After two years of being accommodated in temporary offices scattered all over, personnel of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic (M&M) Engineering were overjoyed to start moving back into their newly-renovated building. The refurbishment of the M&M building started in November 2018 as part of the larger Engineering Campus Renewal (ECR) project spanning from 2016 until 2026. M&M now occupies the whole building, which they shared with the Department of Industrial Engineering for 34 years until mid-2018.
“It is wonderful to welcome everybody back,” says Prof Kristiaan Schreve, departmental Chair. “Our department was bursting at the seams before the renovations started and we desperately needed more space. The one aspect of the new building that stands out is the better utilisation of space.
“The new building boasts several electronic classrooms, the Faculty’s computer user area, FIRGA, and a magnificent Mechatronics Laboratory (with 51 workstations for 102 students). There is a large executive committee room as well as a smaller one, and modern well-equipped lecture rooms. Closed and open-plan offices on several levels will house personnel. Postgraduate students will be accommodated in special areas near their supervisors. To have their students close by will certainly be an interesting new experience for academic staff.
“We are fortunate to now have WIFI throughout the building and excellent internet connectivity. The Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering even has a Baby Room – a first for the Faculty.”
Prof Schreve concludes: “There is still a lot of furniture covered in plastic standing around and it will be a while before everything is fully operational. We have been scattered for so long. On top of that, the Covid-19 situation kept us apart for many months. M&M have always displayed good team spirit and I am sure this will continue now that we are all under one roof again.”
Clockwise from the left: The front façade of the building, modern lecture room, executive committee room, electronic classroom, postgraduate area.
Inserts: Left: Office area for junior lectures; Right: Reception counter.