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TIA Adaptronics Advanced Manufacturing Technology Laboratory

img uav 2The TIA Adaptronics Advanced Manufacturing Technology Laboratory (Adaptronics AMTL) was established in 2007. The primary objective of the unit is to specialise as a national manufacturing, research and educational resource centre for Adaptronic Technologies in South Africa.

Adaptronics is the technology that integrates sensor and actuator functions into materials, components and structures so that they may react to environment stimuli thus making them intelligent.

Based on the technology activities, innovation, and successes of the CPUT Adaptronics AMTL, it was officially incorporated into the Technology Innovation Agency’s Technology Station programme in March 2013, and became the 18th Technology Station in South Africa.

Vision of the CPUT Adaptronics AMTL

  • To be at the heart of Technology Education, Research and Innovation in Africa for Africa.
  • To establish an empowering environment that supports the development of socially responsive and accomplished Technologists and Engineers through work-integrated learning based on mutually beneficial partnerships with industry and the community.

img formula student 2014 carMission of the CPUT Adaptronics AMTL

  • To develop and sustain an empowering environment where, through teaching, learning, research and scholarship our students and staff, in partnership with the community and industry, are able to create and apply knowledge that contributes to development:
  • Create opportunities for students to apply knowledge in real-life situations
  • Contribute to socio-economic development
  • Facilitate the integration of community engagement activities with teaching, learning and research in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

Research and Technology focus areas of specialisation

The unit focuses on the following research areas:

  • Adaptronic Technology: Research and Technology projects into the development of intelligent structures, MEMS and Nano-Sensing Devices.
  • Unmanned Platforms: Research and Technology development of nano, micro, mini, and close/short range unmanned aerial vehicles for both military and civilian applications.
  • Automotive Technologies: Research and Technology projects related to motorsport and alternative/green propulsion systems.
  • Ocean Engineering: Research and Technology projects related to maritime applications
  • Universal Design: Research and Technology projects providing access to Physically challenged individuals.

These areas form the foundation of the Adaptronics AMTL’s Human Capital Development Programme, and include student R&T projects ranging from Internships, Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral activities.

Three of the focus areas are currently headed by CPUT staff members, namely:

  • Prof Graeme Oliver (MechEng): Ocean Engineering
  • Prof Mughendi M’Rithaa (Industrial Design): Universal Design
  • Dr Nemraui (Mechatronics): Adaptronic Technologies

The AMTL also has a dedicated staff of Technologist, Technicians, and Artisans involved in industry related activities ranging from design, prototyping, testing, and process and programme development.

Industry Contract Research

Since its inception, the TIA Adpatronics AMTL has been involved in 42 Contract Research and Development and Research and Technology projects for South African Industries.

These industries span sectors such as Oil and Gas, Boat Building and Ship Repair, Textiles, Bio-Medical, Automotive, etc. The nature of these interventions included prototyping of new and existing products, reverse engineering, steel fabrication and manufacture, materials testing, and numerical analyses and testing.


The unit’s partnerships include variety of Large Companies, SMME’s, Regional and National Government Departments, South African Research Facilities, as well as other Universities.

These include the the Western Cape’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Technology Innovation Agency, AIRBUS (Pty) Ltd, DENEL UAV Systems, DENEL Optronics, Solid State Technologies, the South African Kart Racing Academy, CSIR/DPSS Landward Sciences, the South African Navy, Institute for Maritime Technology, NRF/Ithemba Labs.

Contact us

Prof Oscar Philander
Tel: +27 21 953 8436
Email: philandero@cput.ac.za
Operations Manager
Mr Eugene Erfort
Tel: +27 21 953 8652
Technical Manager
Mr Mornay Riddles
Email: riddlesm@cput.ac.za
Chantal Rensburg
Tel: +27 21 953 8435
Email: rensburgc@cput.ac.za
Leigh-Anne Davids
Tel: +27 21 953 8435

CPUT Adaptronics AMTL
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Bellville Campus