Aerospace (Aeronautics and Space) Research and Development is a global business. The future challenges of air transport, such as climate change, limitation of energy resources, push the leading worldwide aviation research institutions, such as the CSIR, NASA, TsAGI, ONERA, DLR, JAXA to consolidate the applied research. Applied Research will also be embedded more and more in teaching in order to prepare the future generation of aerospace graduates to work in the 21st Century Aerospace Industry.
The Aeronautical Group is predominantly involved in applied aerodynamics and alternative aircraft configurations.
The CFD is currently focused on
- Airframe propulsion integration
- Design exploration and Optimization
The design application and engineering educational focus is currently on
- Alternative aircraft configurations
- Application to UAVs
The first post-graduate honours course in Aerospace Engineering in South Africa started in 2016. This Master has been defined with the Aerospace Industry in order to respond to the recent Research and Technology in the Aerospace world. Fields such as Aeroelasticity, Avionics, Advanced Aerodynamics, Aircraft Structure, Aircraft Propulsion, Missile Aerodynamics and Design, Flight Dynamics, Unmanned Air System Technology and Experimental Methods will be delivered by Scientists and Professional Engineers from the CSIR, Paramount Advanced Technologies (PAT), Denel and Incomar Aerospace and Defence Systems (IADS). In 2019, Dr L Smith expanded this program to include participants from industry, other SA Universities and had a special guest lecturer from the University of Cranfield presenting a course.
The Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department at the University of Pretoria runs a multi-national, multidisciplinary vertically-integrated engineering design project focused on developing modular drone solutions for wildlife protection applications. Dr Lelanie Smith, who is the leader and manager of the project called AREND
, coordinates the design and collaboration activities between local and international Universities. She also works closely with the local industry
where they offer meaningful exchange of knowledge and mentorship to students involved in the project.
The Aeronautical group welcomes academics and researchers in the broad field of Aerospace as visitors and collaborators. For more information contact Dr Lelanie Smith
the coordinator of Aeronautical activities.