Mr Gerrie Booysen, Director at the Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (CRPM), proudly represented the Central University of Technology at the South African Academic Oscars 2018 as a finalist in the 2017/2018 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)- South32 Awards in two categories: Engineering Research Capacity Development and Corporate Organisation Innovation, which is the second time in a row that CUT is a finalist in the prestigious awards. Last year Prof. Fidelis Emuze, acting Dean: Engineering and Information Technology, was a finalist in the TW Kambule-NSTF Emerging Researcher Award category. 

Mr Booysen saw an opportunity to develop innovative ways for patients that need reconstructive surgery of which he says “State of health departments do not have funding for expensive reconstructive surgery for patients. As a result, we had to look for innovative ways to change their and assist them to live what we consider to be a normal life.” 

In 2013 CRPM manufactured the first certified 3D printed patient-specific medical implants for reconstructive surgery. It was the first of its kind in South Africa, and CRPM has since moved beyond lab-scale research outputs. During his leadership at CRPM Gerrie Booysen saw CUT attain an international certification (ISO13485) in 2016, as the only titanium implant manufacturers in Africa. 

“CUT is one of three universities of technology represented at the awards along with TUT and CPUT and the only University forms he Central Region. This is indeed another confirmation of the quality and impact of the research we conduct at CUT. Our vision of being an engaged university that delivers social and technological innovations are being realised and also acknowledged.” said the vice-chancellor and Principal of CUT, Prof. Henk De Jager, who supported the CUT finalist at the event.

Mr Booysen unfortunately did not walk away as the prize winner in the category he was nominated for, but he is recognised for his major contribution in the field of innovative engineering and technology in South Africa. For the full article, visit http://www.cut.ac.za/research-innovation/cut-finalist-two-categories-sa-academic-oscars/