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Department of Mechanical Engineering

Research Report 2006

(Including: Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU), Centre for Materials Engineering (CME), Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics (CERECAM), Energy Research Centre (ERC), Engineering Management, ISIQU Orthopaedics, and the SASOL Advanced Fuels Laboratory)

^ Head of Department: Professor Robert Tait

Department Profile

The Department of Mechanical Engineering includes the following research groupings, Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU), Centre for Materials Engineering (CME), the Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics (CERECAM), the Energy Research Centre (ERC), Engineering Management, ISIQU Orthopaedics and the SASOL Advanced Fuels Laboratory. The research activities of the department accordingly span a range of mechanical engineering disciplines. Classical mechanical engineering research areas include internal combustion engines, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, fatigue and fracture mechanics, heat transfer, refrigeration, design, vehicle dynamics and non destructive evaluation. The research interests of BISRU cover all engineering aspects of blast and impact scenarios. This includes the impact/blast process, structural response and material characterisation of structural components, as well as human bio-mechanical response under impact conditions, with the overall objective of saving lives. Materials research, carried out in the Centre for Materials Engineering, is directed at an understanding of the relationships between the production processes, structure, properties and performance of engineering materials. This encompasses both applied and more fundamental work on metals, ceramics, polymers and composites and is concerned with the improvement in performance of materials used in engineering systems in a wide range of industries. Research carried out in CERECAM includes mathematical modelling of complex material (particularly non-linear) behaviour, simulation of processes of deformation and failure of engineering components and artefacts, development of stable and accurate computational solution techniques, and fundamental mechanical processes. A fair portion of CERECAM activities centre around computational fluid dynamics (CFD) ranging from the simulation of basic aerodynamic flows to the complex flow phenomena associated with chemical reactors. CERECAM is an interdisciplinary unit, drawing members from the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics and Chemical and Civil Engineering. The Energy Research Centre carries out research in the areas of energy efficiency, energy modelling, climate change issues and sustainable energy. In Engineering Management, recent years have seen increased activity in the fields of quality management, manufacturing systems and systems practice. The ISIQU Orthopaedics Research Group is concerned with all aspects of biomedical prostheses, especially their design, optimisation and manufacture, up to and including implementation. The SASOL Advanced Fuels Laboratory is arguably the most sophisticated engines laboratory undertaking fuels research in the country, with full automation and data acquisition, comprehensive on line exhaust gas analysis and instrumented single cylinder research engines. In addition a major research thrust concerns optical and cylinder pressure based combustion diagnostics.

^ Departmental Statistics

Permanent and long-term contract staff



Adjunct Professors


Associate Professors


Senior Lecturers




Part-time Lecturer


Research Staff (contract)


Teaching Assistants


Technical Support Staff


Administrative and Clerical Staff





Post Doctoral






Postgraduate Diplomas








^ Research Fields and Staff

Professor Kevin Bennett
Director, Energy Research Centre; energy research

Mr Trevor Cloete
Lecturer; BISRU, CERECAM; deformation and tearing of blast loaded metal plates; high strain rate plasticity; constitutive modelling

Mr Dirk Findeis
Lecturer; non destructive testing; portable ESPI and shearography

Emeritus Professor Jasson Gryzagoridis
CERECAM; heat transfer and refrigeration; combined absorption and compression refrigeration cycles; optical techniques in non-destructive testing; holographic interferometry; ESPI; shearography; materials properties evaluation

Associate Professor Robert Knutsen
Director, Centre for Materials Engineering; physical metallurgy; thermo-mechanical processing; texture; microstructure; microscopy

Associate Professor Candace Lang
Centre for Materials Engineering; physical metallurgy; electrical properties; electron microscopy

Mr Gordon Lister
Senior Lecturer, Engineering Management; project management; quality and productivity performance improvement; maintenance management; operations management

Mr Stephen Marais
Senior Lecturer; Electro-Mechanical Design

Dr Kashif Marcus
Senior Research Officer, Centre for Materials Engineering; polymers; composites

Dr Chris Meyer
Senior Lecturer; CERECAM; computational fluid dynamics; heat transfer

Professor Gerald Nurick
Director, BISRU; structural impact; crashworthiness; high strain rates; impact biomechanics

Dr Howard Pearce
Senior Lecturer; CERECAM; studies in non-linear system dynamics; computational fluid dynamics; Centre for Research in Engineering Education: Learning in physics and mathematics, innovations in teaching

Professor Chris Redelinghuys

Simulation of the flight of parafoil suspended unmanned air vehicles; assessment of technological creativity

