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African Materials Science & Engineering Network
AMSEN is based on the premise that increased skills in materials science and engineering are needed in southern Africa to develop and add value to the extensive mineral deposits of the region. AMSEN benefits from existing collaborations, including the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials established at Wits in 2004 and the Wits-Namibia Engineering Curriculum Development Program in nanotechnology, sponsored by Norway’s SANTED Programme. To reduce the brain drain in this field from academia to industry, AMSEN uses a retention strategy that includes supplementation from industry, allowing staff to consult for and be seconded to industry, and providing incentives for publishing in academic journals.
AMSEN Workshop • Johannesburg, South Africa • May 27–29, 2015
From the conference report: "[AMSEN] has been very successful to date, and has graduated 8 PhDs and 6 MScs across all the nodes, with more in the system. Over 60 journal papers have been published, together with many conference contributions. [...] The students have been co-supervised across the nodes, and a student network has been established. There has been much training given within AMSEN, using both AMSEN's own resources, as well as those of the home universities and also external contacts. The graduates have either gone back to work in their home institutions, or have gone on to work in the field. Many of the supervising staff have also been promoted, because AMSEN has also allowed them to progress [...] AMSEN has really helped to develop the next generation of academic researchers in Africa."
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