UCT's Chemical Engineering department will be among the very first joint hosts of major technical conferences in the new Cape Town International Convention Centre. The new facility, which will enhance the Mother City's attraction to international visitors, officially swings into business on August 1, 2003.
The XXII International Minerals Processing Congress (IMPC), which is being organised jointly by UCT's and the University of Stellenbosch's departments of Chemical Engineering, will open the following month, running from September 28 to October 2. About 600 to 700 delegates are expected to attend.
In 2004, the 14th International Zeolite Conference (14th IZC), which is being organised jointly by UCT's department of Chemical Engineering and the Catalysis Society of India, will be held from April 25 to 30. Between 180 and 200 people are expected to register for this event.
Among other features, the CTCC will extend the tourism hub of the Waterfront into the city centre by means of the new Roggebaai Canal, which will once again link the city to the sea. Water taxis will ferry visitors – and locals – between the Waterfront and the CTCC along what is planned to be â€œa picturesque stretch of waterâ€.
The IMPC will include daily plenary sessions presented by internationally renowned experts, followed by parallel technical sessions. The plenary sessions will address themes such as:
- Information technology and mineral processing;
- New innovations, technology transfer and the role of research and development in mineral processing;
- The relationship between Third World mining and First World consumption;
- The impact of globalisation on mining and mineral processing.
The 14th IZC will also attract world-renowned experts and will be preceded by a school that will provide an opportunity to update delegates on a range of topics relating to molecular sieve science and technology.
Enquiries for both conferences can be directed to Meg Winter on 021-650-2752.
Winter and her colleague Catherine Mitchell also run the Faculty's Continuing ProfessionaL Development Programme (CPDP), formerly the Continuing Engineering Education Programme, developed by Professor Bob Tait in 1991.
â€œThis facility provides ongoing education for engineers and technical staff in constantly changing engineering disciplines, outside the formal courses offered at UCT,â€ Mitchell explained.
â€œThe exposures of UCT as a centre of excellence and engineering expertise would, in industry's eyes, promote the faculty and its lecturing staff, particularly in the light of government's commitment to skills training.â€
This is highlighted by the additional skills levy (a tax of 1% of salary bill), which can be claimed back by companies who train their personnel through approved Sector Education and Training Associations (SETAs). Furthermore, the engineering professional institutions, led by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), are actively discussing continuing professional development as a pre-requisite to achieving and maintaining professional registration.
Mitchell said that this would lead to opportunities to develop and expand CPD type, short courses, as well as other symposia and conference.