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GMSA Chair as an Example of University-Industry Collaboration

Igor A. Gorlach
Department of Mechatronics, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Abstract—The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of close industry-university collaboration which benefits students and industry. In 2009 the Chair of Mechatronics was established at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in collaboration with General Motors South Africa (GMSA). Over a period of seven years, this initiative has grown into a strategic partnership, which plays an important role in engineering education and the community at large. The methodology of cooperation was chosen such that it would address educational as well as industry related problems. The results of this initiative can be seen in a significant number of industry based projects completed at the GMSA plant by NMMU engineering students, demonstrating the benefits of this collaboration for both partners. One of the major advantages for the NMMU students is that they are exposed to the most modern manufacturing technologies, which can strengthen their knowledge and benefit them in their future careers. For industry, this collaboration is also beneficial as it makes a significant impact on human capital development in the automotive field through skills development and research. In conclusion, for the country at large, this collaboration addresses one of the biggest challenges of the South African economy, which is the skills shortage in the manufacturing sector.

Index Terms—industry collaboration, educational chair, training

Cite: Igor A. Gorlach, "GMSA Chair as an Example of University-Industry Collaboration" Journal of Advanced Management Science, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 115-120, March 2017. doi: 10.18178/joams.5.2.115-120
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