Your choices as a science, engineering or healthcare student can have an immense impact on your future career and can give you the cutting edge when applying for a job. That is why it is critical that you use the support available to advance your research. With Stellenbosch University's Central Analytical Facilities (CAF) you can have access to advanced multi-user equipment and trained staff who can support you in your research. There are ten different units, each specialising in a specific area.
Engineers often need to test a product for defects. If you are one of them, you can use computed tomography at the CT Scanner Facility which will give you high resolution scans of the particles inside your product and you will see exactly where the weak areas are.
A brand new PET-CT Scanner Facility is located at Tygerberg Hospital. Imaging is performed with a positron-emission tomography (PET) scanner which in modern systems is routinely combined with a conventional (x-ray) computed tomography (CT) system.
We all have different interests. A very popular field is food. Head for the Vibrational Spectroscopy Facility where you will be able to identify defects on fruit or distinguish between real and fake pharmaceutical products.
Each laboratory specialises in a different area and at the ICP-MS & XRF Facility you can perform elemental and isotopic analysis on solutions and solid samples using a range of different methods. What is in the water you are drinking? This is the place to find out. But these are not your only options. You can assess the properties of cells, particles or molecules at the Fluorescence Microscopy Facility and also get help with sample preparation like cryosectioning and ultramicrotome sectioning.
With many wine farms in the Stellenbosch area it is important to mention the Mass Spectrometry Facility where you can analyse wine and many other products. Or maybe you love rocks! If you do then visit the Electron Microscopy Facility where you will find instrumentation for high resolution imaging and identification of chemical signatures on a single specimen. The DNA Sequencing Facility focuses on human genetics. They provide standard capillary sequencing, fragment analysis and next-generation sequencing services. CAF also provides help to students at the Chemistry Department who will find the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility very helpful with liquids and solid state spectrometers for many applications.
Students who are interested in human movement can use the Neuromechanics Facility. You will learn about biomechanical analysis, which involves the movement patterns of the human body, as well as motor control and the work of the brain. Another exciting application in neuromechanics is to use wearable sensors or an inertial system, which is portable and will allow you to capture data of an athlete on any track. The study of motion or kinematics can keep you busy for many years. Healthcare, engineering and sports students can benefit from neuromechanics as it is a multidisciplinary field.
You truly have state-of-the-art equipment and services available on your doorstep. Use these opportunities and get the benefits you need to be competitive when entering your first job.
For more information: www.sun.ac.za/caf