Monday, 11 March 2019

Into French Space

WORKING: ZACube-2, the second nano-satellite to be developed and built by the CPUT F’SATI Satellite Programme based on the Bellville campus, was successfully launched into space last year and has started transmitting information to the CPUT ground station. WORKING: ZACube-2, the second nano-satellite to be developed and built by the CPUT F’SATI Satellite Programme based on the Bellville campus, was successfully launched into space last year and has started transmitting information to the CPUT ground station.

CPUT recently hosted a delegation from University Paris Est Créteil (UPEC).

The nine professors, including the President of the university, Prof Jean-Luc Dubois-Randé, were visiting the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI).

UPEC and F’SATI have a collaboration agreement, funded by an ERASMUS+ Programme.

Scientific Director of F’SATI Prof François Rocaries said the members of Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA) were specifically invited by F’SATI at CPUT in order to talk about increasing the collaboration between the two teams and the creation of a Space Campus at UPEC.

“While UPEC and CPUT are linked by a general Memorandum of Understanding, this is larger than just the F’SATI collaboration,” said Rocaries.

In addition to strengthening the existing links between the two universities the delegation was also here to talk about how to develop a PhD programme in co-tutelle and establish a joint Master’s qualification in the field of Space Technologies.

“The co-tutelle doctoral programme is a doctoral programme between two universities, one French one local. Students registered in this programme have two supervisors, one belonging to CPUT and the other belonging to the French partner university. At the end of their work the student will have two doctoral degrees, one from CPUT and the other from the university partner.

“The conditions for obtaining these doctorates are more stringent as the candidate must meet the requirements of both universities.

“This formula, however, allows for strong links between the two laboratories that host the doctoral student and the student must spend a minimum amount of time in each laboratory,” explained Rocaries.

The delegation also discussed setting up a student exchange programme at the Bachelor level between the two universities’ Electrical Engineering Departments.

While a working knowledge of the French language is useful for South African students studying courses at UPEC, it is not a mandatory requirement. “Last year several students from Tshwane University of Technology studied at UPEC and they did great without mastering the language,” said Rocaries.

While on the visit to Bellville Dubois-Randé also announced the foundation of a UPEC financial aid scheme to help foreign students that could benefit CPUT students wishing to take advantage of these opportunities.

The “Backpack” programme is aimed primarily at those studying for their Master’s and would allow three CPUT students to intern at UPEC within the framework of short-mobility schemes (either April to June or October to December).

*Email relint@u-pec.fr for more information on the financial aid scheme.

Written by Theresa Smith

Email: smitht@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Applied Sciences and Engineering Faculties and the Wellington Campus.