Mr Brandon Reed
Senior Lecturer; computer integrated manufacturing; low cost automation and robotics; social aspects of technology; engineering education; Centre for Research in Engineering Education: School learners’ experiences of technology

Associate Professor Anthony Sayers
CERECAM; fluid mechanics; industrial aerodynamics; CFD; vehicle aerodynamics; engineering of sport

Ms Corrinne Shaw
Lecturer; Engineering Management; accelerating management learning; systems thinking practices

Professor Robert Tait
CERECAM; Centre for Materials Engineering; fracture mechanics; fatigue; assessment of residual stresses in structural components; applied non-destructive testing

Dr George Vicatos
Senior Lecturer; heat transfer and refrigeration; combined absorption and compression refrigeration cycles; bioengineering prosthesis design

Mrs Nicolette Wolmarans
Lecturer; engineering design, engineering education; Centre for Research in Engineering Education: Teaching of engineering design, industry-university interface

^ CERECAM Members from other departments

Associate professor neil armitage
Civil engineering; numerical modelling of local scour in rivers

Dr dave deglon
Chemical engineering; mineral flotation

Associate professor alison lewis
Chemical engineering; modelling and simulation of precipitation and crystallisation processes

Dr Alvin Masarira
Senior Lecturer, Civil Engineering; structural engineering

Associate professor tim myers
Mathematics and Applied Mathematics; industrial mathematics, thin film flows, phase changes

Dr malcolm powell
Chemical Engineering; modelling of comminution in mineral processing

Professor Daya Reddy
Director, CERECAM; mathematical and computational aspects of continuum mechanics; finite elements

Dr robert sarracino
Chemical Engineering; Discreet Element Modelling (DEM), Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH)

Dr Friedrich Scheele
Senior Lecturer, Civil Engineering; geotechnical engineering; soil rock mechanics; laboratory testing

Professor Alphose Zingoni
Civil Engineering; shell and space structures; computational structural mechanics; structural engineering

^ Honorary Lecturers

Professor Andy yates (Adjunct Professor)
Engines and fuels, SASOL Advanced Fuels Lab

Contract Research Staff

Mr Thomas Alfstad
Research Officer, ERC; energy-economic modelling and energy systems analysis

Mr Victor Balden
Research Officer, BISRU; impact dynamics

Mr Bill Cowan
Principal Research Officer, ERC; energy, poverty and development

Mr Gareth Floweday

SASOL Advanced Fuels Lab, engines and fuels

Mr Mark Howells
Research Officer, ERC; sustainable energy; energy modelling; greenhouse gasses; energy efficiency

Ms Alison Hughes
Scientific Officer, ERC; energy efficiency; energy modelling

Mr Lindsey Jeftha
Scientific Officer, ERC; mathematical modelling; multi decision criteria analysis; energy modelling

Mr Andrew Kenny
Research Officer, ERC; sustainable energy; greenhouse gasses; energy and the environment; nuclear power

Dr Philip Lloyd
Honorary Associate, ERC; fossil fuels; natural gas; rural energy; renewables

mr Pule Monamodi
Junior Research Fellow, ERC; renewable energy, energy efficiency, and commercial and residential energy issues

ms Jocelyn Muller
Chief Scientific Officer, ERC; poverty and development

Mr Stanford Mwakasonda
Principal Research Officer, ERC; energy and climate change

Dr Jabavu Nkomo
Principal Scientific Officer, ERC; economics

Dr Gisela Prasad
Principal Scientific Officer, ERC; energy, poverty and development

Dr Debbie Sparks
Chief Scientific Officer, ERC; energy and climate change

Mr Andre Swarts
Honorary Lecturer, SASOL Advanced Fuels Lab, engines and fuels

Mr Ajay Trikam
Junior Research Fellow, ERC; energy efficiency; greenhouse gases; mitigation modelling

Mr Denis van Es
Research Officer, ERC; energy efficiency; CDM

Mr Eugene Visagie
Research Officer, ERC; energy poverty and development

Dr Harald Winkler
Principal Scientific Officer, ERC; climate change (economics, mitigation & policy) and environmental economics

^ Distinguished Visitors

Professor Wesley Cantwell, University of Liverpool, February 2006

Dr Mike Bambach, Monash University, May/June 2006

Professor Manfred Held, TDW Germany, August 2006

Dr Bo Janzon, Swedish Defence Research Agency, Sweden, August 2006

Dr Steve Hallett, University of Bristol, Sept 2006

JP Leerdam, TNO Netherlands, Sept 2006

M van der Horst, TNO Netherlands, Sept 2006

Professor Dora Karagiozova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Oct-Dec 2006

^ Contact Details

Postal Address: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cape Town,

Private Bag X3, Rondebosch, 7701

Telephone: +27 21 650 3231

Facsimile +27 21 650 3240



Research Output


Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit

Bbosa, L., Powell, M.S. and Cloete, T.J. 2006. An investigation of impact breakage of rocks using the split Hopkinson pressure bar. Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 106: 291-296.

