Construction engineering and management is concerned with management in all areas of infrastructure development, including the client, consultant and the contractor. At Stellenbosch University it deals with large projects and the research focuses on modular construction, construction risk management, design management and infrastructure management.
The construction industry needs creative and innovative graduates who can solve problems and exercise leadership. The field of construction engineering and management addresses all aspects of project development. From a client/owner or consultant’s side, engineering managers need to understand the financial aspects, risks, contracts, procurement strategies as well as aspects of constructability, safety and quality for successful implementation and maintenance of infrastructure projects.
Similarly, contractors are starting to play a leadership role in the project delivery process. Project leaders are expected to be well trained professional engineers, also competent in terms of legislation, procurement practice and project feasibility. International changes in the project delivery field indicate a marked shift necessitating the professionalisation of the construction industry. Engineers in general have a high work ethic and projects teams are able to deliver increasingly competitive and technically innovative projects. Engineering qualifications with sound scientific and engineering content remains imperative, but needs to be enhanced by softer skills and project leadership.
The courses and research address these aspects for improving the industry. Although it participates in the curriculum of the final year of under graduate studies in civil engineering, the focus is on the post graduate programme. Courses offered in the post graduate programme are a compilation of modules from the Department of Civil Engineering, Department of Industrial Engineering and other departments at Stellenbosch University. Course topics are structured to provide for technical and management skills to be developed amongst all participants in the project cycle. In order to maintain close collaboration with industry, and to support continuous professional development, industry participants are able to attend modules of the post graduate curriculum.
At Stellenbosch University the Chair for Construction Engineering and Management (CEM), prepares professionals for the planning, implementation and maintenance of multi-disciplinary engineering projects such as infrastructure, industrial, process, power and building projects. The Chair stimulates innovation and creative thinking, whilst promoting best management practice for the successful implementation of major capital works.
In addition, the Chair ensures the longevity of the Construction Management Programme: an intensive, four week middle-management programme for professionals with 10-20 years’ working experience