Each year, the Falling Walls Foundation supports scientific organisations around the world to host a Falling Walls Lab. This international forum promotes interdisciplinary connections between aspiring academics, innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals known for their excellent work.
On Thursday, 02 September, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in South Africa, hosted the virtual Falling Walls Lab Johannesburg event. Each participant had three minutes to make their pitch in front of a jury of eminent academics and leaders from industry.
The winner of the Falling Walls Lab Johannesburg 2021 was Ms. Adivhaho Mphaphuli, a BEng. Civil Engineering graduate from the University of Johannesburg. Adivhaho impressed the jury members and audience with her presentation on “Breaking The Wall of Water Leakages”.
Dr. Herman Myburgh, a Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Intelligent Systems (IIS) at the University of Johannesburg won second place with his pitch on “Breaking the Wall of Practical Stem Education”, while Mr. Chris Abraham, an MEng (Electrical Engineering) candidate at Stellenbosch University won third place with his pitch on “Breaking The Wall of Unsustainable Transport”.
The significance of Ms. Mphaphuli’s research and her determination to achieve a true scientific breakthrough has afforded her the opportunity to pitch her ground-breaking idea in front of an influential global audience of industry leaders, decision makers, investors, and international media representatives.
Ms. Mphaphuli was afforded the incredible opportunity to compete against other Falling Walls Lab winners across the world at the Falling Walls Lab Global Finale in Berlin, Germany in November 2021.
“It was an honour to be a part of this event. The presenters, judges, and everyone who participated in the Falling Walls Lab event taught me a lot. It was a lot of fun interacting with everyone and discussing different approaches to enhance our communities. I was impressed by the presenters’ ideas and their approach to different challenges which communities are facing. I am looking forward to attending the Falling Walls Lab Global Finale in Berlin, Germany.”
The event organising partners would like to express their gratitude for the involvement of the jury members for Falling Walls Lab Johannesburg 2021:
- Prof. Ylva Rodny-Gumede-Senior Director: Division for Internationalisation (University of Johannesburg)
- Dr. Susanne Kieffer-Science Counsellor (German Embassy Pretoria)
- Dr. Precious Biyela-Senior Lecturer: Environmental Engineering(University of the Witwatersrand)
- Mr. Ronny Mabokela-Head: Technopreneurship Centre for SCiiS Lecturer: Department of Applied Information Systems (University of Johannesburg)
- Ms. Shaleenah Marie-Samsunder-Head of ‘Learning and Education’ portfolio (Siemens)
- Mr. Artur Barreiros-Regional Director Sale Africa, Sub Region South: Automotive Aftermarket (Robert Bosch (Pty) Ltd)
- Mr. Steven Parkinson-Head of Training Academy (ThyssenKrupp)
- Ms. Joanne Riley-Science Editor: Science Communication Division SAASTA (South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement)
- Mr. Horst Weinert-Executive Sales Manager(Festo Didactic in Southern and Eastern Africa)
To learn more about the participants and jury members, Read the event program booklet (PDF)