Above: Is the Virtual Reality (VR) stand sponsored by merSETA. This 6m long stand takes 6 hours to erect and gives people the opportunity to stimulate the experience spray painting, welding and even play interactive games.
In a first for South African universities, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in partnership with Plastics SA and other stakeholders, have teamed up to provide new study opportunities in the field of Materials Engineering in Polymer Technology. The new Bachelor of Engineering in Materials Engineering in Polymer Technology Degreeaims to equip students with knowledge of plastic engineering in areas such as automotive and electrical, while also addressing the shortage of qualified plastics technicians and engineers that South Africa faces.
The plastic industry has had a challenge in terms of a decline in qualified technologists over the past couple of years, leaving a void in technical skills in the industry, resulting in an increased demand for plastic technicians.
Plastics SA’s Training Executive, Kirtida Bhana, detailed the development of the new qualification, “Over the past few years, a Plastics Chamber team has researched the education and training provisions in the Higher Education sector with specific focus on preparing technicians and engineers to meet the current and future demands of the plastics industry. The study aimed to identify gaps in delivery and to make recommendations to the merSETA on future interventions to support the plastics sector”, she said.
Prof Caroline Khoathane, Deputy Dean of Teaching and Learning at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at TUT said that the 3-year curriculum of the new degree fulfils all of the requirements of an Engineering qualification at TUT, with subjects such as Mechanics, Engineering Mathematics, Thermoflow, Plastic Part and Tool Design and Probability and Statistics, to mention but a few.
“Within the context of a global focus on Industry 4.0 and the Circular Economy, it was clear that we needed to develop a new qualification that would be radically different from anything that has been offered until now. We wanted to be sure that we would produce well-rounded plastics technologists who are ready to take on the workplace and lead the industry forward over the next decade,” she added.
Kirtida said that they are encouraging companies to partner with them on this mission of creating a pool of highly-skilled experts by sponsoring students or making bursaries available for them. This will assist students a lot through the years of studying the new programme.
Students interested in enrolling for the new Bachelor of Engineering Degree will be equipped with necessary and relevant knowledge and training related to the .This is a last call to students who would like to apply, since the closing date is Friday, 7 February, 2020.