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Matthew Kapp

Masters Student at University of Stellenbosch


MEng (Mechanical Engineering)

Stellenbosch University

Thesis project: Development of hydrogen fuel cell propulsion systems for unmanned aerial vehicles. This project is being done in collaboration with HySA (Hydrogen South Africa) Systems.


BEng Mechanical Engineering

Stellenbosch University

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

My supervisor, who lives in a farming area, saw how agricultural waste, such as dead orchards and vineyards is burnt on a large scale. He therefore built a Hill stick-wood furnace to generate energy from this waste. The functioning of the furnace relies on an induce-draft fan, which I designed, built and tested. The furnace operated effectively. The fan we developed was seven times more powerful than the fan formerly used in the system.


Matric certificate

Edgemead High School

Obtained "A" averages in Geography, Afrikaans, Mathematics, Science, Biology, Life Orientation. I received a Canterbury cross, our school's highest recognition for academic achievement. 

I was a prefect and played team tennis, hockey and soccer

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

Apr 2016Nov 2016

Hospital visits

Shofar Christian Church

We go to the local provincial hospital, where we visit patients.

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.

Other Useful Things

  • I am currently assembling a 3D printer (Prusa i3)
  • I have taught myself most of the programming languages needed to make database-driven websites i.e. HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL
  • I have taught myself SCAD, a programming language used to program CAD models.
  • I have started learning how to develop android apps.