The National Research Foundation (NRF) has awarded a third round of funding to the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) at North West University's (NWU) School of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering in Johannesburg.
The university said the program's goals include facilitating competitiveness in international research, developing the country’s research capabilities and increasing the number of post-baccalaureate degrees. This new round of funding amounts to $10.34 million over a five-year period.
Jat du Toit, the professor currently holding the SARChl position, credits predecessors in his position for the awarding of this new funding into research focused on nuclear engineering. Du Toit and his team are studying neutronics and thermohydraulics. The team uses computer simulations to visualize how a reactor would be affected by different environments and other factors.
"Through our research, we want to gain better insight into the processes that occur at nuclear reactors,” du Toit said. “We have to develop improved simulation equipment so that we can contribute to the improvement of nuclear technology. We are also tasked to explore the position that nuclear power can take in the blend of energy sources. This can only be to the advantage of industries and every consumer."