Muhammed Hassen takes mine safety project to the international stage

A Johannesburg-based young scientist whose research is at the forefront of improving mine safety in the country, is set to compete in the largest science fair in the world – the 2021 Virtual Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the United States.

Muhammed Hassen, currently in Grade 11 at Greenside High School, was a big winner at last year’s Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, scooping a gold medal and various special awards, including a partial scholarship from Wits University’s Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment and the Meiring Naudé Award for the most inspiring project.

Hassen’s research project, “ThembaBot 5 – Mine Surveying Robot”, is focused on a simple, ergonomic and cost-effective robot to help mine surveyors conduct their tests to see whether mines are safe for miners.

Eskom General Manager of Risk and Sustainability, Andrew Etzinger, said: “Eskom continues to support Eskom Expo as a flagship CSI initiative, which provides opportunities to promising young scientists to showcase their scientific brilliance on the world stage. As a young scientist, Muhammed has shown mastery of several essential skills, including: logical thinking, careful planning, attention to detail, methodical execution of procedures, and good written and verbal communication skills. We wish him all the best as he sets out to compete in the world’s largest and most prestigious science fair, the Regeneron ISEF, in May”.

The Regeneron ISEF event will run in the week of 16 to 21 May 2021, and learners in grades 9 to 12 will compete for nearly R73 million in awards, prizes and scholarships. Each year, more than 1 800 young scientists from around the world earn the right to compete at Regeneron ISEF by winning a top prize at a Society for Science-affiliated local, regional, state or national science fair.

Eskom Expo Executive Director, Parthy Chetty, said: “Every year, Eskom Expo develops thousands of young scientists and engineers for the country, as part of our human capital development initiative. At times, we are fortunate to compete internationally as well, with good quality projects like the one developed by Muhammed. He is a role model and I wish that other budding young scientists can follow his path of hard work that ends in excellence and great rewards.”

Registration is open for participation in Eskom Expo’s virtual provincial science fairs. Learners in grades 4 to 12 may register and upload project documents by clicking here.

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