Vincent visits South Africa

Vincent Canaguier, a PhD Candidate at NTNU, visited MINTEK for the Chrome Colloquium the 20th and 21st of June 2017.

During his stay, he presented his work on reduction and carburization of synthetic chromite.

In his own words: ‘One of the challenges in research is to reach the proper audience. With the Chrome Colloquium in Johannesburg, I feel I had a chance to meet most of the stakeholders in this field. This was also an opportunity for spot-on questions and valuable feedback from my peers. This trip was a chance to discover the impressive furnaces of the MINTEK labs and meet researchers from this institution. I am now truly looking forward to my next visit in South Africa, for the upcoming INFACON XV conference.’

Vincent also visited Johannesburg’s museums and suburbs to learn more about South Africa’s recent history.

Copyright © 2017, Joalet Steenkamp, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 12 September 2017)

Katrine visits South Africa

Katrine Holm was a master’s student at NTNU when she visited North-West University (NWU) in Potchefstroom in South Africa from February 6th to May 9th, 2017.

She used the time to work on her master’s project. In her own words:

‘In my thesis work I studied the thermal behavior of anthracite, coke and charcoal regarding their expansion during heating and reheating, as well as their release of off-gases. Working in the labs at NWU was a different experience then what I was used to from NTNU, which thought me to be more patient and flexible in the way I work.’

She also experienced the South African culture through the assistance of her fellow post-graduate students at NWU. They arranged braais, took her to markets and rugby games, as well as a lion park and took her hiking.

The exchange made a lasting impression on her: ‘The exchange to South Africa was giving and challenging at the same time, both professionally and personally. It was truly a great experience that I will remember and cherish for years to come.’

Katrine (to the left) at the Lionpark with fellow students:

Katrine on a hike with fellow students:

Copyright (c) 2017, Joalet Steenkamp, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 9 September 2017)

Ralph visits Norway

Ralph Glastonbury, a full-time PhD student at North-West University (NWU) in South Africa, visited NTNU from June 2nd to August 15th, 2017. During his stay, he worked on characterisation of material for his studies. Ralph’s research outputs are available on Researchgate.

In his own words: The availability of analytical instruments at NTNU, which are not available at my own university, made a significant contribution to my PhD. I hope to publish the most comprehensive paper regarding the characterization of industrials Søderberg electrode soon.’

He also used the opportunity to explore the cultural differences between South Africa and Norway.

Again his own words: ‘The first thing I noticed was how green everything is and how friendly all the people there are. Everyone was always willing to help when you ask for it (especially if you can’t find TGIF to meet fellow South Africans on your first day). While I was there I used the opportunity to go to a Viking festival in Steinkjer. I loved how authentic they tried to make it. I even got to see some mock Viking battles. I also got the chance to do some blacksmithing, something I’ve always wanted to do. It also gave me the chance to make some small gifts for friends back home.’

Ralph at the Viking festival:

   

Ralph trying his hand at blacksmithing:

Copyright © 2017, Joalet Steenkamp, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 7 September 2017)

Itumeleng visits Norway

Itumeleng Thobadi, a senior engineer MINTEK and part-time master’s student at WITS University in South Africa, visited NTNU from May 20th to June 17th, 2017.

During her stay, she worked on characterisation of material for master’s studies.

In her own words: ‘The primary tasks for my post graduate project were to characterise taphole clays using the SEM and XRD, as well as to bake the taphole clays in different environments. We were trained on characterising equipment and had enough time to conduct SEM analyses on all samples by ourselves, which is usually not easy in South African Universities where the waiting list to use limited SEM and XRD equipment is very long. Conducting baking experiments in the alumina refractory tube furnace was familiar. The precision with which atmospheres are controlled in the furnaces at NTNU was the biggest lesson of the furnace experiments conducted and the furnace lab tours.’

Itu at her desk at SFI in Norway:

Copyright © 2017, Joalet Steenkamp, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 9 September 2017)

Nomsa visits Norway

Nomsa Segapela, an engineer MINTEK and part-time master’s student at WITS University in South Africa, visited NTNU from May 20th to June 17th, 2017.

