Professor / Associate Professor: PRASA Research Chair in Rail Engineering

South Africa
Nov 12, 2018
Dec 14, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Department of Industrial Engineering

Professor/Associate Professor

PRASA Research Chair in Rail Engineering

(Three-year contract appointment)

(Ref. ING01/360/1118)


The PRASA (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) Research Chair was established in the Department of Industrial Engineering in 2011, and as  such is part of the Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University.

The PRASA Research Chair is a multi-engineering discipline research group strategically positioned in the Department of Industrial Engineering to  develop rail expertise by researching, solving and implementing some of the challenges that the rail industry is facing at the moment. The Chair  achieves this by initiating and executing research into aspects of Physical Asset Management and applicable Engineering Management principles best suited to the needs of PRASA. The group conducts investigations to determine the needs of all branches of PRASA with the aim of improving the asset reliability, maintenance strategies and operations. It furthermore offers and administers postgraduate bursaries for applicable rail-related research under the umbrella of the existing Engineering Management Programme in the Department. This Programme will be augmented with appropriate short courses developed with the needs of PRASA in mind.


The appointed Chair will be expected to:

  • Establish and maintain a good working relationship with PRASA's head office;
  • Arrange and conduct regular feedback sessions with PRASA personnel in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement;
  • Pursue international quality research in asset reliability engineering in rail and other related areas in order to complement existing activity within the Department and Faculty and which will impact on the requirements as stipulated by PRASA;


  • Ensure sustainability of the Chair by focusing efforts on more general solutions in the field of asset reliability engineering and seek funding to support this work;
  • Develop and promote the research strategy of the Chair and Faculty through academic leadership and to contribute to strategic planning activities;
  • Publish high-quality research articles and reviews in international and local peer reviewed academic journals, conferences and other appropriate forms of research output;
  • Attract significant additional funding for research contracts and grants from research councils, international commission and other funding agencies including government organisations, industry and charities;
  • Attract and develop a high-profile research team of research staff and postgraduate students;
  • Contribute towards the excellence of the research culture of the Department, Faculty and University;
  • Contribute towards the planning and delivery of innovative, research-led taught modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This includes assessment of coursework and examinations with the provision of appropriate feedback to students;
  • Supervise and assess final year projects, research theses and dissertations at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
  • Take the lead in promoting asset reliability in rail and other engineering disciplines within the university, nationally and internationally;
  • Communicate research to a wide audience by organising and participating in workshops, seminars and conferences;
  • Promote and conduct community projects in order to stimulate young learners to pursue careers in engineering.



  • An appropriate PhD in Engineering with at least ten years' experience in industry or a tertiary education environment;
  • Registered as a Professional Engineer or compliance with the criteria for registration as Professional Engineer;
  • Proven ability to conduct research and publish in peer-reviewed, international journals.
  • Experience in the development and implementation of maintenance systems and/or asset reliability programmes;
  • Experience in conducting productivity improvement programmes;
  • Experience in programme management in large industrial organisations;
  • Experience in Rail Infrastructure and Rail Engineering;
  • A record in establishing or operating a research environment funded by industry.

The University will consider all applications in terms of its Employment Equity Plan, which acknowledges the need to diversify the demographic composition of the staff corps, especially with regard to the appointment of suitable candidates from the designated groups.

The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Apply online by using the "Apply Now" link.

Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and e-mail  address of at least three referees), must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post.

Candidates may be subjected to appropriate psychometric testing and other selection instruments.

The University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates.

Should no feedback be received from the University within six weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.

Enquiries regarding job content: Prof Corné Schutte on 021 808 3617, or on

Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process:

Human Resources Client Service Centre on 021 808 2753