Change the world

School of Engineering

01/03/2016

NELSON Mandela Metropolitan University engineering students are hard-wired to solve problems.

That’s the conviction of automotive industry insiders who work with NMMU students, interns and graduates, who regularly go on to work for the top motor giants and companies around the globe.

The opportunities they receive during internships and other projects to get hands-on experience means they are exposed to real-life challenges before they graduate. “They are solving real-life problems we have in the plant and making improvements we haven’t even thought of,” says Wayne Osborne, manager training and organisational development at GMSA.

NMMU Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Karl du Preez agrees that NMMU’s engineering students are “hard wired” to be problem solvers. There is a strong focus on finding solutions to the engineering, power and process challenges facing South African companies rather than pure “blue sky” academic research, says Du Preez.

The type of student we attract is innovative by nature.

“Then, our teaching is solution-driven. We teach our students to be problem solvers, and we stretch them by getting them involved in projects where they get hands-on experience. “In addition, most of our staff members are themselves innovators, who invent new tools and products as a hobby,” says Du Preez.

Representatives of companies working with NMMU praised the institution for offering both professional and vocational training.

“Many of our senior managers studied at the university and we continue to recruit graduates into the business from NMMU,” says Matt Gennrich, general manager group communications at Volkswagen South Africa.

“The university is growing quality graduates in the engineering fields and supporting the development of our employees by offering quality education,” he adds.