Institute for the Development of Energy for African Sustainability (IDEAS)

Mission and Vision


IDEAS was established to:

  • Facilitate the relationship that exists between industry and the University;
  • Improve the research capabilities at Unisa by involvement in consulting, contract research projects and short courses;
  • Develop the technique of Process Synthesis by ongoing collaborative research projects with industry.

Our mission is to continue the development of the technique of Process Synthesis from an academic concept to a practically realisable technology, which requires two areas to be continuously improved. These are:

  • The formulation of Process Synthesis Tools
  • The extension of the New Design Management Paradigm

Furthermore, it is our mission to build a strong commitment to Community Engagement through projects such as the Waste-to-Energy projects we are engaged in and the Unisa chapter of Engineers without Borders that we were instrumental in setting up.


Our vision is to continue to do internationally recognised ground-breaking research, training skilled African engineers and scientists that are as good as any in the world. We seek to use this knowledge and these people to change the landscape by turning waste and other under-utilised resources into fuel, electricity and jobs through strategic partnerships.

We also hope to see very simplified cheaper versions of the Waste-to-Energy technology in poor communities to make them more energy independent, clean up the environment, lessen water pollution, reduce rat infestation as well as create jobs. As most of the waste will be renewable material this will also help to mitigate climate change.

As well as this, we plan to commercialise our technology for use with renewable sources for bigger entities such as farmers and municipalities.