An integral part of the B.Eng Civil degree at Stellenbosch University, is the vacation training that the undergraduate students have to undertake over the course of their studies. To this end, the UCM announced a call for applications earlier this year for vacation training amongst the Civil undergraduate students, for the 2017 winter recess, to be conducted in the Structural Laboratory at Stellenbosch University. After an overwhelming number of applications, the following 8 students were selected (from left to right): Melissa Leonards (3rd year), Ashton Moran (3rd), Thilen Govender (4th), Gina Loedolff (2nd), Luqmaan Parker (4th), Jessica Winter (3rd), Simone Booysen (2nd) and Lawrence Sterne (4th).
Following a safety induction, the students are spending three to four weeks in the laboratory, under the supervision of the UCM staff, expanding their skill set in design, construction and experimentation. The tasks include:
- conducting tensile tests and cracking tests on plastic concrete
- developing moulds for textile reinforced concrete
- manufacturing alternative masonry units for thermal testing
- creating demonstration videos of the most commonly used experiments in the laboratory to aid with undergraduate practicals and teaching
- conducting life cycle analyses of alternative masonry units to determine their environmental impact
The students are not only exposed to the practicalities of working in an active laboratory, but the tasks they complete also make a meaningful contribution to the laboratory and current UCM research projects. Hopefully the students are also inspired to consider postgraduate studies in their future!