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Minister Naledi Pandor opens International Tribology Conference at UP 

The Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor, opened the 10th International Tribology Conference 2011, at the UP Conference Centre on 5 April 2011. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UP, Prof Cheryl de la Rey, welcomed the Minister and thanked her for the foresight that she had shown by investing money in education while serving in her previous portfolio. The benefits are visible in the new Engineering Building on the Hatfield Campus, currently nearing completion. 

In her address, the Minister referred to the importance of energy and savings in energy, and said that South Africa should be at the forefront of technology in this regard. She also elaborated on the focus government is placing on energy and the importance of harvesting the energy resources available to us in the most appropriate way. In his vote of thanks, Prof Roelf Sandenbergh, dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, emphasised the importance of the training of engineers for the country. This will ensure a sustainable economy and ensure that all South Africans share in the benefits of technology. 

Tribology is the study of the science of surfaces in relative motion and involves, in general terms, the study of lubrication, lubricants, materials and wear and how these interact. It is a vast field and is of an interdisciplinary nature. Some of these disciplines are Materials Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Surface Science. 

The two guest speakers at this event were Prof Bharat Bhushan from Ohio State University, and Prof Kristian Tonder from the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Prof Bhushan gave an overview of the applications of tribology, including processes in nature, which function from the macroscale to the nanoscale. The emerging field of biomimetics allows one to mimic biology or nature to develop nanomaterials, nanodevices and processes.  Prof Tonder’s lecture focused on an overview of the current knowledge of the effects of texture on lubricated surfaces of bearings and other tribological devices. The emphasis is on hydrodynamic lubrication, particularly under conditions of applicability of the Reynolds equation.

Prof Kristian Tonder (left) from the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology and Prof Bharat Bhushan from Ohio State University met the South African Minister of Science and Technology at the opening of the 10th International Tribology Conference held at UP last week. To the right is UP?s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Cheryl de la Rey. Professors Tonder and Bharat were the guest speakers at the conference.
Prof Kristian Tonder (left) from the Norwegian Institute of Science and
Technology and Prof Bharat Bhushan from Ohio State University met the 
Minister of Science and Technology at the opening of the 10th
International Tribology Conference. With them (far right) is the 
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Cheryl de la Rey.