merSETA Chair for Engineering Development

The purpose of this project is to grow human resources in electrical, industrial, and mechanical engineering, as well as mechatronics in order to enhance the manufacturing industry in the Eastern Cape to enable competitiveness and a growing and sustainable economy. The objectives are to increase capacity at FET Colleges, promote women in engineering, create an awareness of the relevance and importance of engineering at schools within rural communities in the Eastern Cape Province, increase capacity of educators at technical high schools in the Eastern Cape Province, and develop specialist training courses to address the needs of the manufacturing industry.

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The Centre of Community Technology (CCT)

The Centre of Community Technologies (CCT), established in 2014, uses technology and innovation to contribute to a more prosperous and inclusive society, to accelerate inclusive economic growth, and to improve people’s everyday lives. The CCT engages with community members, particularly in South African townships and rural areas, to co-design technology solutions for everyday challenges in these communities so that technology becomes an enabler in their lives. The CCT integrates transdisciplinary research and innovation with community engagement through the development and implementation of apps and other smart technologies that enable the advancement of education, health, rural and social development, particularly in low income communities. This is combined with training, networking and policy analysis and advice.  Leveraging the opportunities of 4IR, the CCT develops technological advancements that can transform South Africa’s workforce and skill the nation for a digital economy. 

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Chair for Education in Human Settlements Development and Management (CEHSDM)

The entity was established in 2013, initially through a Memorandum of Agreement between the university and Department of Human Settlements in South Africa, for the purpose of providing support to the human settlements sector in the introduction of human settlement academic programmes, research and professionalisation. Over the years, the entity has expanded on its work to embrace research which is promoting the uptake of innovations and technologies for creation of green, smart, liveable, inclusive, and sustainable human settlements in South Africa

STEM in Action

STEM in ACTION is a community engagement entity within the EBET Faculty. It supports learners, educators, and parents across the educational phases, through a hands-on brains-on approach within the teaching and learning of Physical Science. This constructivist approach together with a dynamic and enthusiastic STEM in ACTION team, aims to get learners motivated about the subject and start considering possible careers paths for which this subject is the gate keeper to. Follow the link for more about our various STEM in ACTION projects.”

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Cisco Academy Suport Centre (CASC)

The Southern Africa Cisco Academy Support Centre, within the School of IT, is part of the Cisco Networking Academy Program, which is a comprehensive e-learning program taught in more than 10,000 educational institutions worldwide. The same content is taught all over the world which makes this a truly international program. The aim of the program is to teach students both theoretical and practical skills to prepare them for a career in Communication Networking. The Cisco Networking Academy Program partners with schools, colleges, universities, NGOs, and Governments to afford students the opportunity to become networking professionals and to help a country to increase its advanced ICT skills base.   

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Pearson VUE Testing Centre

The Nelson Mandela University Pearson Vue Testing Centre officially commenced offering testing services in July 2013. Located in the EBET Faculty, within the School of IT, the unit runs under the auspices of the Southern Africa Cisco Academy Support Centre (SACASC), also found within the School of IT. The Pearson VUE Testing Centre provides testing services in a secure environment with state-of-the art computer equipment. Popular exams offered at the centre include those from vendors, such as  Cisco Systems, CIMA, Microsoft , CompTIA, IQN, EXIN,  Oracle, First Finance Institute, Esri, Linux, Professional Institute, The Institute of Internal Auditors,  Juniper ,  Adobe, IFTA and  HUAWEI.

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Advanced Engineering Design Group (AEDG)

The Advanced Engineering Design Group (AEDG) at Nelson Mandela University is an engagement group in the Faculty of Engineering that focuses on Design for Light weighting, Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), Generative Design & Topology Optimization, Lattice Design, Biomimicry & Conceptual Design, IoT & Robotics, Industry 4.0 Design Integration, and Innovative Design for the Medical field, in projects that are student-driven and which involve cross-institutional, industry and private sector participation. The group focuses on collaborative projects to produce physical & functional real-world outcomes that promote & encourage engineering design utilising the latest available technology platforms in tandem with their industry and private sector partners.

