Training & Education

Various coursework offerings are available within individual schools in the engineering part of FEBE at Wits University, covering specialities in a large range of disciplines, including:- aeronautical, chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, information, mechanical, metallurgical and mining.

Numerous combinations of courses have been assembled into Fields of Study (for example, Engineering Management, Industrial Engineering, Geotechnical and Materials Engineering, Control Engineering, Power Engineering, etc). However, alternative groupings of courses from the general FEBE offerings may be proposed by candidates, with acceptance subject to the approval of the postgraduate coordinators in the various schools.

Within the above general context, the branch of Industrial Engineering offers a Systems Engineering Field of Study comprising a suite of MSc level systems courses that may contribute either towards an MSc (Eng) 50/50 (6 courses, 120 credits; research report, 120 credits), an MEng (10 courses, 2 course equivalent project; 240 credits), or a Graduate Diploma in Engineering (GDE) (6 courses, 120 credits).

In support of Transnet Academy specifically, two primary goals currently stand out:
  • Creating and implementing the Transnet Academy post graduate MSc and PhD employee programme and
  • Developing and implementing an HR Competencies bespoke programme to support Transnet HR in establishing appropriate HR resources to guide the Transnet MDS implementation


Research

The Transnet Centre of Systems Engineering (TCSE) was formed with the intention of contributing to and empowering the vision of Transnet and that of the country in pursuit of its Long-Term Planning Framework (LTPF) as embodied in the Market Demand Strategy (MDS).

Two of the measures by which it achieves this by identifying, undertaking and coordinating fundamental and applied research and development in areas of interest to Transnet; and fostering and improving graduate and post-graduate education and human capacity in SE and other disciplines relevant to Transnet.

It is clear therefore from the foregoing that a strong thread of research, education, knowledge and technology development exists within the TCSE mandate – consistent with the connotation of robust university links and the fostering of postgraduate offerings.

Projects and Competencies

 Project-related activities within the TCSE include:
  • Strategic or long-term projects and
  • Operational or short-term projects.
Projects are driven through thematic areas and related competencies required to achieve a systems solution.

Thematic Areas Thematic Areas are regarded structurally as cross-cutters for Competencies with a high level of complementarity between them. Competencies would tend to have permanent or semi-permanent status, whereas Thematic Areas might change and morph on a 3 to 5 year basis, according to Transnet’s needs. Each Thematic Area would entail as an outcome the natural development and application of more than one Competency.

By way of specific interventions however, it is possible that the development of certain key Competencies might be boosted by regarding them as Thematic Areas for a defined period of time.

Thematic Areas as addressed here should typically emanate as a result of a systematic investigation, analysis and synthesis of Transnet and/or (elements of) its Operating Divisions’ ongoing operations in pursuit of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS).

Thematic Areas includes:
  • Operational efficiency
  • Capital execution
  • Strategy planning and execution
  • e-Enablement
  • Maintenance
  • Shared clusters of excellence
  • Market penetration and retention
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Technology Management
  • Knowledge Management
Competencies Competencies are envisaged as representing the longer-term fabric of Transnet in terms of rolling out implementation of its Market Demand Strategy (MDS).It is anticipated that Competencies would tend to have permanent or semi-permanent status; it is possible that the development of certain key Competencies might be boosted by regarding them as Thematic Areas for a defined period of time.

Competencies as addressed here should symbolize a set of skills, consisting of knowledge, experience and expertise, that enables people to approach challenges in a systemic fashion, utilising these skills in order to identify, analyse, characterise and consequently resolve these challenges in a long-lasting manner. It is referred to as proficiency in order to distinguish between pure knowledge and practical capabilities. Competencies Lifecycle Roadmap

graph2

Identify
Identification of competencies to be developed.

Assess
An initial evaluation of key competencies and the ability to perform them in a specific task.

Plan
A course of action intended to maintain, improve identified competencies or create new competencies.

Acquire
Actions taken to maintain or improve identified competencies.

Validate
A measure of whether actions have addressed identified competencies in a specific environment.

Test Readiness
A real-world evaluation of whether a specific task can be performed as required.

Foundational Elements
Criteria
Criteria are sets of technical and enabling competencies that define the requirements for performing assigned tasks. Can also be broken out at a more detailed level with the knowledge and skills needed to perform the activities associated with the competency; could also include the tasks performed as part of the competency.

Environment
Processes, culture, and context that influence the execution of the competency lifecycle activities.

Competency Groups Identified
  • Anticipatory competencies
  • Business unit specific competencies
  • Growth enabling competencies
  • Inter-personal competencies
  • Normative competencies
  • Strategic competencies
  • Systems thinking competencies

Thematic area and Competencies Mix
graph1


Enterprise Development

Coming soon…. 


Advocacy

 The role of “Advocacy” within the TCSE is focused on:
  • Awareness creation and sustainability
  • Networking
  • Marketing, and
  • Symposia
All of which are activities in support of raising the general awareness of the TCSE, Transnet and Systems Engineering in general. Some examples of TCSE Advocacy are:

International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE SA) Engagements with INCOSE SA recently led to the TCSE being requested to moderate two of their annual Symposiums and subsequently participating in their SE Training Working Group, to further develop Systems Engineering in South Africa.

Transnet Heads of Schools Workshop Dr Khoza, General Manager of Transnet Academy also invited the TCSE to facilitate their first ever Transnet Heads of Schools workshop, leading to the establishment of the Transnet HoS Forum. This involved participation in the strategic development plan of the Transnet Academy, coordination of the forum’s activities, service delivery of the Transnet Training Center as well as Capacity Building.

Extending our Systems Engineering Services Beyond Transnet The Wits TCSE has also been able to assist the SA Nuclear fraternity - participating in their conferences, workshops and training and education forums to ensure that SE is part of their thinking. This has also expanded to facilitating academic precision in the Masters of Nuclear Technology Leadership short course and Masters programme, working with MIA, EIE and CIVN.

 

August 2016
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