AIDC Automotive Chair



A chair in automotive engineering was approved by the AIDC at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) for a five-year period, starting in 2022. This document summarises the operational plan and requirements of this endeavour from NMUs point of view and is in line the application that was approved by the AIDC (attached as an addendum). This document is submitted to the AIDC with the understanding, as per the outcome of the meeting between the two parties on 22 April 2022, that the funds will be released to NMU in June 2022 for implementation of the Chair activities.


The major objectives for 2022 include:

· Establish and advance an effective connection between Higher Education and the Automotive Manufacturing Industry in the Eastern Cape. Grow and support manufacturing networks and ecosystems and increase         collaboration.

· Influence and develop new academic programmes and curricula to meet the need of industry.

· Education and training of students and professionals in automotive engineering, focussing on manufacturing and component development.

· Intensify international co-operations between Nelson Mandela University, AIDC, German Universities and global automotive industry.

· Support Eastern Cape car manufacturers and component suppliers in engineering and research services and projects.

· Establishment new research and development initiatives in the field of new technologies, energy systems, materials and manufacturing technology.



To be the first choice Automotive Centre of Excellence for Teaching, Learning and Research in South Africa.


Our mission is to meet the technological needs of industry and expand the frontier of knowledge in Automotive Engineering by providing teaching, research and technical support to international standards by way of quality education and training for learners, using the services of professional teaching staff supported by state-of-the-art technology.



Primary Objectives:
To develop technologically competent persons who are able to:

· Expand the boundaries of technology by means of technology analysis and innovation.

· Operate independently or limited supervision in a technology environment.

· Contribute to society both within the community and the economy.

· Engage in research and development.


Supporting Objectives:

· Provide resources which assist learners to acquire the intellectual and functional skills needed for technological tasks.

· Provide a mechanism for HR development through further education and recognition of learning.

· Develop entrepreneurial skills so that the learner can engage in meaningful and rewarding business activities.


The team members to execute the project are as follows:

Prof Farouk Smith - Project Manager

Prof Khaled Abou-El-Hossein - Technical Manager

Mr Karl Du Preez - Project Manager

Prof Theo van Nieker - Professor



Contact information
Professor Farouk Smith
Director: School of Engineering
Tel: 27 41 504 3567