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Advanced Mechatronics Technology Centre (AMTC)

The AMTC is registered as a centre and its activities largely supported by external partners. The main activities include staff and student exchange programmes to German partner universities as well as the human resource development in the mechatronic domain.  Since inception of the AMTC, it has grown rapidly and currently includes activities in Teaching and Learning, Community and Research. The AMTC is an engagement unit within the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Technology with a focus on human capital development through education.

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eNtsa is acknowledged internationally as an innovation hub that supports research, design, and technology assimilation for the broader manufacturing sector, with a focus on the automotive, power generation and petrochemical industries. eNtsa, a registered engagement entity at institute level at Nelson Mandela University, hosts several programmes and projects to advance engineering support for technology and human resource development within South Africa. eNtsa continuously strives to enhance technology innovation and to stimulate a climate of sustainable socio-economic growth in South Africa. It maintains strong relations with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI).

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Isuzu Chair in Mechatronics

The purpose of the Chair is to assist in the establishment of new research and development trends, opportunities, and initiatives within the field of mechatronics. It facilitates knowledge transfer into teaching and learning concepts and integrates it into undergraduate and postgraduate engineering programmes. It further seeks to strengthen international opportunities and cooperation between Nelson Mandela University, other national and international institutes of learning and the automotive industry.

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Centre for Research in Information and Cyber Security (CRICS)

Information and, in particular, cyber security has a multi-disciplinary nature and focus as its basis. The proliferation of the Internet and related online services has influenced individuals, organisations, the private and public sectors in its entirety. From national critical infrastructures, the banking sector, organisational business processes and strategies to individual communication, recreation, commerce, etc. have all grown dependent on the associated online services. The related security aspects are well founded on disciplines, like information technology, education, psychology, law, etc. Therefore, the security of information and cyber related service are truly multi-disciplinary in nature. CRICS will function in close relationship with the Nelson Mandela University's Institutional Research Theme called "Cyber Citizenship". CRICS aims to focus primarily on the security aspects related to Cyber Citizenship. The general objective of CRICS will be to address all types of activities that can assist in enhancing information and to address all types of activities that can assist in enhancing information and cyber security in general. Obviously one of the main goals will be very academic and research inclined. Postgraduate research and research papers as outputs will play an important role. Along with this, activities to assist and enhance information and cyber security in the community, the government, corporates, etc. will take place. Some projects are already taking place like; assisting schools to educate children, organisations to raise security awareness, policy proposals to governmental departments, etc. Thus, the goal of CRICS is to ensure all activities are taking place from one coordinating body, namely, CRICS.

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Renewable Energy Research Group (Mandela Autonomous Operations)

The goals of the group are based on applied, practical research of small scale RE harvesting systems as well as energy storage. These include various novel wind turbines, solar pumping solutions, solar thermal devices as well as heat engines producing electricity from stored solar derived heat. The group’s research has recently expanded into the field of UAV’s with the development of various novel configurations of marine, land and airborne drones.


The Built Environment Research Centre (BERC) aims to be the preferred centre of built environment industry originated research on the African continent by engendering innovation. The purpose of the centre is to contribute to the creation of new research and materials development, to take advantage of research opportunities within the built environment and facilitate knowledge transfer to and from built environment professionals through research enterprise. It is envisaged that this entity will spur development, transformation, global competitiveness, and sustainability of the built environment and society at large.

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The Infrastructure Development and Engagement Unit

The Infrastructure Development and Engagement Unit (ID&EU) was established in 2019 and is an infrastructure focused entity based at Nelson Mandela University.  The main objectives are to enhance partnerships between the industry and government, enhance research development that will provide a platform for staff and postgraduate students to participate in infrastructure engagement activities in collaboration with the industry, to advance project bankability in the region and to influence the structuring of infrastructure projects as an asset class that is tradeable to sustain the duration of both greenfield and brownfield phases. The following two areas have been identified as potential starting points to fulfil the above objectives: The Eastern Cape Oceans Economy and the current restructuring of the energy South African sector.