Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Virtual Lab

Stellenbosch University consists of departments with world class researchers and facilities, which enables the PRASA Chair to deliver a world class research service to PRASA. Although the Chair is hosted by the Industrial Department in the Engineering Faculty, the PRASA Chair makes use of the 'virtual laboratory' concept to conduct specialised work at other faculties as well as the various departments in the Engineering faculty. 


Various laboratory tests were conducted in the laboratories of the Industrial Engineering Department and Mechanical Engineering department within the Engineering Faculty. The laboratories were used to do mechanical and metallurgical tests on various railway wheels, axles and even rail track fasteners, create 3D models of components using computerised metrology and perform finite element analysis of the railway wheels (static, fatigue and thermal). Similarly tests were conducted in the high voltage and radio frequency laboratories of the Electrical Engineering department, where testing and research were done into the breakdown of the overhead contact wire gap, testing of line surge capacitors and the characterising train antennas were performed.


During these laboratory tests, specialists in specific areas of research were used to deliver credible and reliable results, which results were documented .


As an extension of the 'virtual laboratory', the Centre for Materials Engineering (Department of Mechanical Engineering) at the University of Cape Town is collaborating with the PRASA Chair on material research. The laboratory is conducting tests with their specialised test equipment, and showed interest in doing further research projects with the PRASA Chair.​