The women in engineering leadership association is one of five projects initiated and managed by the merSETA Chair in Engineering Development. merSETA together with Nelson Mandela University initiated the wela programme with the aim of empowering young female engineering students at the institution. The duo has recognised the importance of promoting and developing women into this emerging field and to market it as a desirable career aspiration.


The 2021 SACQSP International Research Conference is calling all researchers to submit abstracts for the Virtual Conference that will take place on 10 November 2021. 

The Dean, Prof Ben van Wyk would like to introduce the first edition of our new annual faculty publication: IDEATE Vol 1!

This edition focuses on the work the faculty is doing in the 'service of society' through our entities. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading about our faculty's innovative work.

Also visit our Entities page for more exciting projects and link to the publication. 

Nearly every time I investigate remote area power supplies for low income areas, the power supply is either unreliable or has failed.  Typically in remote areas, renewable energy is used as the source.  Even in non remote areas, the cost of grid connection can be prohibitive for a low income population.

It is with great pride that the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Technology staff congratulate Prof Darelle van Greunen who has been promoted to Distinguished Professor at the University and had also been awarded an Extraordinary Professorship at NWU's Optentia Research Unit. 

Due to effort from academics, lead to the development of a new Health and Safety Management programme. Please read more on page 106 and 107 in the November 2020 edition of To Build

To ensure the success of railway concessions, Nelson Mandela University Infrastructure Development and Engagement Unit (ID&EU) associate Bongani Mankewu says government “must fathom the significant role to be played by academia and the industry”. Please read the full article here.

Meet Prof Crafford

Gerrit Crafford is a Professor in Construction Economics at Nelson Mandela University. He also serves as the Acting Director of the School of the Built Environment and Civil Engineering and is the Chairperson of the Engineering, the Built Environment and Technology (EBET) Faculty Postgraduate Studies Committee. He is a results-driven, independent, determined, and resourceful academic who enjoys analysing problems and responding to crisis situations. He has an established domestic research track record and enjoys some international recognition for the quality and impact of his research outputs. He has research interests in the areas of higher education teaching and learning and business strategy. In his ideal future, he envisions himself driving strategic innovation in an international institution or organisation. Visit Prof Crafford's profile page for more information.

Meet Prof Freere

Prof. Freere has a Ph.D. in power electronic control of motors from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK and a research master's degree on the control of wind turbines from the University of New South Wales, Australia.  Although currently at Nelson Mandela University in South Africa, he has worked in several universities around the world, such as Monash University, Kathmandu University, the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and short stints in Germany, Korea, and Cape Town. Visit Prof's profile page for more information. 

Meet Prof Mostert

Nicky Mostert is a Professor in the Department of Software Engineering at Nelson Mandela University. She holds a PhD from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Her research is mainly focused on health informatics, with a developing interest in various aspects related to social media and social networking. She has been a council member of the South African Health Informatics Association (SAHIA) since 2010 and is currently active in the portfolio of Immediate Past President. Her involvement in the health informatics field on the African continent has most notably been as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Health Informatics in Africa (JHIA) and the Scientific Programme Committee Chair of the Health Informatics in Africa (HELINA) conferences. HELINA is the Pan African Health Informatics Association and the African Region of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA). Visit Prof Mostert's profile page for more information.

Nelson Mandela University Infrastructure Development and engagement unit associate Mr Bongani Mangewu wrote an opinion piece for Creamer Media’s Engineering News giving insight and recommendations to South Africa’s infrastructure and development with emphasis on the need for hybridity between Public and private sector  and good governance being the catalyst for economic growth. Please read the full article here

Theo is a senior lecturer within the Mechatronics Engineering Department at Nelson Mandela University and a researcher within the Advanced Mechatronics Technology Centre. Since starting at the then Port Elizabeth Technikon over 30 years ago, his teaching and research interest have been within the field of Mechatronics. He teaches classical and modern continuous and discrete control theory, process control, sensors and instrumentation. His teaching strategy is grounded in action research, a continuous systematic enquiry to help develop teaching actions that enable learners to improve learning engagement and professional development. Visit Prof van Niekerk's profile for more information.

