The Department of Mechanical Engineering is one of the five departments in the School of Engineering at the University of Zambia. The Department has been a significant and longstanding participant in the growth of the School of Engineering since its establishment in 1969. Over the years the Department has evolved into a centre of excellence that promotes goals centering on the research, learning and service missions of the university. It undertakes consultancy, research and training in manufacturing management, production technology, thermofluids, renewable energy, engineering materials and engineering design.
Consultancy is offered to industry, non-governmental organisations, national and international bodies. This can range from individual expert contributions, specialist testing work to full project management. Research is currently undertaken into renewable energy, irrigation systems, mini-hydro power stations, quality and reliability management, composite materials, and manufacturing processes control and management. Computer aided design and process modelling are also key areas of research. Training activities include undergraduate programme in mechanical engineering, postgraduate programmes in production engineering and management and thermofluids. Further, students can undertake research leading to the award of Master of Engineering (MEng) or Doctoral (PhD) degree in any of our expertise areas. Short courses are also offered including tailored programmes to suit individual clients’ needs.
The Department’s mission is to produce a high caliber, internationally recognized, versatile and resourceful mechanical engineers, and to contribute to national development through teaching, research and consultancy.
The University of Zambia through the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering can offer expertise to all sectors of the industry. The expertise is offered in:
- Quality implementation and management
- Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)
- Metal casting
- Project appraisal and planning
- Energy utilisation and auditing
- Material selection, testing and metallographic examination
- Industrial engineering
- Design and production engineering (CAD/CAM/CNC Technology)
- Plant and equipment evaluations and valuations
- Development of equipment for local manufacture
- Heat transfer, combustion, power plants and energy analysis
- Renewable energy applications
- Vibrations and dynamics analysis
- Fluid dynamics and turbo-machinery analysis and design
- Full range of machine shop operations
- Cleaner production
- Engineering maintenance
- Technology transfer
- Process modelling
- Risk and reliability assessment
Selected Consultancy Experience
- Technical Assessment of Installed Turbex WindmillsPLAN International
- Weld Testing using PQR Test CouponsMeltcast
- Conformance Testing of India MK II Hand PumpsZambia Bureau of Standards
- Strain Monitoring of a Furnace at Chambeshi MetalsASTEC-MET
- Review of the Legal Framework for Apprenticeship Training in ZambiaTEVETA
- Upgrading and Modernisation studies of Hydro-Power StationsLunsemfwa Hydro-Power Company
- Redesign and Manufacture of Air-Conditioning Equipment for the Zambian State HouseZambian Government
- Technical Assessment of the Road Traffic Accident involving Baldwin NkumbulaGRZ
- Assessment of Plant Machinery LifeKafue Textiles of Zambia
- Evaluation of the ABS Tender Document for the Refurbishment of the Bank of Zambia Executive BuildingBank of Zambia
- Determination of Surface Roughness of Damaged Thrust Bearing Collar for a Turbine at Kafue Gorge Power StationZESCO
- Feasibility Study for the Establishment of Bulk Haulage Services and Engineering Workshop for David and Dash HoldingsZambia Venture Capital Fund
- Energy Conservation ManagementUNIDO
- Inventories of Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas EmissionsEnvironmental Council of Zambia (ECZ
|Technical Assessment of Installed Turbex Windmills||PLAN International|
|Weld Testing using PQR Test Coupons||Meltcast|
|Conformance Testing of India MK II Hand Pumps||Zambia Bureau of Standards|
|Strain Monitoring of a Furnace at Chambeshi Metals||ASTEC-MET|
|Review of the Legal Framework for Apprenticeship Training in Zambia||TEVETA|
|Upgrading and Modernisation studies of Hydro-Power Stations||Lunsemfwa Hydro-Power Company|
|Redesign and Manufacture of Air-Conditioning Equipment for the Zambian State House||Zambian Government|
|Technical Assessment of the Road Traffic Accident involving Baldwin Nkumbula||GRZ|
|Assessment of Plant Machinery Life||Kafue Textiles of Zambia|
|Evaluation of the ABS Tender Document for the Refurbishment of the Bank of Zambia Executive Building||Bank of Zambia|
|Determination of Surface Roughness of Damaged Thrust Bearing Collar for a Turbine at Kafue Gorge Power Station||ZESCO|
|Feasibility Study for the Establishment of Bulk Haulage Services and Engineering Workshop for David and Dash Holdings||Zambia Venture Capital Fund|
|Energy Conservation Management||UNIDO|
|Inventories of Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas Emissions||Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ)|
Testing and Research Facilities
The activities undertaken in the Department are fully supported by the following facilities:
There is a standard workshop in which can be found lathes, milling machines, shapers, welding, grinding and drilling machines. An injection-moulding machine is also available. There is also a metrology section with various types of apparatus and instruments for precision measurements. Other equipment include a 100-tonne press for forging and blanking operations, a lathe tool dynamometer and a state-of-the-art Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Vertical Machine Centre (VMC) with associated software.
This laboratory houses a 100 kN Schenk materials testing machine linked to an IBM PC, microscopes and some grinders for microscopic examination of specimen. In addition, there is a hardness tester and heat treatment furnace for temperatures of up to 1200 degrees Celsius. Non-Destructive Testing equipment available is a portable Eddy Current NDT equipment.
This laboratory has heat transfer apparatus, refrigeration and air conditioning units, and a steam plant consisting of a Fulton Boiler and accessories. There are also two engines, Ricardo and Lister, which support studies on fuel combustion, thermodynamics courses and research. A fuel injection testing machine is also available. A second section consisting of a pelton wheel and tribology apparatus, a wind tunnel and viscometers is available for experiments and projects in fluid mechanics. A Flame Propagation and Stability Unit, a Centrifugal Fan Unit and a CO2/CO measuring devices are also available.
Dynamics and Control Laboratory
The laboratory has vibration equipment for linear and torsion vibrations and also apparatus for cam and gear studies.
The foundry currently houses a furnace for non-ferrous metals and equipment for sand mould and core making. The foundry is supported by a carpentry workshop.
Specialised Computer Software
Computer software which the Department uses include MasterCAM for CNC machine, SolidWorks for solid Modelling, JL Analyser for finite element analysis, Phoenics for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and Quicklog for experimental data capture.
Building on its programme of research and teaching activities, the Department of Mechanical Engineering runs a series of focused short courses designed to draw together engineers, technologists, academic and government participants. Broadly there are two sorts of course: those which operate on a regular basis and are advertised accordingly and those designed specifically to the needs of a particular user. The aim is to equip participants with both an understanding of the relevant issues as well as update them with current technological developments as a basis for continuous learning.
The short courses are provided on an openly advertised basis or as in-house courses for particular companies or institutions. These courses are in any of the following categories:-
- Technology transfer
- Technological awareness
The provision of these courses is part of Continuing Engineering Education (CEE) and targets the widest audience that can benefit from them, which would include engineers, technologists and related professionals, management and senior personnel in industry, consulting firms, research organisations, statutory bodies, educational institutions and the government departments. In addition, attending any one of these courses would count towards your engineers’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points as per the Engineers’ Registration Board (EngRB).