The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) has opened applications for its Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.) bursary programme which offers eligible BSc engineering students the opportunity to pursue a career in the forest products industry and contribute to the circular economy. Awarded annually, each bursary is valued at R260,000 for two years of full-time study towards an M.Eng. degree at participating universities.
Applications must be done online by Friday 22 May 2020.
PAMSA, which represents the majority of South African pulp and paper producers, has been running the bursary and research programme for 10 years. Some 65 students have completed the programme with three progressing to PhD while more than 90% of the graduates have found careers as chemical and process engineers with PAMSA’s member companies.
The pulp and paper sector’s research aims to maximise the use of commercially grown timber by using – and re-using – as much of the tree as possible, such as lignin and sugars. There is also a lot of work being done on using process waste and by-products to develop biomaterials and nanocellulose structures for industrial application.
“Wood for commercial and industrial use comes from sustainably managed plantations in South Africa,” says Jane Molony, PAMSA executive director. “The science and chemistry behind wood, pulp and paper products presents our industry and country with some unique opportunities in the circular economy, in mitigating climate change and making sustainable use of an available and renewable resource – farmed trees."
By working with the Universities of North West, Pretoria, Stellenbosch and Witwatersrand, PAMSA is able to open bright young minds to the opportunities within a truly sustainable industry. "Our message for interested students is to 'go beyond' and imagine the possibilities of being involved in our industry."
PAMSA requires that the students have a good academic record with a minimum 60% average in the final year of study. Applicants must also have completed their BSc studies in five years or less.
Two short videos clipped introducing the students to the sector have also been produced.