Swiss federal councillor visits NMMU

FEBRUARY 3, 2015

It is all systems go at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) for the visit by a high-profile Swiss delegation today – Tuesday, 3 February, that may lead to international collaborative projects.

The delegation includes Swiss federal councillor Doris Leuthard who heads up the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications and several representatives of Swiss business organisations.

NMMU is the only higher education institution that the delegation will visit and follows the implementation of a two-year health research project with the University of Basle starting this year involving certain physical fitness interventions at schools in the metro.

The delegation will be introduced to a series of cross-disciplinary projects already underway at NMMU with the objective of possibly assigning them to appropriate Swiss institutions for collaborative purposes.

These projects include: uYilo e-Mobility programme, eco car, microalgae to energy, shallow water ecosystems, solar vehicle, solar cooker, high speed optical fibre communication, sustainable grassroots innovation in ICT, segmented wind turbine, photovoltaic research and WeldCore® (WeldCore® is a patented sampling and repair welding process)

Ms Leuthard has been a member of the Swiss Federal Council since August 2006. She held various positions including that of head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (the Swiss commerce minister), Vice President of the Swiss Confederation in 2009 and President of the Confederation in 2010. Since November 2010 she has been head of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications.

“It is an honour that NMMU was chosen for the visit and although the visit is to the new engineering building, the work that will be showcased will be inclusive of other faculties,’’ says Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology, Dr Oswald Franks.