Change the world

Mechanical Engineering

merSETA Chair for Engineering Development

The purpose of this Chair 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 aware- ness 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.


eNtsa is recognised as a leading research, design and technology support centre for the manufacturing sector. This is achieved through provision of research supporting new technology development, technology support for optimising existing production processes and infrastructure and advancing the high-end skills level by offering technical training according to international best practices.

eNtsa provides support for enterprises in the first, second and emerging economy within the engineering and manufacturing sec- tor, with a specific focus on the automotive component sector. This is in order to improve the sector’s ability to be innovative and competitive with the aim of making the South African automotive industry more attractive as a financially viable exporter of high quality components.

The Technology Station is actively involved with testing, contract research, industrial design and development and the transfer of knowledge. eNtsa is constantly involved in assisting various SME’s with product and process evaluations to ensure conformity and to assist with evaluating different process techniques to make data available that could assist SME’s to address a specific problem.

VWSA-DAAD International Chair in Automotive Engineering

NMMU aims to facilitate increased innovation and international competitiveness of the integrated Motor Manufacturing Industry (MMI) in the Eastern Cape and to provide appropriate human resource development that will ensure an adequate number of high-level trained specialists in engineering with leading edge expertise. The focus is on materials and manufacturing technology and processes to enhance technology transfer opportunities from the university mainly into the small and medium enterprise (SME) automotive component supplier sector.

Friction Processing Research Unit (FPRU)

This Institute supports NMMU’s mission, to identify and serve the needs of the international/national friction processing community by contributing to sustainable development through high quality research, technology development and continuing human resource development. The purpose is to engage in research to grow knowledge in the field of friction processing with a focus on process optimisation, modelling and material characterisation; and to develop and optimise innovative friction processing techniques.

Advanced Mechatronics Technology Centre (AMTC)

AMTC is a non-research entity focusing on growing human resourc- es development in the field of engineering. This include the Siemens accredited training facility, the FESTO accredited training facility, the Automotive Experiential Career Development Programme (AECDP), the Starting Blocks community outreach project, and the AIDC HRD programme which includes the advancement of black engineers, technicians and technologists.

Ford Engine Research Unit (FERU)

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa entered into a partnership with NMMU to create an engine research unit with the focus on achieving a higher level of expertise, innovation and competitiveness in the automotive industry. The FERU will centre its activities on new engine research and development trends, new initiatives within the field of engine testing and associated research, and facilitating the transfer of knowledge into teaching and learning concepts for both undergraduate and postgraduate engineering programmes.


(SANRAL) aims to equip learners with the necessary skills to enter the Science, Technology and Engineering fields. This partnership culminated in the official opening ceremony held at the newly established laboratory at the NMMU Missionvale campus.

The Missionvale Campus site chosen for the project, is ideally suited as it centrally situated in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolis and is easily accessible to all communities especially the disadvantaged.Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners are targeted for this project with the hope to expand this market in the future. The learners will receive valuable preparation towards careers in the related fields and will be equipped with the necessary skills to operate in a higher education or science related work environment.

Department of Roads and Transport Saturday Training School for Engineering

The purpose of the programme to build the necessary knowledge, understanding, abilities and skills required for further learning of grade 10, 11 and 12 learners towards becoming a competent entrant student for an Engineering programme at the NMMU.

The Saturday school initiative provides supplementary education in physical science, mathematics and English for grades 10, 11 and 12. The main focus is to identify and train potential Engineering students from all participating regional schools. It is hoped to attract students to further their studies in the field of roads and transport engineering since a large need exists in South Africa in this area.

A holistic approach is adopted in the programme to motivate learners to be successful. The TRAC laboratory forms an integral part of this project. Learners are evaluated on a regular basis andmust meet certain standards to allow them to continue on the programme for the following year.

VWSA NMMU Solar Car Project

The Advanced Mechatronic Technology Centre at NMMU has initiated a Solar Car project in conjunction with the VWSA–DAAD International Chair in Automotive Engineering. The project will entail the design and development of a solar powered car that will allow students across a range of study fields to conduct research into the renewable energy market and to build on the base of expanding accumulated knowledge in green engineering. This car will take part in an international race in South Africa.

NMMU Racing Formula Student

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.

Siemens Cyber Junkyard

This competition is an inter-tertiary challenge aimed at exposing and stimulating real-life project engineering to engineering students in higher education. The brief of the competition changes every year and teams receive a sponsorship from Siemens to assist them in completing the task.