School of Mechanical Engineering Students Visit Durban Port
Mechanical Engineering researchers, students and staff from UKZN’s Vibration Research and Testing Centre (VRTC) visited the Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) Port of Durban.
The group was welcomed by UKZN alumnus Mr Eugene Rappetti, a Senior Marine Engineer of the National Ports Authority, who hosted the visitors to a presentation on TNPA, a tour to the engine room of the tug Uthukela and a boat trip on the newly acquired berthing launch around the harbour. The students enjoyed the tour while Rappetti explained the port’s core business.
In addition, the students were shown the tug’s mechanism, infrastructure at the Marine Services Department and current projects at the port.
UKZN’s Mr Pravesh Moodley said: ‘The main aim was to find out if there could be any collaborative research projects between the VRTC and TNPA and to also expose the postgraduate students to the marine engineering environment.’
UKZN student, Daniel Kubelwa, commented, ‘It was a very exciting and educational tour for us as we saw Transnet’s various infrastructures and core operations. I was interested in the discussions around the vibration challenge the tug boat's engine-propulsion system presented for Transnet. It is hoped that the vibration challenge can be brought to our state-of-the-art Vibration laboratory to be resolved at research level,’ said Kubelwa.
Rappetti said: ‘Transnet is currently investing infrastructure and wanting to build capacity in skills as well. We therefore welcome the students to our ports to see capital projects in action. We need to strengthen our research and development.’
- Leena Rajpal