With a long history of offering programmes in engineering management, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) has formally launched a Postgraduate School for Engineering Management.
The 2012 Infrastructure Sector Research Report indicates: “SA firms in South Africa are reporting a shortage of engineers, engineering managers and project management skills.” Aligned to the requirements of the infrastructure sector and the broader fields of engineering, one finds that the overall demand for engineering managers remains yet to be addressed. Given the long history of engineering management at UJ, and UJ’s vision of becoming an “An international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future,” UJ has focused its resources along some of its strengths. One such strength, reflected by the exponential growth in the programme, is its engineering management flagship programme.
The postgraduate programmes of the school caters for part-time and full-time students. A number of part-time students from Johannesburg as well as the broader continent benefit through the after-hours presentation of the programme. The programme is led by Prof Jan-Harm Pretorius, Acting Head: Postgraduate School of Engineering Management, supported by a number of industrial experts. The programme is also supported by positive feedback from its alumni and reflected by the uptake at both the master’s and doctoral level. The master’s programme is offered as a 1:1 combination between course-work and a research project (a mini dissertation). Prof Saurabh Sinha, Executive Dean: FEBE said: “Frequently students align their mini-dissertation work to strengths of those offering the programme, but also to the interest of a given industrial sector. The approach helps to explore, in depth, the shortcomings of a given sector and develop solutions based on best practices world-wide.”
To build the strength of the programme, the school will recruit further international and national expertise. Regarding international expertise: the school has recruited one distinguished professor, supported by three distinguished visiting professors, who together cross-cut various engineering disciplines.