Email us

Virtual Campus

Brief History and Background of the School and the Department


A Chair for Engineering Management, sponsored by industry, was established in 1987, with Prof Gideon de Wet as its first incumbent. The Chair developed a Masters Programme in Engineering Management (MEM) and a first group of 45 students was admitted in 1989. Since then, between 40 and 60 practising engineers from across the industry spectrum have registered for the programme every year. Building on the success of the start-up years, a formal separate department was created in the erstwhile Faculty of Engineering in 1994, the first and only of its kind in South Africa.

This evolved into the Department of Engineering and Technology Management in 1994, the first and – at the time – only department of its kind at a South African university. Prof Antonie de Klerk was the first Head of Department. In 2000 Prof Tinus Pretorius  succeeded as Head of Department and Prof Elma van der Lingen was appointed as Head of Department w.e.f 1 October 2016. The Department went from strength to strength, and postgraduate student numbers soon exceeded 1 000. The Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM) evolved from this department and was established on 1 January 2007 as a fourth school in the Faculty.

Master's Programme in Project Management (MPM) was established in 1999 and 45 students were admitted. Due to the popularity of the programme, the numbers have grown to between 70 and 80. The GSTM is registered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the USA as a Global Education Provider and claims to be the capital for project management research and training in Africa. In 2008, the MPM received international accreditation from the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC), of the Project Management Institute, USA  

Management of Technology (MOT) honours and master's (dissertation) programmes were also launched in 1995. The programme is aimed at recently graduated engineers and scientists. In 2004, a Master's in Technology Management (MTM) was introduced. This degree is aimed at graduates with a MOT degree to further prepare them for leadership roles in business through professional postgraduate education.

Today, the GSTM offers a variety of engineering-, project- and technology management-related programmes. Several individuals from industry are also involved on a part-time basis, mostly as extraordinary professors. The GSTM offers internationally recognised programmes at honours, master’s and doctoral level. Its programmes address different needs in the field of technology management, project management, engineering management, life cycle management and asset management.

A strong focus on research ensures competitive education. Research also ensures relevance to the market in terms of increased competitiveness, optimising product life cycles, technology transfer and the positioning of technological abilities within the international context. The GSTM’s academic and research offering and consultation services to industry contribute to relevance, competitiveness and excellence.

Collaboration with both local and international institutions is of great importance to the GSTM. This contributes to the continuous improvement in the quality of its research and educational activities. It has a long-standing collaboration with Tilburg University in The Netherlands, and academics from both institutions engage in exchange programmes for research and teaching activities.

Share this page
Last edited by Martha MulderEdit