The aim of our undergraduate programme is to educate and train engineers for a professional career, to enable them to think independently and to approach problems in a logical and confident manner. These skills are specifically developed at UCT through group/team work and practical sessions which emphasise design. We place a great importance on laboratory work in support of lecture material and as such, many sophisticated pieces of apparatus, encompassing all aspects of mechanical engineering, are available to our students. In order to ensure that our students design and manufacturing requirements are met, our workshops are constantly adapting to new processes and techniques. We have recently established a dedicated Design Studio and Electro-Mechanical Laboratory that are resourced by state of the art computing facilities and equipment.
Our programmes also entail the study of an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to engineering through courses such as professional communication, project management, and new venture planning that ensures that when a student graduates, they will be capable of communicating with engineers, scientists, and managers with specialised skills. Furthermore, we will develop students' understanding of the industry environment through a vacation training period of at least six weeks at the end of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year of study. These experiences all contribute towards students' ability to be flexible in their career choices and make them highly sought after by employers.
Detailed information on the courses may be found the in the Faculty handbooks.
The two undergraduate Bachelor of Science (Engineering) degree programmes, namely Electromechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, have a common first and second-year curriculum. Students make their choice of which of the programmes to pursue prior to the beginning of their third year of study.
BSc (Eng) in Electromechanical Engineering
In today's computerised world, industry welcomes our graduates who understand both the mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines and can design, build, control and maintain a wide range of engineering products and processes. Examples of these include: motorcars and aeroplanes (where computers control the engines and ensure that the engines are working efficiently); production machine tools such as automated lathes and milling machines; artificial hearts, and many other products used in the world of medicine; robots that are increasingly used in industry and medicine; even the humble washing machine which is now computer controlled. Electromechanical Engineering entails the study of mathematics, physics, chemistry, materials, basic electrical engineering, basic mechanical engineering, and the integration of these in carefully structured design courses.
This programme aims to provide an educational approach where emphasis is placed on integrated studies and on the production of graduates who are generalists, rather than specialists. It aims to meet the increasing demand for engineers with cross-disciplinary skills, particularly in the fields of robotics, flexible manufacturing and electromechanical power systems.
The programme comprises mainly courses selected from the Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering curricula. These courses include: microprocessors; digital electronics; mechatronics design; electromechanical design; computer integrated manufacture and robotics; project management; maintenance management and reliability in systems; industrial engineering; industrial law; and new venture planning. Some flexibility is allowed in the selection of courses to ensure that students can tailor the degree to suit their interests and needs.
BSc (Eng) in Mechanical Engineering
The Mechanical Engineering degree provides students with a solid understanding and appreciation of the materials and forces of nature. The undergraduate programme is structured around the study of mathematics, physics, chemistry, materials, basic electrical engineering, the design process and management studies. Exciting careers, requiring the talents of mechanical engineers for the design, development and manufacture of technologies, products and processes, include automotive, aircraft and space industries, air conditioning and refrigeration, food and packaging industry, biomechanical research and development, energy and power utilisation, and the environmental industry, to name a few. Many of our graduates have followed successful career paths and are now captains of industry.
This programme concentrates on instruction in the areas of solid mechanics, dynamics and thrermofluids, accompanied by experimental verification. Communication skills are addressed through expert instruction and application in reports of experimentation and design. Design is made central to the curriculum where team skills and, finally, individual skills are developed. Curriculum flexibility in the final year of study allows students to select courses that can provide an introduction to a career in Mechanical Engineering.