Platinum alloys vital to secondary industry

08 September 2008

South Africa produces three quarters of the world's platinum, but less then one tenth of the finished manufactured platinum product.

In her inaugural lecture, In search of missing structures: Developing novel platinum alloys, Professor Candy Lang of the Centre of Materials Engineering (Department of Mechanical Engineering) illustrated the importance of novel platinum alloys.

Lang's interest in developing new structures is part of the search for novel materials, and platinum is a particularly important material in the South African context.

Professor Bob Tait, HOD of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said" "Her research excellence and style has created loyalty from students and colleagues alike, and in 2007 she was awarded the National Science and Technology Fund's award for research capacity development."

Lang received an ad hominem promotion to full professor in 2006. She heads up the group researching the properties of platinum alloys and is involved in a successful research group supported by the Innovation Fund. A spin-off from this was a start-up-company, which this year paid the first UCT royalties for a patent.

"The Department of Science and Technology has embarked on a strategy to advance manufacturing, and we are extremely fortunate that Professor Lang is in the position to provide scientific input and mentorship, which is so critically important to developing a new generation of researchers," added Professor Rob Knutsen, director of the Centre for Materials Engineering.

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