Civil Engineering Laboratories at the University of Namibia (UNAM) cooperate with German Experts

The Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) supports the development of civil engineering laboratories at the University of Namibia (UNAM) through a comprehensive exchange programme.

For the first time, a delegation of German laboratory experts visited the UNAM Faculty of Engineering in Ongwediva in October to provide guidance in their ambitions for accreditation. On behalf of the GIZ Transport Programme, experts from the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), University of Siegen as well as two private testing laboratories conducted a comprehensive review of laboratory structures, machinery and processes and provided training to the designated technologists.

The main aim was to observe and assess the functionality of the local laboratories for concrete, geotechnics, asphalt and hydraulics. The international exchange programme commenced in 2018 when the UNAM technologists extended their knowledge by attending trainings at the German laboratories and gaining practical insights and experiences in respective industries and facilities. Further cooperation is envisaged in UNAMs future developments.

Currently the laboratories at UNAM are being used mainly for teaching purposes. The ultimate future goal is an accreditation according to international standards to provide services to the industry and government agencies, which would enable the faculty to generate funds. However, the technical foundations are a prerequisite. It was observed that the immediate need of support is to set up an improved layout for the labs and a management system. Special attention is needed in instructing and training the technologists to conduct respective examinations.

The measures contribute to the project’s objective to enhance the academic performance in civil engineering in Namibia.

During the visit, the delegation also met with the UNAM vice chancellor office and the German Embassy to discuss a sustainable course of action.

Contact: Ernst-Benedikt Riehle

The project is supported by the German government through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and its implementing agency GIZ.