UCT's inventors

21 October 2016 | Story by Newsroom

Research Contracts and Innovation (RC&I) at UCT supports the university's research activities by centrally managing, authorising and negotiating the research contracts that are entered into with a wide variety of funders.

RC&I also acts as the liaison between UCT's research community and the private sector with regards to intellectual property, commercialisation and business development activities.

These are some of the UCT inventors that have been working with RC&I.

Sudesh Sivarasu

Sudesh Sivarasu: Clinician-centred innovation

Having realised that the clinician, rather than the patient, is the central client in the innovation process, Dr Sudesh Sivarasu designed what he affectionately calls his Frugal Biodesign Process. This has allowed him to create various award-winning biomedical devices that have real-world applications, allowing him the opportunity to serve people.

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Samuel Ginsberg

Samuel Ginsberg: The power of collaboration

Samuel Ginsberg, an electrical engineer and senior lecturer, has had a hand in inventing such diverse devices as a heat detector for informal settlements, an expandable surgical implant for children, a low-cost hearing aid and a wearable device that measures ambient CO2 levels. He says that it's a case of doing what you can with what you have.

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Stuart Swan

Stuart Swan: On water rockets and persistence

On 26 August 2015 the Ascension III water rocket broke the previous world record by 217 m. Stuart Swan and the engineering team used existing materials in new ways to achieve this feat and now their design and sealing system for pressure vessels is being patented for use in aerospace applications.

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Lutete Khonde

George Vicatos: Where engineering and anatomy meet

Associate Professor George Vicatos studied engineering, maritime engineering, aeronautics, thermodynamics and anatomy before finding his true passion in bioengineering. Working with orthopaedic surgeons and oncologists, Vicatos creates custom prosthetics from titanium to improve the lives of patients.

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Adam van Niekerk

Adam van Niekerk: The student inventor

Adam van Niekerk is working on a device that uses vector observations for high temporal resolution motion correction in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using technology similar to the angular-rate sensors and accelerometers found in cellphones. In other words, he is helping MRI scans to compensate for the movement of patients, especially children.

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Lutete Khonde

Lutete Khonde: Synthesizing a super antioxidant

Ergothioneine is being studied worldwide for its antioxidant powers, its role in ageing and its ability to increase athletic performance. It could also be a route to the effective treatment of tuberculosis. Lutete Khonde has created a new way of synthesizing this super antioxidant in the lab – one that is simpler, faster and cheaper than previous processes.

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Kevin Naidoo

Kevin Naidoo: Computing, carbohydrates and cancer

Professor Kevin Naidoo, from UCT's Scientific Computing Research Unit, is using informatics and computer-modelling techniques to identify cancer sub-types by studying the carbohydrates that coat the cells of all living organisms. In his own words, his work is all about the three C's – computing, carbohydrates and cancer.

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