UP ready to launch Engineering 4.0

Posted on November 20, 2020

UP will launch its state-of-the-art Engineering 4.0 complex on its Hillcrest Campus on 30 November 2020.

The research facility – which is the result of a partnership with the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and York Timbers – will focus on research on smart cities, transport and infrastructure.

“This facility is being positioned as a centre of excellence in smart transportation and infrastructure,” says Professor Wynand Steyn, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT). “Through its focus on the development of integrated transportation systems, its research is concentrating on the reduction of energy consumption levels in transportation, maximising productivity in industry and creating a higher quality of life for the country’s citizens.”

“South Africa’s transportation engineering sector is facing many challenges, including limited training to bridge the current knowledge gap, and a shortage of training and independent materials testing facilities for the construction and transportation industry,” adds Prof Sunil Maharaj, Dean of EBIT. “It was against this backdrop that SANRAL, UP and the CSIR embarked on a collaborative partnership to establish Engineering 4.0.”

South Africa is faced with a dire shortage of civil engineers compared to other countries. In its Infrastructure Report Card, the South African Institute of Civil Engineering indicated that Europe, North America, India and China have one engineer for every 130 to 450 citizens. In South Africa, this ratio is one engineer for every 3 200 people. “This disadvantage applies equally to technologists, technicians and artisans, leading to a lack of quality personnel throughout the transportation sector,” said Prof Maharaj

- Author Primarashni Gower

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