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Matthew Kapp

Masters Student at University of Stellenbosch



MEng (Mechanical Engineering)

Stellenbosch University

Thesis project: Looking at using hydrogen fuel cells to power quadcopters. This should increase the flight time of some quadcopters from around 30/40 min to 2 hours. This will allow numerous applications of using quadcopters to be more feasible. This project is being done in collaboration with HySA (Hydrogen South Africa) Systems.

Solar Thermal Energy Systems: learnt how to simulate and design CSP systems.
Advanced Design: Learnt how to program optimization algorithms and how to solve optimization problems.
Industrial Heat exchangers: Learnt how to analyze and design heat exchanger systems, focusing on cooling towers for power stations.
Advanced Control Systems: learnt about implementing multi-input-multi-output control.
Numerical Methods: Learnt how to efficiently solve large matrix problems.

Demiing (tutoring):
Thermofluids: I helped students with their tutorials. This subject comprises of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and heat transfer. I gained a more in-depth understanding of these fields by teaching it.


BEng (Mechanical Engineering)

Stellenbosch University

Final year project: Development of an Induced-Draft Fan for a Hill stick-wood furnace.

A Hill furnace is a furnace that completely combusts biomass to heat water. This system was meant to burn orchard and vineyard waste to heat water for an aquaponics system. The furnace needed an induced draught fan that could apply a strong negative pressure and be able to handle high temperatures. We designed, built and tested such a fan. This fan costs less that the former fan on the  furnace and applies a seven times stronger draught. As a result the furnace now works well, without spending too much money.


Matric certificate

Edgemead High School

I obtained 6 A's and 3 B's. I was a prefect and played team tennis, hockey and soccer. I received a trophy for achievement and participation in olympiads.

Vacation Work History

Nov 2015Dec 2015

Vacation work

Thermodynamics and Fluids Design (TFD)

A gasifier is a furnace that burns wood in a lack of oxygen. This generates syngas, a fuel similar to natural gas, with many applications for combustion. This company had designed and built one. A few of us students doing our vacation work there, restored this machine and tried to get it to work. Sealing the furnace, preventing air from entering, was quite a challenge. This prevented us from being successful during our 2 weeks there. The furnace ran, but it didn’t produce any syngas because of the sealing issues.

Auger pyrolysis research project: This system is similar to the gasifier mentioned above. It also produces syngas. The difference is that it uses sawdust. Sawmills produce a lot of waste sawdust which could be used to produce useful fuel using this system. The group of students doing vacation work there was tasked with conceptual design and feasibility analysis of such a system. We developed a conceptual design, but ran out of time to come up with a full plan for implementation.

Jun 2015Jul 2015

Vacation work

Metric Engineering

Venturi suction system: A venturi suction system sucks air by blowing air. This is useful if you want to suck particles, without having these particles damage the fan. One of the company’s clients, Great Karoo Crushers, wanted such a system developed to remove dust from their crushing processes. I helped develop, manufacture and test such a system. The project wasn’t successful in that it didn’t suck all that much. However it sucked enough to convince the client that such a system could work with a compressor instead of the small fan used on the test setup.

Jul 2014Jul 2014

Vacation work

Volkswagen Group SA

Driver Assessment System: They had a test track where they tested the reaction time of the drivers. A system was developed which would sense when a car drove past and then flash a light on the left or right. The driver then had to react in time to turn the correct way. I did the wiring and connecting of the different parts of the system together. I also helped with manufacturing of the system.

Jun 2014Jun 2014

Vacation work

Grey Green Sustainable Energy Engineering

AutoCad drawings; Extracting data from CAD drawings into Excel; Lux measurements; Creating Excel spreadsheet for energy consumption analysis

Volunteer Experience

Feb 2015Nov 2016


Dagbreek Community interaction

We go to a school / community centre, where we help the kids with their academics and play with them.

Jul 2015Nov 2015


Legacy Centre Kayamandi

Kids go to this centre to play soccer and do their homework. I helped them by teaching them concepts they needed to understand for school.

Organisational Experience

Apr 2016Jul 2016

Church mission to Zimbabwe

Shofar Christian Church

Helped organise a mission trip to Zimbabwe; Responsible for organizing transport; Ensure smooth border crossing 

Jun 2014Jul 2014

Longboard ramp event organiser

Inbly Naweek Komitee (Lockdown weekend comittee)

An annual activity at our residence is to pull someone on a longboard behind a motorbike. The longboarder then rides the ramp. I led the building of the ramp and ensured that the longboarders and spectators were  safe. I helped organise this event.

Competitions won

Aug 2017

Attacq smart cities innovation challenge


Launchlab is Stellenbosch University's business startup incubator. They have business idea competitions with corporate partners. I was one f the winners of one of these competitions.