Meet Prof Shakantu

Professor Winston Shakantu is a Full Professor of Construction Management at the Nelson Mandela University. Winston’s academic qualifications include a BSc in Building,   an MSc in Construction Management from the University of Reading and a PhD from Glasgow Caledonian University. He also attended a post-graduate course in International Construction Management and has been inducted into the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) as a Professional Construction Manager (Pr.CM), and the Chartered Institute of Building as a Corporate Member (MCIOB), and a Chartered Construction Manager. Visit Prof Shakantu's profile page for more information.

Prof Abou-El-Hossein is a Professor at Nelson Mandela University. He is a professional mechanical engineer registered by the Engineering Council of South Africa. Please visit Prof Abou-El-Hossein's profile page for more information.

Meet Prof Makasa

Paul Makasa is a Professor of Architecture at Nelson Mandela University, in South Africa. He obtained his PhD from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, a Master’s in Housing Policies for Developing Nations, from Alvar Aalto University in Finland and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Zambia. He also holds a P.G. Certificate in Research Methods for Development from the Institute for Social Studies in the Hague. Visit Prof Makasa's profile page for more information. 

Meet Prof Gorlach

Igor Gorlach is a Professor at Nelson Mandela University and the Isuzu Chair of Mechatronics. He obtained a Masters degree from Wits University and a PhD from the North-West University. The Isuzu Chair in Mechatronics at Nelson Mandela University was established in 2009. Initially sponsored by General Motors and later by Isuzu, the main objective of the partnership is to co-facilitate cooperation between industry and academia with the aim to enhance human resource development (HRD) in support of the automotive industry. The guiding priorities of the Chair are formulated as follows: identify mutually beneficial projects, engage with the company engineering departments and university staff to support joint activities, facilitate research, training and education, knowledge transfer, and provide guidance and support for students in their interactions with the company. Visit Prof Garloach's profile page for more information. 


Meet Prof Futcher

I have a PhD in Information Technology from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and a Higher Education Diploma from UNISA. My primary areas of research include Information and Cyber Security Education and Secure Software Development. As such, I am a key member of the Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Research in Information and Cyber Security (CRICS). I also have a keen interest in IT Project Management, Human Computer Interaction, User Experience and Usable Security. I have been actively involved in the IFIP Working Group 11.8 (Information Security Education) since 2005 taking on several committee positions including Vice-Chair and Secretary. As current Chair of this working group, I aim to promote Information Security Education, Training and Awareness in academia, government and industry by encouraging collaboration and engagement amongst these key stakeholders. Visit Prof Futcher's profile for more information.

Meet Prof Phillips
Russell Phillips is a Professor at the Nelson Mandela University and Manager of the Renewable Energy Research Group as well as the Mandela Autonomous Operations group. He holds a Doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Nelson Mandela University. He holds a number of patents in his research fields. For more information.

Professor Van Greunen leads a research, engagement and innovation group at Nelson Mandela University, namely the Centre for Community Technologies (CCT). 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.  She is recognised as one of a handful of innovators for the people and is affectionately known as “the people’s professor” who has managed to introduce smart technologies to the man in the street. Read more about Prof Van Greunen's work on her profile page.

Kevin Kativu

GROWING up Kevin Kativu, 32, always had a fascination with electronics and probably opened every power toy he owned to see what was happening inside.

It was then no surprise that this researcher and developer at Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Community Technologies (CCT) was drawn into a career in information technology.

Meet Prof Buys

Fanie Buys is a Professor at the Nelson Mandela University and holds a MSc degree in Quantity Surveying and a PhD degree in Construction Economics, both from the Nelson Mandela University. Apart from lecturing and research he is well known in South Africa amongst quantity surveying and construction management students and practitioners for his publications on quantity surveying. For more information, click here.

Meet Prof Mbanga
Prof Sijekula Mbanga is an Associate Professor, a programme leader for Human Settlements Studies, a member of the research group on environmental stewardship and sustainable livelihoods and the Chair for Sustainable Human Settlements at Nelson Mandela University. For more inforamtion, please visit Prof Mbanga's profile page. 
Meet Prof Hattingh

I have been an academic in Mechanical Engineering at Nelson Mandela University (previously Port Elizabeth Technikon) since 1989 and was appointed as a full Professor: Mechanical Engineering in 2002. During 2012 I was awarded a Distinguish Professorship for 5 years which was renewed in 2018. My research interests are vested in Solid State Welding as a joining and repair technique and Small Sample Testing (both Static and Creep) as a methodology for assessing remaining life of high value engineering structures. Please visit Prof Hantting's profile page for more information. 

