Donation of computer equipment and advanced control software by Honeywell Hi-Spec Solutions
Honeywell Hi-Spec Solutions is an international company actively involved in turn-key projects for the development of advanced control systems, dynamic modelling and advanced control software; as well as the construction, commissioning and operation of such systems for clients all over the world.
As part of the process of maintaining their position as leader in the field, the company is continuously forging links with academic institutions. The Modelling and Control Group in the Department of Chemical Engineering has been honoured by being selected as the tertiary institution with which the company will collaborate in future.
When Hi-Spec Solutions decided to establish a closer relationship with this group, it was done after careful consideration of the activities of other groups at tertiary institutions in South Africa. It is therefore a particular honour for this Department to know that their efforts are relevant to and useful in the industry.
During a function at the University of Pretoria on 19 April, 2007, representatives of the company in South Africa formally presented the donation of 10 high-performance PCs as well as a user licence for the "Unisim" software, to complement the "Profit Suite" of advanced software, which is used for process identification and the subsequent design of multivariable, model-based controllers.
The company has been providing bursaries for undergraduates and for postgraduate studies in Process Control within this group. The successful candidate will become part of the Hi-Spec Solutions team and at the same time complete the necessary studies within the Group to obtain a postgraduate qualification in Control.
The Department of Chemical Engineering has had a close working relationship with the company over many years. A previous Director: Automation & Control of Honeywell SA, Stefan Oberholzer, was an undergraduate and postgraduate student in the Department, while their current new Business Manager, Elgonda la Grange, also graduated from this Department. Stefan's predecessor, Bruce Bailie, was external examiner for postgraduate modules in the Group, before he was transferred to Honeywell in the USA . Several other employees in the company also obtained their undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in this Department.
The PCs and software will be used for educational purposes and will fulfill an important role through which students will be able to evaluate their own designs against an industry norm.
With this donation Honeywell Hi-Spec Solutions has set an example of how collaborative efforts can be beneficial to the industry and to research groups at academic institutions.
On the photograph are (from left to right) The Rector and Vice Principal of the University of Pretoria, Prof Calie Pistorius, Ms Elgonda Lagrange, New Business Development Manager, Honeywell SA, Prof Philip de Vaal, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Prof Roelf Sandenbergh, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and IT on occasion of the handing-over of the donation.