groups. It is organised around a project infrastructure, which provides project management functionality and technical expertise.

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