Meet Prof Thomson

Professor Thomson is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Technology, the Head of Department for the Network Engineering department and a senior team member of the Centre for Research in Information and Cyber Security (CRICS). She is the Chair of the international IFIP Technical Committee 11 Working Group 12 (11.12) – Human Aspects of Information Security and Assurance. She has served as the Secretary and Vice-Chair of this Working Group for the past nine years.  Professor Thomson is a senior instructor in the Cisco Networking Academy Program and is an industry certified Cisco Certified Networking Associate, and has achieved the CCNA Security certification. To read more about Prof Thomson, please visit her profile

Meet Prof von Solms
Professor Rossouw von Solms is an emeritus professor from Nelson Mandela University. At the time of retirement, Rossouw was also a Distinguished Professor at the university. Prior to retirement, he was the Director of the Centre for Research in Information and Cyber Security (CRICS) at Nelson Mandela University, and prior to this position, he. headed the Department of Information Technology for more than 17 years. To read more about Prof von Solms's work, visit his profile.
Meet Prof Botha

Reinhardt A. Botha is a Professor of Information Technology in the School of Information Technology.  He is the director of the Centre for Research in Information and Cyber Security (CRICS). His research focuses on Information Security and Privacy. Reinhardt holds a PhD degree from the former Rand Afrikaans University in Johannesburg as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.  He is a certified ITIL Expert as well as a certified IBM Application Security Specialist.

The scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the poor, in particular, has once again highlighted the need for intervention in the country’s most vulnerable communities.

Poverty, unemployment and generally poor living conditions are among the challenges faced by these communities, particularly the densely populated informal settlements.

Meet Prof Lombard

Hannalie Lombard is an Associate Professor at the Nelson Mandela University. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Plymouth University: Faculty of Science and Engineering (former Faculty of Technology) with a thesis entitled. Optimized fatigue and fracture performance of friction stir welding aluminium plate: A study of the inter-relationship between process parameters, TMAZ, microstructure, defect population and performance.  Her research investigates a process windows of the influence of input welding parameters on the quality and mechanical properties of 5083-H321 aluminium alloy. To learn more about Prof Lombard's teaching interest, research interest and publication, visit her profile.

Meet our Professors! An excited project we embarked on to introduce the Professors within the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Civil Engineering and Technology. Over the next few weeks, we will weekly introduce a new Professor, showcasing their teaching and research interest and publications. Visit the "meet our professors" page for the full list of professors. 

At a recently held virtual Africa Cisco Safari Conference, two staff members from the School of IT received awards from Cisco:

  • Shaun Vincent won the ‘Advanced Instructor Award’ for being one of the top 5 Cisco Instructors in Africa in 2019.  This award is based on student feedback, course completion and experience.
  • Gratitude Kudyachete was recognised as a ‘Cisco Hero’ for giving of his time and running virtual instructor training for the Cisco community during the pandemic lockdown period.

Congratulations to both Gratitude and Shaun on the recognition of their continued excellent contributions to the Cisco Networking Academy team!

Cities around the globe are moving towards a poverty-free, and well-protected planet whose people will enjoy harmonious peace and prosperity by 2030. Unfortunately, for socio-economic, technical, and especially geopolitical and historical reasons, the sub-Sahara African (SSAn) city is stuttering and lagging behind. This study is part of wider research conducted to contextualise and understand how SSAn cities can be made more competitive internally with each other and with those around the globe. Lusaka in Zambia, with a 2019 population of 1,267,440 inhabitants, still bearing a sprawled and fragmented colonial structure, is the case study. The city, modest by African standards, has experienced a rapid population increase from 138,000 in 1968 to the current. 45% of its population mainly live in upgraded housing, which mushroomed spontaneously on the periphery.

Prof Paul Makasa

With the increased sharing of potentially private information through the Internet, protecting individual privacy has received increased attention. A privacy paradox exists in that users report being concerned about their privacy, yet easily part with private information when given the opportunity. Users’ lack of understanding of privacy implications and mechanisms partially explains the privacy paradox.

Prof Reinhardt Botha

Professor Rossouw von Solms is an emeritus professor from Nelson Mandela University. At the time of retirement, Rossouw was also a Distinguished Professor at the university. Prior to retirement, he was the Director of the Centre for Research in Information and Cyber Security (CRICS) at Nelson Mandela University and prior to this position, he. headed the Department of Information Technology for more than 17 years.

