Welcome to the Focus Area for Material Science Innovation and Modelling 

Since it was approved in 2012, the Material Science, Innovation and Modelling (MaSIM) research focus area has endeavoured to become a leading research and development centre around materials and applications, nanotechnology, renewable energy and applications, mathematical modelling, and general innovation initiatives to solve societal and industry-related problems on regional, provincial, national, and international levels.

The strategic aim of the entity from 2012-2020 was to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for the realization of strategic objectives of the South African government by supporting long-term advanced materials, nanoscience, nanotechnology, renewable energy, and modelling research thus developing human capital and supporting infrastructure in the North-West province. This was achieved by conducting fundamental and applied trans-disciplinary research and developing innovative methods. A major approach was the strengthening of postgraduate training and research in the faculty, which contributed towards the much-needed personnel with the necessary skills. The entity also partially addressed and contributed to solving some of the problems/issues raised in the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Strategic Plan of 2011-2016, and the 10-year Innovation plan in the areas of Advanced Materials, Nanotechnology / Nanomaterials Initiatives and Renewable Energy Resources.

This helped to: 

  • bring about maximum human capital, sustainable economic growth, and improved quality of life.
  • enhance South Africa’s knowledge in the generation capacity to produce world class research outputs and assist in turning some of the advanced findings into innovative products and processes.
  • develop appropriate human capital for science, technology, and innovation to meet the needs of the society,
  • to build and train the next generation of researchers and enable technology development and transfer as well as knowledge interchange.

In summary, the entity intended to amongst other things; research into the challenges and research questions for the social and industrial cluster of the nanoscience and nanotechnology initiatives with emphasis on water (clean water supply and pollution) alternative sources of energy and advanced materials initiatives.

The entity’s particular focus since 2021 has been aligned to some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which intend to alleviate some global societal challenges which include but are not limited to water (6), food and hunger (2), poverty (1), energy (7), climate change (13), innovation (9) and health (3). The research now covers a broader spectrum to include computational sciences innovation due to the 4TH Industrial Revolution (4IR) innovations. The three research themes of Material Science, Innovation and Modelling are still covered but the specific research areas have been broadened to include research on advanced materials, nanoscience and nanotechnology, renewable energy, general systems modelling, and general innovation related to physical, mathematical, and computational sciences.