Chemistry: The Key for our Future

August 2, 2012

The second International Conference on Pure and Applied Chemistry (ICPAC 2012) was held from 2 to 6 July 2012 at Hilton Mauritius Resorts and Spa, Mauritius and was opened by Dr The Honourable Rajeshwar Jeetah, Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology. The Organising Committee adopted the theme “Chemistry: The Key for our Future”, highlighting the importance of chemistry in our life and the crucial role it has to play in the future. This recognition was one of the factors for United Nations to declare the year 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. It was also the year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to Marie Curie.

One of the outcomes of these celebrations was that the activities organised in different countries to promote Chemistry, and its contributions to the well-being of mankind, should be pursued. Also, an evaluation of these efforts cumulated over several years would be a better indicator of the progress made. Read the rest of this entry »

International Textile and Apparel Sustainability Conference

July 25, 2012

The textile, apparel and fashion industry is one of the most vibrant and dynamic industries, knowing barely any regression as there are fast-changing trends and great demand for diverse products. But the industry thrives at the expense of the environment; textile industry is a large consumer of scarce natural resources and thus puts high pressure on the environment. With climate change, ever-increasing water shortages, surging raw materials prices, and depleting resources, encouraging sustainable practices in the textile industry is no more just a cultural trend that is good for business. The International Textile and Apparel Sustainability Conference (ITASC) was held from 16 to 21 July 2012 at the University of Mauritius.

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Rapid e-Learning and Interactive Materials Development

July 25, 2012

2012 has marked a year where the Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies (VCILT) has engaged into a series of Capacity-Building Workshops on Rapid e-Learning and Interactive Materials development for e-learning. The main targets were educators of the primary and secondary schools who are exposed to technology in the classroom but who cannot use them in innovative and creative ways. 

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Web 2.0 Learning Opportunities

July 10, 2012

The Technical Centre for agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with the Faculty of Agriculture (FOA), University of Mauritius, and the Food and Agricultural Council (FARC) is holding two training workshops, from 9 to 13 July and 23 to 27 July 2012 on the use of Web 2.0 tools in the Agricultural and allied sectors. The aim of the workshop is to help stakeholders better manage information, improve its dissemination and enhance collaboration among institutions. The workshop was launched by Dr. The Hon. Rajeshwar Jeetah, Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology on Monday 9 July in the R Burrenchobay Lecture Theatre at UoM. Read the rest of this entry »

International Conference on Technology Transfer and Renewable Energy – ICTTRE 2012

July 4, 2012

Countries in the ACP and in Small Island Developing States are highly dependent on the imports of fossil fuels to meet their energy needs and are hence seeking an alternate way to become self-sufficient through the use of renewable energies. But this sector cannot develop appropriately at present due to lack of expertise and little access to latest technologies. Therefore, Technology Transfer was the main aim of ICTTRE 2012. The conference, held on 21 and 22 June at le Meridien Hotel, thus promoted the exchange of information, ideas and experiences acquired in the execution of projects and technology transfer activities on renewable energy in some ACP Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Read the rest of this entry »

SARIMA Workshop: Increasing External Funding for Research

June 29, 2012

Researchers were kept abreast of the best international practices and strategies to help them secure funding for their research work during this two-day workshop, targeting Research Managers and researchers, responsible for supporting externally funded research. The Southern African Research and Innovation Association (SARIMA) in partnership with the Consultancy and Contract Research Centre (CCRC) of the University of Mauritius organised the SARIMA workshop on 12 and 13 June 2012 at the UoM.

Research Management is not an easy task and looking for research grants both locally & externally can quickly become daunting for any researcher. The workshop thus aimed at equipping research protagonists with the latest techniques in this area. Read the rest of this entry »

Fox news cites research on effects of black tea consumption in reducing risk factors for heart disease

June 25, 2012

The research study being mentioned in the article ‘Cup of tea lowers heart disease risk’ published in Fox News on 14 June 2012 was conducted locally on Mauritian black tea. Laurie Tarkan, award-winning health journalist, wrote that this “new study has found that drinking black tea appears to reduce several risk factors for heart disease, potentially lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke. In the study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, drinking three cups of tea for 12 weeks (with no milk or sugar) led to highly significant reduction in blood sugar levels and triglycerides which are unhealthy fats.”

The scientific team who probed into the effects of black tea regrouped researchers from the ANDI Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials including Prof Theeshan Bahorun, the Cardiac Centre of the SSR National Hospital, the Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences of the University of Glasgow, UK, and the School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Pharmacy, American University of Health Sciences, Signal Hill, USA. Read the rest of this entry »

Transit of Venus observed at different places by staff and students of UoM

June 6, 2012

Sky conditions were not ideal this morning for the observation of this rare alignment of the sun, venus and earth but even the cloudy weather could not defeat the enthusiasm of University staff and students. The transit of Venus was observable today, 6 June 2012, in Mauritius from sunrise up to around 8.52 am. Arrangements were made for safe observations to take place near the Faculty of Agriculture and at the Mauritius Radio Telescope, Bras d’Eau. On the campus, telescopes were set up on the lawn and those who crowded early there viewed the phenomenon by projection and saw a tiny black dot (Venus- 32 times smaller than the Sun’s disc) gliding slowly on the bright face of the sun. University physicists had previously given clear instructions not to gaze directly at the sun which could cause permanent eye damage. Read the rest of this entry »

Cloud Computing

June 6, 2012

Le “Efficient Computing Research Group” et le “Computer Club” de l’Université de Maurice ont organisé conjointement un séminaire sur le “Cloud Computing” mardi le 29 mai dans l’amphithéâtre Paul Octave Wiéhé. Durant ce séminaire, des professionnels de Microsoft et Bhumishq Technologies Ltd entre autres sont intervenus et ont donné un aperçu des différents axes du Cloud Computing. Pour rappel, le Cloud Computing est un concept où l’on utilise des serveurs distants et virtuels  pour le traitement des données ou le stockage des informations. Ceux-ci étaient traditionnellement localisés sur des serveurs locaux ou le poste de l’utilisateur. Read the rest of this entry »

SKA awarded to Africa

June 4, 2012

Square Kilometre Array Bid Announcement

At a meeting in Amsterdam, on the 25th May 2012, the independent Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Site Advisory Committee (SSAC), composed of world class astronomers and engineers, has decided that Africa will be hosting the SKA.

The African bid consortium consists of Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. Mauritius’s involvement has contributed to this success.

The UoM has taken part in this bid for the SKA since 2004. It has also contributed to this by maintaining an active radio astronomy programme: MRT helical array, CALLISTO and MITRA. Two UoM academics, R. Somanah and G.K. Beeharry, have maintained an active presence in the International SKA Working Group committee. This situation gives Mauritius a unique opportunity to participate in an international cutting edge endeavour.

Square Kilometre Array

The SKA will be about 100 times more sensitive than the largest existing radio telescope on Earth. Read the rest of this entry »