Join Professor Barend van Wyk and his team of Directors as they take you on a journey of the various schools housed within the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Technology.

View the recording of the Open Day webinar held on the 7 July, as well as download all the presentations for your information.


The Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Technology is proud of Sharon Dent who has been appointed as General Board Member of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors.

The Faculty, and the Department of Quantity Surveying in particular, is indeed proud of this esteemed appointment and wish Sharon all the best in serving the Association and our vibrant profession.

As the world becomes more interconnected through online technologies and platforms, employees of organisations and society in general should be aware of the security and privacy implications this interconnectedness brings.  When online, both adults and children can be exposed to many cyberthreats, including identity theft, cyberbullying, malware, data breaches and phishing attacks, to name a few.  Without sufficient awareness of cyber-related risks, people may be vulnerable to these cyberthreats.

Prof. Kerry-Lynn Thomson

The Isuzu Chair in Mechatronics at Nelson Mandela University was established in 2009. Initially sponsored by General Motors and later by Isuzu, the main objective of the partnership is to co-facilitate cooperation between industry and academia with the aim to enhance human resource development (HRD) in support of the automotive industry.

Prof Igor Gorlach

In many ways, the scope of what used to be “traditional” quantity surveying in the private sector has changed as the scope of professional quantity surveying services increasingly includes advice to clients on wealth creation through investment in property development projects generally. However, the range of domain-related factors which impact on potential project profitability will always demand a sound foundation based on technical knowledge which underpins the “feasibility” advice provided by consultants.

Dr Fanie Buys

The Whip Peening innovation was first conceived as a theoretical solution having specific ties to the unique peening requirements associated with turbine rotor steeple groove refurbishment procedures.

Ian Wedderburn

Bellingham and Smith (B&S), a manufacturer of cricket bats in Thornhill in the Eastern Cape identified a need to increase the level of technology in their manufacturing process to gain the required export contracts to maintain/expand current workforce and access new markets.

Julien de Klerk

THE Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Technology is pleased to announce that Prof Danie Hattingh of eNtsa is a finalist in the 2019/2020 National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) – South 32 Awards.

ALL over the world many people are without electricity, either all the time, or quite often, due to failures of the supply.

The effort required to manage lives productively, without electricity, is considerable.  Yet many electrification projects do not transform the community.  Often the systems installed in remote areas are uneconomic and unsustainable.  Often those that benefit, only do so for a short while, until the systems break down.

Prof Peter Freere

Nelson Mandela University has developed the first prototype of an electric orchard vehicle equipped to undertake a range of low to medium energy applications.  This project followed discussions with fruit farmers and fruit processors that revealed that the continually increasing price of fuel and its volatility puts a strain on the transport of fruit and vegetables, as well as other farming processes.

merSETA, together with Nelson Mandela University, initiated the Wela programme with the aim of empowering young female engineering students at the institution. The duo has recognised the importance of promoting and developing women in this emerging field and to market it as a desirable career aspiration. It is the intention of Wela to focus on academic, professional, and personal development of women in engineering and to be of service to the community.

Nelson Mandela University established the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) Engagement Unit in 2019, the purpose of which is to catalyse a novel, sustainable manufacturing industry in the Southern Cape region, underpinned by new learning and teaching, research and engagement opportunities for the University. The Unit and its Italian partner InnovHousing recognised the need to contribute to building the necessary local knowledge base and skills to advance understanding and the utility of CLT as it relates to a feasible alternative to the conventional building materials of concrete and steel. Furthermore, the Unit aims to contribute to the building of a broader ecosystem within which professionals from across the industry, private practice, government structures, regulatory bodies, municipalities, and academia will be able to work towards building the CLT industry sector in South Africa.
The Heart of IT
The School of Information Technology has launched an outreach campaign" The Heart of IT" which is aimed at our students who are in need of assistance. It is important to demonstrate our commitment to the values of Nelson Mandela University. We would like to get as much support as possible and therefore, we ask staff and students to participate in the spirit of Ubuntu by donating various items during the course of this campaign. 
First Lego League

First Lego League is an international programme aimed towards encouraging learners from the age of 9-16 years old to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The School of Information Technology (SoIT) train the coaches and learners in basic robotics in preparation of the annual competition. The annual robotics competition is hosted by the SoIT and winners have the opportunity to compete in a national as well as in an international competition.

