CUT launches 4th Industrial Revolution & Circular Economy task force

From left Prof. Henk de Jager, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof. Alfred Ngowi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Innovation and Engagement; Prof. Seeram Ramakrishna, CUT Alumni and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering: National University of Singapore; Prof. Muthoni Masinde, Head of the Information Technology department; Prof. Laetus Lategan, Director: Research, Postgrad Studies; Mr Leolyn Jackson, Director: International Office, Prof. Samson Mashele, Dean: Health and Environmental Sciences; Prof. Herman Vermaak, Dean: Engineering and Information Technology and Mr Silus Newaku from Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

The 4th industrial revolution has taken the world by storm, changing how we live, work, and communicate.

The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) recently launched the 4th industrial revolution-and-circular-economy taskforce to prepare the institution for the Rapidly Changing World.

Prof. Henk de Jager, Vice-Chancellor and Principal said the reason for launching the task force is to prepare the institution for the 4th Industrial Revolution. He mentioned that the task force will specifically focus on identifying areas that should be addressed to prepare for Industrial Revolution (IR) and Circular Economy (CE), develop a roadmap of broad issues and timelines, develop a budget and mobilise funds.

Prof. Seeram Ramakrishna, one of the world’s most influential scientists presenting the 4th industrial revolution and circular economy.

“It is important for us to lead the region and take a proactive step in driving the 4th industrial revolution and it is for that purpose that we should think out of the box, reposition and realign ourselves with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and technologies within the revolution.”

At the launch Prof. Seeram Ramakrishna, one of the world’s most influential scientists delivered a presentation on the circular economy and 4th industrial revolution, giving practical examples of Singapore.

He said that the amount of resources humans are consuming; especially for the last 50 years exceeds the rest of humanity that has been living on planet earth. “Many countries are trying to move away from the linear economy of using products then throw them away causing a variety of waste to pile up.  Singapore has moved to the concept of the circular economy which is to ultimately have zero waste. This is an ideal concept but difficult to achieve. The whole vision is to mine once, produce a product and use it in every possible way so that the waste is zero or minimum.”

He also spoke about the 4th industrial revolution and said it is all about finding ways to improve the efficiency productivity and value for the investment. “It is a very broad term defined as a concept of robots, artificial intelligence, automation, internet of things, machine learning, computing, 3D printing and nanotechnology. These have a transformative effect on the way the products are designed, made and delivered and the services to the people, so the business models are changing and is the economy. This particularly 4th IR is prominent in so many countries.”