During her stay, she worked on characterisation of materials as part of her studies. In her own words:

The title of my MSc project is “The study of tap-hole clay erosion wear mechanisms using static and dynamic wear tests under ferrochrome slag conditions”. Clay materials utilized in metallurgical smelting operations are commonly referred to as tap-hole clay. The two main uses of tap-hole clay during the smelting operations include: (1) to seal the tap-hole for containment of molten slag and metal in the furnace while the furnace is in operation, and (2) to provide a protective layer on the tap block against wear from the corrosive action metal and slag during tapping. Part of the work I completed in Norway, was to characterise three tap-hole clays from South-African producers. The work included XRD and SEM analysis on the as received clays, and after baking at 950 °C.’

Nomsa at her desk at SFI in Norway:

On a personal level, the exchange meant a lot to Nomsa. Put in her own words:

‘On my arrival in Norway, I was surprised at how everything works. From robots to the efficient transport systems. It is not something we are used to in South Africa. The country is beautiful, and I appreciated how I could literally walk anywhere without looking behind my back. I experienced a sense of relaxation, peace and I could hear myself think. There is a type of “ZEN” in the Norwegian air.

The one thing I learned in Norway is that there is time for everything. Their work ethic is amazing, and I hope to reach those standards of efficiency. I experienced a whole new meaning to the phrase “ask and you shall be given”, because everyone went out of their way to assist us when we asked. Will I ever go back? Definitely!!’

Copyright © 2017, Joalet Steenkamp, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 8 September 2017)

Trine visits South Africa

Trine Asklund Larssen was a master’s student at NTNU when she visited MINTEK in South Africa from February 1st to April 14th, 2017. During her stay, Trine worked on method development to study the interaction between tap-hole clays and silico-manganese alloy or slag. Trine’s research outputs are available at Researchgate.

Experiencing different cultural environments, both at work and on a personally level, help her to grow. Put in her own words:’The most valuable learning outcome for me was on a personal level. It is a growing experience itself to travel alone to a country that is very different from Norway in most aspects, but also to encounter a working environment and culture unlike the ones you have at universities, and probably also companies the in Norway. The experience has definitely improved my flexibility both personally and professionally.

Trine also used the opportunity to explore South Africa and visited Cape Town and Pilanesberg with friends that visited her from Norway.

Trine working with operating personnel at the pilot-scale mudgun in Bay 1 at MINTEK:

Trine and friends having a close encounter with white lion cubs at the Lion and Rhino Nature Reserve (www.rhinolion.co.za) near Johannesburg:

Copyright © 2017, Joalet Steenkamp, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 29 August 2017)

Wesley visits Norway

Wesley Banda, an engineer MINTEK and part-time master’s student at WITS University in South Africa, visited NTNU from May 20th to June 17th, 2017. During his stay, he was trained on the SEM-EDS equipment and used the opportunity to analyse six refractory samples, developing a method to conduct post-mortem investigations for his master’s studies. Wesley’s research outputs are available on Researchgate.

Wesley also used the opportunity to broaden his horizon on a personal level. In his own words:

‘I am not much of a soccer fan, but managed to go out and have some fun with some of the postgraduate students. It was an awesome fun game in the rain and it made up for my absence in the gym due to travelling.

Making new friends was really easy, most of all the postgraduate students were very welcoming and fun to be with. It was also fun to see that the Norwegian summer is a typical winter day in South Africa, and when the sun actually comes out in Norway, every ones goes gaga, and come out to get their fair share of the limit resource. The best part about the sunshine was the braai (barbeque) and time out in the sun with friends.

Once in a while we would go out to explore and paint the city red, the only weird part is that the night outs in Norway, actually felt like afternoon outs, as the sky would be so bright till early morning hours. The best part is that we had the best city guides and great moments.’

Wesley getting ready to reach new height on a hiking exploration in Norway:

Wesley at the welcome dinner (we arrived in Trondheim on May 17th, the Norwegian National Day) with our host, Merete Tangstad, and Joalet Steenkamp:

Copyright © 2017, Joalet Steenkamp, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 9 September 2017)