Included in the proceedings of the event were research project presentations by Masters and PhD students and the opening of the UP Test Track at the university's Agricultural Farm. Enterprises at University of Pretoria Trust CEO; Deon Herbst, the Dean of EBIT; Prof Sunil Maharaj, Course Leader and Head of the Chair in Railway Engineering; Prof Hannes Gräbe, HOD of Civil Engineering; Prof Elsabe Kearsley, Programme Manager of the Chair in Railway Engineering; Mr Pierre Lombard, Head of Transnet School of Rail; Johannes Makhusha and CE at UP Open Programmes II Manager; Shamima Mohanlal were in attendance.
Prof Sunil Maharaj, the Dean of EBIT welcomed the guests to the 4th annual Railway Research and Training Review function. He thanked the sponsors for partnering with the University in research and training and supporting the University. He added that "success of any community is through capital development."
Prof Maharaj highlighted that EBIT is the biggest faculty at the University of Pretoria as well as in the country. It is also listed as the biggest engineering school in Africa and is among the top 1% of engineering schools in the world. Prof Maharaj is quiet proud of that capability and wishes to grow it even further through research and human capital development which is only possible through the partnerships fostered with industry. It is therefore important to build and strengthen these relationships.
Prof Hannes Gräbe acknowledged the sponsors who contributed to the construction of the Track Testing Facility at the University of Pretoria Experimental Farm. These sponsors were each awarded with a certificate. The sponsors were:
Aveng Manufacturing Lennings Rail Services
Aveng Manufacturing Infraset
Vae SA (Pty) Ltd
Global Railway Engineering
Kaytech Engineering Fabrics
Transnet Freight Rail
Pandrol South Africa
About the Chair in Railway Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria
The Chair in Railway Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria was established twenty-two years ago when Spoornet (now Transnet Freight Rail) initiated a partnership between industry and the University. This partnership revolves around three major aspects: graduate training, continuing education courses for industry and railway research. On graduate level, students in Civil Engineering are taught the basics of Railway Engineering as part of their transportation studies. The Chair currently has on offer nine different short courses that are presented by local and international experts in a wide range of railway engineering fields. All courses are registered with ECSA for Continued Professional Development (CPD) credits and some are also credit bearing with respect to the taught Honours post-graduate course in Transportation Engineering.