Dr. Jakob J. van Zyl, associate director of Project Formulation and Strategy at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, mesmerised delegates attending the second Engineering Community Conference (ECC) hosted by ESTEQ, when he delivered his keynote address on Curiosity Rover’s journey to Mars.
Van Zyl, born in Outjo, Namibia, received his first degree in electrical engineering from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa in 1979, elaborated on Curiosity rover’s landing on Mars on Tuesday August 6th, 2012. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars, about one mile from the centre of its 12-mile-long target area.
“Within the first eight months of a planned 23-month primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life,” explained van Zyl.
“After landing, NASA’s Curiosity Rover, continued on its extraordinary journey across landscapes that are both utterly alien, and remarkably familiar,” said van Zyl.
Equally interesting was Willie van der Walt’s presentation on Denel’s SARA (South African Regional Aircraft).
The ECC was attended by 200 delegates.
Willie van der Walt Executive Manager Engineering Denel Aerostructures, Cobus Oosthuizen MD of Esteq and keynote speaker Dr. Jakob J. van Zyl, associate director of Project Formulation and Strategy at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Andrew Osmond and Danie Booysen of Design Office Technologies with Charl Jacobs and Robert Mawbey, both of DIY Electronics
Pieter Swart, Christian Stehle and Pieter Anker, all from Weir Minerals
Jan Oosthuizen, Anthony Robinson, Gerhard Smit, Wilmien Visser, Cobus van Rooy and Rudolf Bester, all of Airbus DS Optronics