The National Research Foundation (NRF) is pleased to announce that Dr Edward Nkadimeng has been recognised as a Leading Innovator in Technology and Innovation by the Mail and Guardian in its 200 Young South Africans initiative for 2023. This highlights Dr Nkadimeng’s contributions and remarkable achievements in advancing technology and driving innovation in South Africa.
He is involved in the Large Hadron Collider’s ATLAS Tile Calorimeter Phase-II Upgrade Project through the SA-CERN programme which is funded by the Department of Science & Innovation (DSI) and hosted by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (NRF-iThemba LABS). He has been instrumental in the development and optimisation of the project’s Low Voltage Power Supply (LVPS) system. These are complex electronic systems that are required to operate under harsh radiation conditions for at least 15 years. Such technologies are not available off-the-shelf.
Dr Nkadimeng’s expertise has contributed to the design and delivery of prototypes for South African electronics for this critical upgrade at CERN, the largest particle physics research facility in the world. His work focuses on the development of test benches and the analysis of data to determine the properties and performance of the LVPS system. Dr Nkadimeng and his team collaborate and contribute to the advancement of particle physics research for the ATLAS experiment and has, through his collaboration with international teams, been able to leverage expertise and resources to enhance South Africa’s capabilities in cutting-edge technology and innovation.
The LVPS upgrade is crucial for converting high voltage to low voltage that enables the efficient operation of the on-detector electronics within the Tile Calorimeter. Through extensive irradiation test campaigns, Dr Nkadimeng and his team identified radiation-hard components to ensure the durability and reliability of the LVPS in the demanding experimental environment. Their efforts have resulted in the creation of a robust three-stage LVPS system that meets the stringent requirements of the project.
Dr Nkadimeng’s contributions extend beyond his technical expertise. He has also played a pivotal role in fostering technology transfer and building relationships with South African industries. By facilitating the transfer of emerging technologies and skills, he has contributed to the creation of modified products and services that benefit society at large. His dedication to bridging the gap between academia and industry highlights his commitment to drive innovation and societal progress.
His appointment to co-convene a working group on the ATLAS experiment, as well as his coordination of South Africa’s contribution to the LVPS project, showcases his leadership capabilities and deep understanding of the field.