The training centre has played a major role in developing the skills of engineers and technicians in the Eastern Cape and in other parts of the country, and will continue to work closely with SIEMENS SA to ensure individuals receive expert training on the latest SIEMENS equipment.


Participating students must design and build a prototype – being a single seater, four-wheeled, off-road recreational vehicle, to meet given design specifications. These cars, powered by a 7,5kW engine must be safe, easy to transport and service and able to negotiate tough terrain. The design of the actual vehicle is open to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the students.

The Formula Student vehicle is a single-seat formula type car with a 600cc motorcycle engine and fully independent double-wishbone suspension. Advanced technology is used to develop these cars including the latest computer-aided design and engineering CAD/CAE software, electronic fuel injection control, engine and chassis data acquisition with telemetry for vehicle parameter monitoring and the latest steel, aluminium alloy and composite manufacturing techniques. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.  

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.”

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

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 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.

THE configuration of a design of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft for high payload, extended endurance operations by the Nelson Mandela University’s Mandela Autonomous Operations (MAO) Group has been patented and shows promise with regard to increased payload, durability and ease of operation. Dr Russell Phillips

Short lessons, recorded experiments, career exploration and wellness segments, are just a few of the interventions planned by Mandela University’s STEM IN ACTION’s programme to assist Grade 12 learners once they are back at school.  In 2019, some 2700 learners and their educators from 37 schools in Nelson Mandela Bay, benefited from this science and mathematics programme. 


To be the preferred centre of built environment industry originated research on the African continent.

The Nelson Mandela University’s Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology (EBEIT) with participation from other faculties including Science (School of Natural Science), established in 2019, a multidisciplinary Cross Laminate Timber (CLT) Technology engagement unit.

SOUTH END was the “District Six” of Port Elizabeth. It was a vibrant, diverse and integrated community with a sense of belonging. That was the way of life until the Group Areas Act of 1950 legislated the forced relocation of residents to various, racially segregated outlying areas of the city.

THE demand for contact lenses (CLs) is increasing rapidly among different age and race groups in Africa [1].

Prof Khaled Abou-El-Hossein and Muhammad Mukhtar Liman

MECHATRONICS focuses on the engineering of electrical, computer and mechanical systems. Intelligent systems may include Artificial Intelligence (AI) - based software systems, such as: expert systems, neural networks, fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms.  Within our research team the concept of Intelligent Mechatronic Systems is simply described as an electrical-mechanical device or system integrated with a microcomputer that has AI-based capacity to analyze sensor data and take action.  A functional prosthetic hand is an area of interest within the field of biomechatronics.

Prof Theo van Niekerk

THE cybercrime epidemic has escalated rapidly in recent years. Cyberattacks have become increasingly sophisticated, involving malware, phishing, machine learning, artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency, thus placing corporations, governments and individuals at constant risk. These new and evolving cybersecurity threats have placed cybersecurity as a top priority for many nations and businesses alike. However, many organisations and governments have struggled to hire enough qualified cybersecurity professionals to safeguard against the increase in cybercrime.

Prof Lyn Futcher

Creche X3

PRE-SCHOOLERS in Airport Valley on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth now enjoy a spacious, new building for their creche courtesy of Mandela University’s second-year Architecture students.

John Andrews, Clayton Johnson-Goddard and second-year architecture students

E-SCHOOLS are the future. But are traditional South African schools ready for it.

Origin of Things

THE importance of understanding the origin of territories motivated Mandela University senior lecturer, researcher and artist Dr Magda Minguzzi to convene a research group consisting of Chiefs and members of the KhoiSan community in the Port Elizabeth metropolitan area and university staff and students shortly after her arrival in South Africa from Italy in 2014.

THE continuous evaluation of the material condition during the active life cycle of a plant is essential in managing the engineering challenges associated with safely prolonging the life of high value engineering components, in certain instances well beyond the original intended design life.

Prof Danie Hattingh

THE function between the welding procedure, properties and effectiveness should be well-understood to sustain structural integrity of welded components for the full life of its application.  The quality of the welding procedure, weld properties and weld effectiveness are critical to enable safe designed welded structures operating under specific environmental constraints. 

Prof Hannalie Lombard