The School of Engineering has embarked on a growth strategy over the last decade in view of the shortage of engineering skills in South Africa. This resulted in a significant increase in engineering student numbers.
The creation of additional teaching and research facilities for the School of Engineering was supported by the University and the Department of Higher Education and Training, resulting in the construction of the new Engineering 3 Building and parkade on the Hatfield Campus. This development provided additional lecture halls, laboratories, an access road and entrance as well as parking for a thousand cars.
The Mining Industry study centre is a vital part of the School of Engineering’s strategy to increase the success of engineering students, by providing facilities to support learning and especially group work. Such a facility has become a necessity due to the complexity of the lecture timetable and the changing demographic profile of students. There are many students who travel far on a daily basis and who do not have adequate facilities for study or group work at their homes or on campus.
The development of the Mining industry Study Centre, situated immediately west of the Engineering 1 Building, is financially supported by Xstrata and the Anglo-American Chairman’s Fund. The contract for the project was allocated to Robenco Construction. Work on the project started in April 2011 and was completed in July 2013. Progress and final project may be viewed at http://web.up.ac.za/building
The Mining Industry Study Centre accommodates 782 students in the following configurations on two levels: On level 3 there are 200 individual workstations accessible to students on a first-come basis. There are also 60 individual study cubicles for students with own devices. There are also 30 Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate (CDIO) type venues where groups of seven students may work in a private cubicle equipped with a table and LCD screen. These venues are reserved through a computerised booking system. On level 4 there are 312 individual study cubicles.
The Mining Industry Study Centre is situated at the old entrance at the Engineering 2 Building off University Road, which was closed when the new entrance at the parkade was opened. A new “drop off and go facility” is constructed at the old entrance which is convenient for dropping off or picking up students in a safe environment adjacent to the Mining Industry Study Centre.