Change the world


Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Fourth year Mechatronics student at Nelson Mandela University, Jacques Welgemoed, was awarded a bronze medal at the recent World Skills competition held in Kazan, Russia - the first time a South African has ever won a medal at the "Olympics" of industry skills.

In August, South Africa took part in the 45th biennial World Skills competition held in Kazan, Russia. Kazan was South Africa’s seventh participant representation at World Skills with previous attendance at the Abu Dhabi, Sao Paulo, Leipzig, London, Calgary and Shizuoka competitions.

World Skills is considered to be the ‘Olympics’ of industry skills with 1350 competitors from 63 countries taking part in 57 skills at an event supported by 270000 visitors. Skills competitions are designed to include all sectors of industry ranging from beauty therapy to space systems engineering, graphic design to mobile robotics. South Africa was represented in Kazan by 22 competitors who achieved two excellence medals and one podium position bronze medal.

Jacques, competing in Future Skills: Drone Operations, was awarded Bronze after three days of challenging competition with Russia and China taking Gold and Silver respectively. He received his drone training as a volunteer apprentice with the MandelaUni Autonomous Operations (MAO) group. His mentor and South Africa’s Expert representative for Drone Operations, Paul Damian Mooney, was extremely proud of his student’s achievements in this competitive event saying “Although we at the Advanced Mechatronics Technology Centre pride ourselves in the knowledge and experience we have made available to students and researchers through the drone technology hub, it comes down to the personality of the student to use those learnt skills effectively. Jacques proved to have the perfect balance of knowledge, lateral thinking and calm professionalism throughout the three days of exhausting competition to prove that himself and South Africa are very relevant in this emerging industry”

Jacques Welgemoed with his mentor and lecturer, Paul Damian Mooney.

Contact information
Yolokazi Mthi