Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit

Vision and Mission

Vision

Our vision is to become the premiere organization to provide nanotechnology-based water treatment solutions and services for South Africa through ground breaking water research and training programmes.

In the first five years of our research programme, we will focus on synthesis, characterization and development of nanotechnology-based membrane materials, adsorbents and nanomaterials designed for water sustainability applications, lab-scale performance testing, mechanistic modeling and benchmarking. All of these basic research activities will be designed to facilitate rapid optimization, scale-up and commercialization potential of IP developed through the Unit’s strategic funding. In the next five to ten years, the research programmes will move beyond lab-scale synthesis, characterization and testing into prototype fabrication and field-testing of the most commercially promising innovations working with appropriate manufacturing partners, industrial and municipal end users.

The strategic value of the vision for the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit is distinct in that it:

  • Trains the next generation of nanotechnology, membrane technology, water engineering and water treatment experts in South Africa.
  • Increases the scientific knowledge-base and establish the University of South Africa and South Africa as a global leader in nanotechnology-enhanced membrane materials for water treatment.
  • Brings about a new nanotechnology-based membrane manufacturing industry in South Africa that can export knowledge and products around the world.
  • Brings about hope for alternative water supply challenges by treating water from different sources such as wastewater effluent, contaminated surface and groundwater as well as acid mine drainage.
  • Addresses water issues from a sustainable point of view i.e. addressing all issues relating to the water-energy-food nexus, sustainable technologies, integrated water resource management, climate change, community engagement, etc.

Mission

Our mission is to become a hub of applied sciences and engineering research activities at the emerging interfaces of nanotechnology and water purification, focusing on the production and application of advanced materials. We strive to solve some of the long standing and fundamentally important problems of water purification using cutting edge tools. The ultimate goal is to develop sustainable solutions that are commercialisable and to train and educate post-graduate students to become the next generation experts in the field of nanotechnology and water treatment. This will be achieved through the contribution of experienced academic researchers within the unit, our strong collaborations with experts locally and internationally, and through established partnerships with  industry experts.

Last modified: 2017/03/07