Faculty of Engineering Research Day 2018

Research Day 

Theme: Forging Links between Industry and Academia 

Date: Friday, 27 July 2018 

Time: 08:30 - 16:40 

Venue: Mining Auditorium 



Contributions of universities to national development are essentially in the form of knowledge creation, innovation, and impartation of hard, as well as soft skills such as problem-solving, analytical thinking and technical communication to students. However, there is a general perception of gaps between the knowledge and skills imparted and the expectations of industry. The paper discusses the ramifications of the perception, the motivations for undertaking university-industry linkages (UIL), and the barriers to establishing such linkages on the African continent. Strategies for enhancing collaborations and UILs are then proffered.



Over the past half century, it has become globally more important for universities to interact with industry. Originally, this largely came about through a view that universities were complacent, because they were over-protected from the market, needed to become more accountable for their sustainability and research funding and become more responsive to market forces. The experience in the UK and the US both provide interesting insights into many of the benefits and some unintended negative consequences of placing greater pressure on universities to generate income from industry linked research. One of the key challenges has been to ensure that in becoming more reliant on industry sponsorship of university research, the core mission of a university is not distorted. However, if well managed, such links can be of major value to both the industry and the university. In this presentation the broad challenges presented by the development of such linkages will be explored and the opportunities, as well as the threats associated with greater engagement between industry and universities will be assessed. Examples will be given of some programmes, which have resulted in major benefits for both industry and universities. 



At the City of Windhoek, several departments are actively engaged in contributing to the implementation of our vision: ‘To be a Smart and Caring City by 2022’. The City of Windhoek is working to be known as a smart city that employs information and other technologies to achieve effective and transparent governance, a clean environment, financial sustainability, green technological advances, and the provision of affordable innovative services. Furthermore, as a caring city we have adopted the pillars of the Harambee Plan, focusing on vibrant socio-economic progress, public safety, people-focus, and affordable service orientation. To this end, our mission statement is: ‘To enhance the quality of life for all our people by rendering efficient and effective municipal services’. Sound engineering practice holds the key to the sustainable achievement of this vision of a smart and caring city. We will also explore further the training of engineering professionals through appropriate linkages and collaboration with NUST and other institutions in Namibia.








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