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Mechanical Engineering Design III Projects

This article serves to inform our broader engineering community of the work which our
Engineering Technology learners are performing in the field of Design at the University
of Johannesburg.
The subject of Design
The subject Mechanical Engineering Design is an !" subject offered as an optional
subject. #s the subject is a continuous evaluation subject$ there is a Design %roject which
the learners must complete in &' to &" weeks.
The projects are either industry sponsored (obtained from industry) or industry based
(compiled by the lecturer).
The design project this semester has been industry based and re*uires that the learners$
working in groups of two learners complete a design for a hydraulically driven sheet
metal guillotine.
Throughout the semester$ the learners are guided and advised by the lecturer based on
consultations in the lecturer+s office and the lecture venue. #t the mid point of the
semester a project evaluation is conducted individually with each group where the merits
and short falls of the work performed to date are discussed. The learners are also
informed of an indicative mark based on work presented.
The final outcome is a typed and bound document containing all the research$ concepts
calculations and technical drawings re*uired for the manufacture of the item being
What the learners say
The following are *uotes from the reports which the learners of the top three distinction
groups were asked to write in the completion of their design projects,
#. -aloyi says,
./this project made me reali0e that research is crucial in order to solve a design project
effectively. This research included consulting the internet$ reading books in the library$
and company visits. #fter all the research$ knew e1actly what was e1pected of me/2
M. -acela says,
./my interaction with people in the engineering field has improved my communication
skills and broadened my knowledge of the engineering industry in !outh #frica. am not
afraid of any design project which might come my way//it becomes easier when
following the design process and working consistently/2
!. 3isivha and #.T. da !ilva say,
./during the course of such a project even though students are unaware$ they are
constantly evolving. The ability to understand that in design it is not merely about placing
numbers into e*uations and obtaining solutions$ but also about stepping back and using
.engineering sense2 to determine if an answer feels right/2
4. 5auka and 3.3. !omawonga say,
./this project trains one to be a more responsible individual which is what the
engineering industry needs. The project involves visits to companies$ which improves our
professionalism. t provides us with an opportunity to e1plore the practical application of
the engineering theory from other subjects/2
Who are the learners?
Back Row (left to right), #.T. da !ilva 3.3. !omawonga !. 3isivha
ront Row (left to right), 4. 5auka #. -aloyi M. -acela
6rom the outset$ the intentions of the lecturer with this subject is to ensure that upon
successful completion of this course the learners are prepared for industry by being able
design a group of components which when assembled together will perform as a
mechanism or a machine.
6rom the comments obtained by the learners it is clear that more than this is being
achieved and that our learners are using the opportunities presented to them in very
positive and meaningful ways.