The CSIR Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC), a first of its kind in South Africa, was established in 2013 to support small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) involved in bio-manufacturing to meet their customers’ needs in short time-frames and to exploit market opportunities.

Rudi Heydenrich


Heydenrich holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) from University of Pretoria as well as a Master’s in Chemical Engineering from North West University. He has over 25 years of experience in chemical engineering.

He joined Sasol Group Technology in 1988 after spending six years as a chemical engineer with the South African Atomic Energy Corporation and a short stay with Armscor. Sasol Group Technology manages Sasol’s research and development, technology innovation and management, engineering services and capital project management portfolios.

Erlank Pienaar


Since joining the CSIR in 1988, Pienaar has contributed to the development of cutting edge radar and electronic warfare components and systems that have found their way to international markets - and created significant international research and development collaborations that continue to contribute to the CSIR’s knowledge and client base.

Dr Quentin Williams


Williams focuses on the formulation and implementation of research strategy within the information and communications (ICT) domain and in particular, he facilitates data science skills programmes across the national ICT research and development ecosystem for the CSIR.

He completed a BEng in electronic engineering at Stellenbosch University, followed by a PhD in engineering from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom with emphasis on using artificial intelligence and analytics to understand cardiac disease.

About his talk

Lee Annamalai


Annamalai manages the CSIR’s smart systems area. He has a Master’s in engineering from the University of Pretoria and a wide technology capability ranging from electronic engineering and systems in defence, the Internet of Things and space systems to big data spatial information systems.

About the talk:

Dr Busisiwe Vilakazi


Vilakazi is a senior researcher in the field of medical device development at the CSIR. She completed an MSc in engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2007. This was followed with a DPhil in biomedical engineering in 2012 as a Nelson Mandela Scholar from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Vilakazi’s current research interests include development of signal processing techniques and their application to diagnostic systems, especially in the context of medical problems.

About her talk:

Ashley Bhugwandin


Bhugwandin is the manager of the Technology Localisation Implementation Unit, an initiative funded by the Department of Science and Technology and hosted by the CSIR. He completed his industrial engineering studies at the Durban University of Technology and spent 13 years working within a variety of manufacturing industries, including some of the larger manufacturers such as Toyota South Africa, South African Breweries, Volkswagen SA and Behr SA.

About his talk: