Emeritus Professor Kevin Bennett

Career:

1970-1975:

  • Electricity Supply Commission - Johannesburg.

  • Mechanical Research Department. Engineer-in-training.

  • Mechanical Test Department. Engineer-in-training.

  • Overseas training - Brown Boveri, Switzerland.

  • M.Sc. (Steam Turbine Technology) at the Lanchester Polytechnic in Rugby, Warwickshire.

  • Employed as a turbine engineer in the Design Services Group of ESKOM's (Electricity Supply Commission) Design and Construction Department. Carried out optimization studies relating to the design parameters for a 6 x 600MW power station (Matla) and assisted with the technical adjudication of the steam turbine tenders for two 3 600MW power stations (Matla and Duvha).

1975-1985:

  • A PhD. at the Energy Research Institute, University of Cape Town.

  • The research for this degree entailed a detailed sector analysis of energy utilization in South Africa and included forecasts of the country's future energy requirements.

  • Employed by the Energy Research Institute as a Chief Research Officer.

  • Engaged in a number of research projects with an emphasis on alternative liquid fuels, especially for transport applications. The methanol research programme, which involved the development and testing of methods to use this fuel in Diesel engines, is an example of this area of research.

  • Responsible for the coordination of research activities within the Energy Research Institute.

  • Attended the PMD (Programme for Management Development) offered by UCT's Graduate School of Business.

1985-1989:

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cape Town.

  • Appointed to the post of Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCT. Undergraduate teaching interest is in basic and applied thermodynamics and fluid mechanics.

1989-1993:

  • Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

  • Duties included responsibility for academic activities of department (12 academics, 10 non-academics, 400 undergraduate and 40 postgraduate students). The academic activities include research activities, and the organisation and control of the instruction, curricula and examinations.

  • Programming experience in Basic, Visual Basic, Fortran, C and Assembler.

  • Supervised postgraduate research at both Master's and Doctorate level.

  • Consulted widely both locally and nationally.

  • Major projects carried out for the marine industry (the failure of the main engines of the salvage tug, the Wolraad Woltemade), electricity generation (the development of a computer control system for a hydraulic test rig to test seismic snubbers (shock absorbers) in the Koeberg power station reactors), and health services (the design and construction of a patient support system for the proton therapy facility at the National Accelerator Centre at Faure).

  • Additionally have provided services to the insurance industry in the fields of failure analysis and specialised measurements.

1992 onwards:

  • Promoted to full Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

  • Appointed to the position of Director, Energy Research Institute. Duties include refocusing the direction of the ERI and re-establishing it within the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

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