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Mandela Uni’s Mechatronics department recently assisted three lecturers from the Takoradi Technical University in Ghana with a train-the-trainer course enabling them to educate the youth in Ghana on cutting edge, real-world, Siemens industrial technology.

The University has a long-standing relationship and collaboration with Siemens South Africa as an official Siemens SITRAIN training partner, says Mechatronics’ Professor Theo van Niekerk.

Mechatronics’ lecturers Thabelo Mohlala (MEng student) and Ntuthuko Nsibande and Marine Engineering lecturer, John Fernandes (PhD student) are involved in the project.

The programme comprises open source TIA-Portal (Totally Integrated Automation), Standard Factory Automation, Digitaliation, Control, Human Machine Interface, Electrical Drives and Data Communication Courses, which enable universities to engage and gain knowledge on and with Siemens Digital Technologies.

Prof Van Niekerk and the team at the University’s Advanced Mechatronics Training Centre (AMTC) run various initiatives with technical schools, colleges and other universities in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

The team has been driving the Siemens Automation Cooperates with Education (SCE) project by building the SCE bundles into ready-to-use training sets. The Siemens Digital Technologies are used within the automotive manufacturing process within the Eastern Cape and the University is part of an international automation community.

These bundles then assist lecturers from African colleges and universities via train-the-trainer on SCE training documents to use the SCE content for their own courses in their own classrooms.

“The SCE provides educators with a comprehensive offering to convey industry 4.0 automation knowledge for academia and in-house vocational training, which can also be used by learners for self-study. The SCE knowledge is also integrated into the practical part of our mechatronics curriculum, hence preparing our learners for industry. This association is one area that makes our degree sought after”, says Prof Van Niekerk.

The initiatives are based on the SIMATIC educational bundles and training documentation of the Siemens Cooperates with Education portfolio.

Mandela Uni’s Office for International Education also shared information and met with the lecturers to explore collaboration.

The University’s Siemens Training Centre was launched in 2006.

From left, Stephen Afonaa-Mensah (Takoradi Technical University, Ghana), Ntuthuko Nsibande Course Facilitator at Mandela University, Isaac Mensah Ayipeh (Takoradi), Nobungcwele Mbem and Asanda Tele from Mandela Uni’s Office for International Education, Wisdom Opare (Takoradi), Prof Theo van Niekerk from Mandela Uni’s Mechatronics department and Izak du Preez (Automotive Vertical Manager Siemens South Africa)

Contact information
Professor Theo van Niekerk
Tel: 27 41 504 3103