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Change the world


Mandela University’s School of the Built Environment and Civil Engineering recently launched the first Airport planning and design module in South Africa.


Altogether 13 BEngTech Honours, civil engineering degree students enrolled for this module in the second semester of 2023.

Left, Lecturer Marcel Langeslag (Director Aviation, RHDHV, NACO) and third from left, Lindokuhle Tshuma (Airport Systems Engineer, RHDHV NACO) together with some of the first Airport planning and design module students.

This followed after the National Department of Transportation (DOT), which has a large interest in the growth of transport and the education thereof, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and IT.

Visiting DOT representatives together with lecturers, Senzeni Mashimbye (Aviation industry development); Seolebaleng Mashodi (DOT Assistant Director AID); Lorraine Stones (DOT Deputy Director Human Resource Development; Lindokuhle Tshuma (Airport Systems Engineer, RHDHV NACO); Dinah Maleka (DOT Director Human Resource Development; Marcel Langeslag (Director Aviation, RHDHV, NACO); Belinda van der Wat (Lecturer, Mandela University) and Yolande Pillay (Director: Aviation Industry Development and Air Freight)

A future Aviation qualification at the institution is also possible, says Professor of Civil Engineering, Stephen Ekolu.   

The initial interest in this field was tested by using the existing MOA and by changing the existing Urban Transportation course to be an elective subject in the BEngTech(Civil) Honours programme, where either Transportation (roads and networks) or Transportation (aviation) could be selected, says Prof Ekolu. 

The aviation subject covers various aspects from airport planning, the geometry of the airport and runways, pavement, drainage, as well as all systems involved at the airport. These all start with three days of introduction to airports lectures.

Of the 20 registered honours students, 13 enrolled in the aviation module, which was co-presented with the assistance of outside aviation specialists from the Netherlands Airport Consultants NACO, a company of Royal Haskoning DHV.

Two of these students, Joshua Martin and Phikolomzi Mpinda, also achieved distinctions at the end of the module.

The DOT also visited the first presentations of the course, to meet the students enrolled in the course, as well as lecturer Belinda van der Wat and two of the staff members from NACO, Marcel Langeslag and Lindokuhle Tshuma. 

Nelson Mandela University looks forward to the growth of this subject and the development of a full aviation programme in the future.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160