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Volkswagen South Africa - DAAD International Chair in Automotive Engineering

GlobeProf van Niekerk 

Word from Professor Theo van Niekerk (Chair)

In the Eastern Cape the automotive industry has an important impact on the South African economy. The companies mainly focus on production and manufacturing of motor vehicles developed in automotive development centres for a global market in the northern hemisphere. This situation provides the region with a link to global industry and business.

The NMMU is the largest tertiary institution in the Eastern Cape with a engineering education program responsible to serve this industry with well trained automotive engineers on all academic levels. Due to highly innovative product development in this industry the education contents have to follow these trends and industry needs.

Therefore the establishment of the VWSA / DAAD International Chair in Automotive Engineering between Volkswagen South Africa, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the NMMU was a necessary decision to support the engineering training in this global prospective.

Goals and purposes of the chair:

  • Education and training of students and professionals in automotive engineering, focussing on manufacturing and component development.
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer into teaching and learning concepts and integrate into engineering programs, particular in relevant Higher Education of automotive engineering at NMMU.
  • Intensify international co-operations between NMMU, German Universities and global automotive industry.
  • Support of Eastern Cape car manufacturers and component suppliers in engineering and research services and projects.
  • Establishment of new research and development initiatives in the field of energy systems, materials and manufacturing technology.

Under a long term view this institution could become a competence centre for automotive engineering, education and research at the NMMU and support the recommendation of this region in an automotive world.