Cloete, T.J., Hartley, R.S. and Nurick, G.N. 2006. A microstructural investigation of "machining rings" and deformation uniformity for dynamic ring compression tests. Journal de Physique IV, 134: 591-596.

Govender, R.A., Cloete, T.J. and Nurick, G.N. 2006. A numerical investigation of dispersion in Hopkinson pressure bar experiments. Journal de Physique IV, 134(134): 521-526.

Lemanski, C., Nurick, G.N. and Langdon, G.S. 2006. Understanding the behaviour of fibre metal laminates subjected to localised blast loading. Composite Structures, 76: 82-87.

Schleyer, G.K., Kewaisy, T.H., Wesevich, J.W. and Langdon, G.S. 2006. Validated finite element analysis model of blast wall panels under shock pressure loading. Journal of Ships and Offshore Structures, 1(3): 257-271.

Centre for Materials Engineering

Lang, C.I. and Carelse, M.I. 2006. Order hardening in platinum 14at.% copper. Scripta Materialia, 54: 1311-1315.

Lang, C.I. and Jackson, K. 2006. Mechanical properties data pr Pt-5 wt. % Cu and Pt-5 wt% Ru alloys. Platinum Metals Review, 50(1): 15-19.

Lang, C.I. and Nxumalo, S. 2006. Thermodynamic stabiltiy of Pt8 V. Journal of Alloys and Compounts, 425: 181-184.

Lang, C.I. and Nzula, M.P. 2006. The formation of Pt8Cr in Pt 10 at% Cr. Journal of Alloys and Compounts, 420: 165-170.

Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics

Deglon, D.A. and Meyer, C.J. 2006. CFD modelling of stirred tanks: Numerical considerations. Minerals Engineering, 19(10): 1059-1068.

Energy Research Centre

Hughes, A.G., Howells, M.I., Trikam, A., Kenny, A. and Van Es, D. 2006. A study of demand side management potential in South African industries. Energize, Power Journal of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers, September 2006: 16-22.

Winkler, H.E. 2006. Future mitigation commitments: Differentiating amoung non-Annex 1 countries. Climate Policy, 5: 469-486.

Winkler, H.E., Borchers, M., Hughes, A.G., Visagie, E.F. and Heinrich, G.S. 2006. Policies and scenarios for Cape Town's energy future: Options for sustainable city energy development. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 17(1): 28-41.

Mechanical Engineering

Findeis, D.M., Gryzagoridis, J. and Matlali, M. 2006. Phase stepping shearography and electronic speckle pattern interferometry. Materials Evaluation, 64(10): 1020-1025.

Gryzagoridis, J. 2006. Parameters affecting the performance of fiber optic displacement sensors. Smart Materials and Structures, Institute of Physics Publishing(15): 154-157.

Gryzagoridis, J. and Findeis, D.M. 2006. Simultaneous shearographic and thermographic NDT of aerospace materials. Insight, 48(5): 294-297.

Redelinghuys, C. 2006. A framework for the assessment of the creativity of product design teams. Journal of Engineering Design, 17(2): 121-141.


Energy Research Centre

Sparks, D.A. and Mukheibir, P.V. 2006. Climate variability, climate change and water resource strategies for small municipalities. Report No: 1500/1/06: 1-81. Pretoria: Water Research Commission.

Winkler, H.E. 2006. Energy policies for sustainable development in South Africa: 1-205. South Africa - UCT: Energy Research Centre.


Energy Research Centre

Winkler, H.E. and Davidson, O.R. 2006. Energy policy. In H. Winkler (ed.), Energy policies for sustainable development in South Africa-Options for the future: 4-22. South Africa: Energy Research Centre.

Winkler, H.E., Mukheibir, P.V. and Mwakasonda, S. 2006. Sustainability of electricity supply and climate change in South Africa. In K. Halsnaes and A. Garg (eds), Sustainable development, energy and climate: 37-42. Denmark: UNEP.

