Vol 1 2018

An informed community is empowered and impactful

It is my pleasure to announce the first of this year's seven research and innovation newsletters, Research@NWU.

This newsletter showcases current NWU research and innovation initiatives to keep the entire university and our stakeholder communities abreast of work being done on an ongoing basis. It is my firm belief that an informed community is an empowered and impactful community; hence the drive towards the utilisation of various research and innovation dissemination mechanisms.


We also would like to encourage the culture of learning and sharing as NWU research and innovation co-ambassadors.

This edition of Research@NWU focuses on the NWU's cutting-edge research and technology-related initiatives. It is clear that NWU researchers are moving with the times in this technological era through exploiting novel technologies in their research projects, ranging from digital data collection, capturing, management and processing to digital dissemination. These large-scale, multi-year, collaborative initiatives will not only contribute to science and technological advances but also to access, utilisation, visibility and impact.

Prof Refilwe Phaswana-Mafuya
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation


Eye-tracking technology opens up new possibilities for work and play

Living in the year 2018 and considering how fast technology is evolving, it is safe to say that change can happen in the blink of an eye.

The School of Languages on the NWU's campus in Vanderbijlpark is looking to the future and using eye-tracking technology to bring about real change in the way people work and play.

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Humanities crosses digital divide

For many years, the NWU has been at the heart of technology advances that support the use and development of South Africa's 11 official languages. Now, as host of a national research infrastructure, the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources, the NWU will be able to take its commitment to multilingualism a major step forward.

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Physicist looks to the sun for stored power

Solar energy is an intermittent energy resource but can be stored for later use, says Prof Ashmore Mawire, principal researcher in the solar thermal energy group at the NWU's campus in Mahikeng. He is one of the very few applied physicists investigating solar thermal energy storage systems for domestic applications in South Africa.

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Screening at birth can save babies

Newborn screening (NBS) is internationally recognised as essential in preventive healthcare practices. It involves the testing of newborn babies for treatable genetic conditions or inborn errors of metabolism that may not be apparent at birth. All newborn babies' tests in South Africa are screened by the NBS laboratory at the NWU.

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Please share your comments and input by sending an email to the newsletter editor, willie.duplessis@nwu.ac.za