Our Innovators

Robert Bosch

Robert Bosch

Robert invented a novel zinc replacer as part of his doctoral studies in chemistry. His initial discoveries have since resulted in the commercialization of technology allowing the manufacture of specific activators for rubber vulcanization. He is also the Technical Director of Rubber Nano Products (Pty) Ltd.

James de Klerk

James de Klerk

James is completing his BSc in Computer Science at the Nelson Mandela University.
James and fellow student, Scott Grant, have been working towards the commercialization of a reversibly expandable adjustment mechanism in conjunction with the Innovation Office.

Project(s): Equispray™

Kelly Dillon

Kelly Dillon

Kelly is a fashion designer who won the ELLE magazine rising star competition whilst completing her Btech in Fashion Design in 2011. She was awarded Most Creative Emerging Creative at the Design Indaba in 2012 and has collaborated with Mr Price. She strives to create beautiful things made to order as well as designing and manufacturing small fashion and knitwear ranges.

Project(s): Kelly Mae Dillon

Donnie Erasmus

Donnie Erasmus

Donnie is the Project Office & Commercialisation Deputy Director of a research and innovation group at the Nelson Mandela University known as eNtsa. This group provides engineering solutions for mainly the manufacturing-, power generation-, nuclear and automotive industries. His key areas of responsibility within eNtsa includes the commercialisation of technologies developed in-house, supervision and co-ordination of project resources.

Project(s): Weldcore®

Prof Ernst Ferg

Ernst Ferg

Ernst’s research activities involve the areas of battery electrochemistry and helped establish the battery testing facility at the Nelson Mandela University.

Department of Chemistry

Project(s): Insulate; Battery Temperature Indicator; Battery Health Sensor

Prof Igor Gorlach

Igor Gorlach

Igor invented a thermal spraying system for coating surfaces for anticorrosion protection and wear resistance. The developed system can be used in many industries, such as: power generation, mining, petrochemical, construction and maritime.

Department of Mechatronics

Project(s): Badger™

Dalray Gradidge

Dalray Gradidge

Dalray co-developed two counselling assessment measures, namely: WQHE and LEC. The WQHE has been classified as a psychological test by the Psychometrics Committee of the Professional Board for Psychology. She also developed Ukubamba – a comprehensive software system for the capturing and reporting on counselling statistics within Higher Education.

Student Counselling

Project(s): Learning Enhancement Checklist (LEC); Student Counselling Centre Management System; Wellness Questionaire for Higher Education (WQHE); Peer Helper Assessment Barometer

Lauren Gravett

Lauren Gravett

Lauren created her own fashion label Mooi-mooii during her BTech studies in Fashion Design at the Nelson Mandela University and has since opened her own boutique in Central with the hope of making her unique mark in the South African fashion industry.

She aims to sell sustainable, simple, versatile and affordable garments influenced by South African and International trends by using quality fabrics purchased from South African suppliers.

Project(s): MooiMooii
Laduma Ngxokolo


Laduma is one of Africa’s finest knitwear designer and innovator of the Xhosa (one of the South African dominant ethnic group) inspired knitwear brand MAXHOSA BY LADUMA. He recently won the 2015 Vogue Italia Scouting for Africa prize to showcase his collections at the Palazzo Morando Show in Milan, Italy and was awarded the 2014 WeTransfer Scholarship.

Project(s): MaXhosa by Laduma®

Project(s): MaXhosa by Laduma®

Prof Werner Olivier

Werner Olivier

Prof Olivier and his team developed the TouchTutor™ Maths and Science package, a cross-platform digital resource that provides flexible off-line access to quality curriculum-aligned teaching and learning material in secondary schools via Tablets, Laptops and mobile phones.

Department of Maths and Applied Maths

Project(s): Touch Tutor®

Dr Russell Phillips

Russel Phillips

Prof Phillips has conducted research over a number of years on various novel wind turbine concepts. His concept of a low speed, low noise helical Savonius rotor lead to the development of the Twerly hybrid streetlight which is currently being commercialised.  His other main research project is the commercialisation of a viable thermal battery system which aims to store solar derived heat for later use both in the form of heat and/or electricity via a heat engine.

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Project(s): Hot Rock™; Segmented Turbine; Twerly®

Prof Farouk Smith

Farouk Smith

Prof Smith has a B.Sc degree in Physics,  a B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering as well as a Ph.D. degree in Electronic Engineering.  Prof Smith is an Associate Professor of Mechatronic Engineering at the Nelson Mandela University with research interests in Embedded Systems, Hardware Evolution, and Radiation Protection of Spacecraft Electronics. He is a Registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Department of Mechatronics

Project(s): Advanced Circuit Designs

Dr Ernst Thompson

NMMU Innovations

Project(s): Berries

Prof Ernest van Dyk

Ernest van Dyk

Ernest is a Photovoltaics expert in indoor and outdoor module characterisation, as well as solar cell characterisation. He is the driving force behind the Centre for Energy Research and Director of the Photovoltaics Testing Laboratory which was established to do quality testing of solar panels for the photovoltaics industry of South Africa.

Department of Physics

Project(s): SunTestLab™; PV

Prof Mark Watson

Mark Watson

Mark is the project leader of Growing-Up: Children Building Careers™ , a computerised career awareness program developed by his doctoral student, Dr Ewald Crause, and international co-developer, Dr Mary McMahon from The University of Queensland, Australia. He is a research associate of the University of Warwick as well as an honorary professor of The University of Queensland.

Department of Psychology

Project(s): Growing Children Building Careers™

Andrew Young

Andrew Young

Mr Young is the Engineering Director of a research and innovation group at the Nelson Mandela University known as eNtsa. This group provides engineering solutions for mainly the manufacturing, power generation and transport industries.

Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Research

Project(s): TabStore™

Prof Ben Zeelie

Ben Zeelie

The late Ben Zeelie was the Director of InnoVenton: Nelson Mandela University’s Institute for Chemical Technology and was the inventor/co-inventor of more than twenty national and international patents and patent applications.

Department of Chemistry

Project(s): Coalgae®; Roses

Copyright 2015-2017 Innovolve | All Rights Reserved | Design by Design@Bay