Mechanical Engineering

Redelinghuys, C. 2006. Counting the seeds of innovation: The assessment of technological creativity. In W.B. Blankley, M.S. Scerri, N.M. Molotja and I.S. Saloojee (eds), Measuring innovation: 59-72. Cape Town, SA: HSRC Press.

Peer-Reviewed Published Conference Proceedings

Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit

Chung Kim Yuen, S., Jacob, N., Vara, R. and Nurick, G.N. 2006. Response of quadrangular mild-steel plates to large explosive load. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Design and Analysis of Protective Structures, 13-15 November 2006, Singapore, 30-44. ISBN 981-05-7000-7.

Jama, H.H.J., Bambach, M.R.B., Nurick, G.N., Grezebieta, R.H.G. and Zhao, X.Z. 2006. Failure modes and thresholds of square tubular steel beams subjected to blast loads. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Design and Analysis of Protective Structures, 13-15 November 2006, Singapore, 371-383. ISBN 981-05-7000-7.

Centre for Materials Engineering

Mshumi, C. and Lang, C.I. 2006. Effect of ordering on the tensile properties of Pt 5 wwt. % Cu. 45th Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference of the Microscopy Society of Southern African (MSSA), 29 November – 1 December 2006, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 10. ISBN 978-0-620-37294-7.

Nxumalo, S. and Lang, C.I. 2006. Dislocations in Pt8V ordered alloys. Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference of the Microscopy Society of Southern African (MSSA), 29 November – 1 December 2006, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 13. ISBN 978-0-620-37294-7.

Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics

Kleine, D. and Reddy, B.D. 2006. Finite element simulation of unsteady flows in secondary settling tanks. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on CFD in the Process Industries, 13-15 December 2006, Melbourne, Australia, 1-6. ISBN 0-643-09423-7.

Energy Research Centre

Howells, M.I., Trikam, A., Hughes, A.G., Kenny, A. and Van Es, D. 2006. A study of demand side management potential in South African industries. Proceedings of the Industrial and Commercial Use of Energy Conference 2006, 22-24 May 2006, Cape Town, South Africa, 95-102. ISBN 0-9584901-5 5.

Lloyd, P. 2006. Carbon capture and storage: Chemical Engineering's contribution to the mitigation of climate change. Proceedings of the SA Chemical Engineering Conference, 30 August -15 September 2006, Durban, South Africa, 1-10. ISBN 1-86840-617-2.

Lloyd, P. 2006. The saga of the paraffin stove – Chemical Engineering at the poverty line. Proceedings of the SA Chemical Engineering Conference, 30 August – 15 September 2006, Durban, South Africa, 11-17. ISBN 1-86840-617-2.

Mechanical Engineering

Findeis, D.M. and Gryzagoridis, J. 2006. Residual stress determination using digital shearography. Proceedings of the Annual SEM Conference, 4-7 June 2006, St Louis, Missouri, USA. ISBN 0-9120539-5. [CD-ROM].

Findeis, D.M. and Gryzagoridis, J. 2006. Vacuum excitation in shearographic NDT. Proceedings of NDT 2006, United Kingdom. ISBN 0-903132-38-9. [CD-ROM].

Gryzagoridis, J. 2006. Monitoring structural integrity using fibre optic sensors. Proceedings of NDT 2006, United Kingdom. ISBN 0-903132-38-9. [CD-ROM].

Ryan, T.B. and Shaw, C.B. 2006. Case for mutiny or exhilarating expedition? Student experiences of learning events. Proceedings of the 3rd African Regional Conference on Engineering Education, 26-27 September 2006, Pretoria, South Africa, 189-196. ISBN 0-620-37232-X.

Tait, R.B. and Balden, V. 2006. The application of fracture mechanics and FEM stress analysis to resolve a failure analysis of a rotary drier. Proceedings of the 5th South African Conference on Computational and Applied Mechanics (SACAM06), 16-18 January 2006, Cape Town, South Africa, 36-48. ISBN 1-919966-01-3.

Non Peer-Reviewed Published Conference Proceedings

Energy Research Centre

Howells, M.I., Jonsson, S., Kack, E., Lloyd, P., Conradi, B. and Bennett, K.F. 2006. Calabashes for kilowatt-hours - Rural energy and market failure. Proceedings of International Energy Agency workshop on domestic energy July 2006, Cape Town, 16.

Lloyd, P. 2006. Carbon storage - a significant factor in contorlling atmospheric carbon dioxide. Proceedings of FFF Indaba 2006, University of Cape Town, 18.

Lloyd, P. 2006. High-value uses for Waterberg coal. Proceedings of Waterberg Conf, FFF 8-06, Univertsity of Cape Town, 18.

