Developing a structured professional development program for engineering professionals within the public sector environment

Nel, Coenraad Josephus (2013-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa is currently experiencing a time in which existing infrastructure is reaching its design life end. With a growing economy and the increased level of social development, existing infrastructure is under extreme pressure. South Africa is also facing a challenge in which a need exists for engineering capabilities. These capabilities include engineering skills to maintain and manage existing infrastructure, plan for new infrastructure and construct new needed infrastructure. This study looks at a possible solution towards the above mentioned challenges. As a solution, the study proposes a professional development program to prepare engineers to work in the environment of infrastructure development. More specifically the program prepares civil engineers to work in public sector organisations responsible for basic service infrastructure. The research for the proposed professional development program is done by comparing literature with feedback received from various industry professionals. By doing this, the components for the proposed program were researched and identified. The components for the proposed program are professional work experience, professional training and structured mentorship. A further deliverable of the proposed program is to assist candidates taking part in the program to register as professional engineers on completion of the program. The study further showed the proposed program should be structured in such a way that all the components mentioned above work together interactively and should be centrally managed to ensure all the goals for the program are being reached. It is further stated that if the proposed program could successfully be implemented and if all the stakeholders commit towards the goal of the proposed program, the program could have a significant positive impact towards the challenges mentioned above.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika beleef tans 'n tyd waarin bestaande infrastruktuur besig is om hul ontwerp tydperk te bereik. Met 'n groeiende ekonomie en die verhoogde vlak van maatskaplike ontwikkeling is bestaande infrastruktuur onder geweldige druk. Suid- Afrika staar ook tans `n uitdaging in die gesig in verband met onvoldoende getalle professionele ingenieurs, veral in die omgewing van die instandhouding van bestaande infrastruktuur, die konstruksie van nuwe infrastruktuur, en die beplanning van verdere nodige infrastruktuur. Hierdie studie ondersoek dus 'n moontlike oplossing tot bogenoemde uitdagings. As 'n moonlike oplossing stel die studie voor dat `n professionele ontwikkelingsprogram vir ingenieurs saamgestel word. So `n program sal dus ingenieurs oplei en voorberei vir werk binne die openbare sektor wat verantwoordelik is vir die ontwikkeling en bestuur van basiese dienste infrastruktuur. Die navorsing vir die voorgestelde professionele ontwikkeling program is gedoen deur bestaande literatuur te vergelyk met inligting ontvang vanaf verskeie professionele ingenieurs in die praktyk. Deur dit te doen, is die komponente vir die voorgestelde program nagevors en geïdentifiseer. Die geïdentifiseerde komponente vir die voorgestelde program is dus soos volg: professionele werkservaring, opleiding en gestruktureerde mentorskap. 'n Verdere aflewering van die voorgestelde program is om kandidate te registreer as professionele ingenieurs teen voltooiing van die program. Die studie toon ook verder aan dat al die komponente, soos wat hierbo genoem is, geïntegreerd moet plaasvind en dat die program gestruktureerd bestuur moet word vanaf `n sentrale punt of organisasie. Dit word dan verder genoem dat indien die voorgestelde program suksesvol geïmplementeer kan word, en indien die verskeie belanghebbendes tot die program hulle self tot die program kan verbind, die program 'n beduidende positiewe impak op die uitdagings hierbo kan maak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85671
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