Engineering 4.0


Research at Engineering 4.0 concentrates on smart and sustainable transport and infrastructure development, provision and maintenance. Activities are conducted in a transdisciplinary environment, supporting various entities through the generation of novel ideas, scientific research and global expertise. It is an environment where students, academics, entrepreneurs and industry partners can meet to generate new thought leadership, innovation and training opportunities through collaborative partnerships.

The current constraints faced in transportation engineering include a dire lack of civil engineers compared with other countries. In their Infrastructure Report Card, SAICE indicates that in Europe, North America, India and China there are 130 to 450 people per engineer. In South Africa this ratio is 3 200 to one – a tenfold disadvantage. This equally applies to technologists, technicians and artisans with the result that there is a lack of quality personnel throughout the transportation sector resulting in technical skills gap with regard to project quality control and quality assurance. The current challenges in the transportation engineering sector in South Africa include:

  • The need to train the required number of engineers, technologists, technicians, artisans etc. in order to address the current skills gap;

  • Limited training facilities for the training of material testers and no national facility for accreditation of material testers;

  • No national reference materials testing laboratory for road materials in South Africa that participate in international proficiency schemes ran by relevant authorities in the US and Europe to ensure international accreditation of material testing performed in the roads industry in South Africa;

  • No national reference materials testing laboratory that assists with providing objective evidence that the commercial laboratories utilised by road authorities are proficient or competent to perform quality control and quality assurance in transportation infrastructure construction.