Lloyd, P. 2006. SA Energy reserves and the future. Proceedings of Conference on SA Energy Resources, Geological Society of SA Symposium, Johannesburg, Feb 24, 2006, 21.

Lloyd, P. 2006. The energy debate. Proceedings of The energy debate, University of Cape Town, 24.

Mechanical Engineering

Gryzagoridis, J. 2006. Static analysis of an actuating device comprising lightweight C-shaped Piezoelectric elements. Proceedings of Fifth South African Conference of Computational and Applied Mechanics SACAM06 Cape Town 16-18 January (2006), Cape Town, CD ROM.

Mumenya, S.W., Tait, R.B. and Alexander, M.G. 2006. An appropriate specimen geometry for direct tensile testing of textile concrete. Proceedings of 3rd Young Concrete Engineers', Practitioners' and Technologists' Conference, Cape Town and Midrand, 1-10.

Reed, B.I. 2006. Phenomenography as a way to research the understanding by students of technical concepts. Proceedings of NUTAU 2006. ISBN: 858918403X. [CD ROM].


Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics

Barty, A., Powell, M.S. and Meyer, C.J. 2006. A CFD Model for a hydrocyclone operating with an air core. Mineral Processing 2006: SP19.


Bakker, W. 2006. Numerical modelling of an oscillatory baffled column: 1-62. MSc.

Chung Kim Yuen, S. 2006. The effects of blast induced imperfections on the energy absotption characteristics of square tubes: 1-320. PhD.

Cox, R. 2006. The development of an enhanced auto ignition sub-model for use in CFD combustion simulations: 1-110. MSc.

Dunn, I. 2006. The numerical investigation of a bank of delta plenum air-cooled heat exchangers: 1-105. MSc.

Fuggle, T.M. 2006. A numerical Eigenmode analysis of the progressive buckling of thin-walled tubes: 1-220. MSc.

George, L. 2006. Evaluation of the stress relaxation technique for measuring softening kinetics in aluminium alloys: 1-106. MSc.

Gower, T. 2006. Managing change - at an individual level: 1-105. Ind Admin.

Hsiao, T.-P. 2006. Flame propagation model for the CFR engine under knocking and non-knocking conditions: 1-131. MSc.

Kibicho, P.K. 2006. Flow-field structure in wide-angled diffusers: 1-162. PhD.

Leopold-George, F.E. 2006. The Student Governance Review (SGR) 2001 at the University of Cape Town (UCT) - A systems perspective: 1-96. MSc.

Londleni, C. 2006. A theoretical assessment of fuel combustion attributes to enhance the operational envelope of HCCI engines: 1-123. MSc.

Mahoi, S. 2006. Influence of shape of solid explosives on the deformation of circular steel plates - experimental and numerical investigations: 1-259. PhD.

Mainza, A.N. 2006. Contribution to the understanding of the three-product cyclone on the classification of a dual density ore: 1-78;1-271. PhD.

Marekwa, M.D. 2006. Evaluation of metal dusting of nickel-chromium based alloys in a laboratory environment: 1-120. MSc.

Mckuur, G. 2006. Defect and fracture detection using Acoustic Emission Monitoring: 1-100. MSc.

Mwansa, S. 2006. Segregation and material flow along low aspect SAG mills: 1-218. MSc.

Rabe, T. 2006. Determination of the effectiveness of a hot tube igniter for initiating HCCI combustion: 1-108. MSc.

Rhodes, C. 2006. An experimental study of the aerodynamic characteristics of a wing in close proximity to a moving ground plane: 1-110. MSc.

Rosin, M.M. 2006. Integrated resource plane for South Africa using electricity load profiles: 1-187. MSc.

Sebbit, A.M. 2006. The impact of energy in sustainable economic development in Uganda: 1-293. PhD.

Swarts, A. 2006. Insights relating to octane rating and the underlying role of auto-ignition: 1-156. PhD.

Velaers, J. 2006. Investigation of combusion image analysis by the two-colour method as a technique for comparing diesel fuels: 1-126. MSc.

Winkler, H.E. 2006. Energy policies of sustainable development in South Africa's residential and electricity sectors: implications for mitigating climate change: 1-250. PhD.


Van Es, D. 2006. The many layers of energy efficiency. ESI Africa - The Power Journal of SA, 13(3): 62-64.

Consultancy and other activities based on expertise developed in research

Van Es, D. 2006. Southern African Energy Efficiency Convention "A selective assessment of business opportunities in South Africa under the Clean Development Mechanism".

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