Collaborative meta-profile development to harmonise mechanical engineering education in Africa

  • S. M. Sackey Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • V. R. Ancha Jimma University
  • M. P. Chinyama University of Malawi
  • C. Awono Onana University of Yaounde I
  • R. Danwe University of Yaounde I
  • M. M. Megahed Cairo University
  • B. Delpouve University of Lille I
  • S. Chama Copper Belt University
  • N. Mahomed Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • V. Kayibanda Kigali Institute of Technology
  • L. Y. Kabeya Mukeba Institut Superior des Techniques Appliquées Kinshasa
  • A. Müller Stellenbosch University
Keywords: Tuning methodology, mechanical engineering, higher education, competences, meta-profile development.


This paper describes the contribution of the Tuning Methodology toward harmonisation of undergraduate mechanical engineering programmes in Africa. This methodology is an interactive process in which academics develop high quality curricula and learning standards for students through the identification of generic and subject specific competences in consultation with employers, students, graduates, peers and other stakeholders involved in Mechanical Engineering higher education. The current Tuning process involves academics in 11 universities drawn from across Africa. The aim is to collaboratively contribute to revitalizing and reforming Mechanical Engineering higher education in Africa to make it more responsive to Africa’s developmental needs. The results so far show that such a project is not only highly feasible but also holds promise for establishing compatible academic structures and reference standards across Africa, which would facilitate student and staff mobility as well as enhance cooperation not only among African academic institutions, but also between African institutions and those in the rest of the world. Eighteen generic competences and nineteen mechanical engineering-specific competences are developed, analysed and synergised to form a meta-profile that will inform the next phase of the project, which is the actual curriculum development. This activity is part of “Tuning Africa” project, which is funded through European Union-African Union collaboration.

Published online: 20 December 2014


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

S. M. Sackey, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Dr Samuel M. Sackey (MGhIE, MSME) is a Senior Lecturer of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the KNUST, Ghana in 1988, a Master of Science degree in Engineering and Management of Manufacturing Systems from the Cranfield University, Great Britain, in 1996, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mechanical Engineering from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 2004. He teaches mechanical design and production engineering, as well as engineering materials, quality assurance, and manufacturing systems related courses.

His research interests broadly include minimization of damage in material-process interactions, product and process quality improvement in engineering manufacture, and maintenance management including in agricultural machinery systems. Others are: investigating processing difficulties associated with composite materials, product quality management, product innovation and product development, value stream systems, and technology transfer. Others are mechatronics, automation and control systems in mechanical engineering and manufacturing systems involving the application of PLCs, logic control systems and microprocessors and recently, impact of engineering higher education on economic development. Dr Sackey is the current Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department, of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

V. R. Ancha, Jimma University

Dr. Venkata Ramayya Ancha is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Sustainable Energy Engineering Chair in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Jimma Institute of Technology(JiT), Jimma University. He graduated in 1983 with B.Tech (Mechanical) from NIT,Warangal, in 1986 with M.E (Thermal Systems Engineering) from I.I.Sc, Bangalore and in 1990 with Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from I.I.T, Madras, all located in India. He teaches Power Plant engineering, Thermo-fluid System Design, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Gas Dynamics and Jet Propulsion, Turbo machines, Fluid Mechanics, Heat and Mass Transfer for UG students; Energy Systems Modeling and Simulation, Renewable Energy Systems Design including Solar, Bio, Wind and Fuel cells apart from Research Methods for M.Sc students. He has several best teacher awards, best paper awards apart from National award from Professional societies and around 104 research publications in Journals/Conference Proceedings biographical listings in Marqui’s Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, USA etc. He was promoted to full Professorship in 1999 and has been working in JU, Ethiopia since November 2001 on wards.

Research Interests: Fluidized Bed Heat Transfer and Dynamics, Exergy Analysis, Computational Fluid Dynamic Simulations, Energy Systems Optimization, Biomass Gasification and Pyrolysis, Solar Thermal Engineering, Wind Turbine Design Optimization, Micro Hydro power and Cross Flow Turbines, Energy Storage with PCM, Fuel Cells.

M. P. Chinyama, University of Malawi

Dr Chinyama is a Senior Lecturer and former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Vice Principal of the University of Malawi - the Polytechnic. He is a Chartered Engineer registered with the Engineering Council of UK. He obtained his PhD in Thermo-fluids from Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine of the University of London in 2006. He also has a Masters degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from the University of Warwick (UK) obtained in 1996 and BSc in Engineering (Mechanical) from the University of Malawi obtained in 1990. He has published a number of articles in refereed journals and a contributed two chapters in books titled ‘Cleaner Production and Consumption in East and Southern Africa: Challenges and Opportunities’, and ‘Alternative Fuel’. He has contributed to the body of knowledge in Combustion and Cement Processing through research and publications.

Dr Chinyama has recently been appointed Team Leader of the newly established Malawi University of Science and Technology on secondment from the University of Malawi. He has special research interest in manufacturing and processing, bio-energy, combustion and the environment.

R. Danwe, University of Yaounde I
Raïdandi DANWE is a Civil Engineer, and holds a PhD (Doctorat) degree in Civil and Mechanical Engineering from the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan (France) since 1993. He is Professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique of the University of Yaoundé I. In the Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, he teaches Elasticity, Vibrations, mechanical modeling and Simulations, Structures analysis, Plasticity, Thermodynamics and mechanics of continuous media, Structural optimization, Maintenance, Reliability and Quality. His research activities include Materials and Structures (Modeling of structures, composites, structural analysis, non-linear mechanics), Computer-integrated manufacturing (Optimization, Maintenance, quality). He’s been Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Douala, Head of the Coordination and Promotion of Research Department at the University of Yaoundé I. He has also been Member of Cameroonian Parliament, and 1st Secretary of the Education Committee. He is the current Director of the Higher Institute of the Sahel of the University of Maroua, Cameroon.
M. M. Megahed, Cairo University

Dr. Mohammad M. Megahed is an emeritus professor of Solid Mechanics in the Department of Mechanical Design and Production of the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Leicester, England, UK in 1978. He teaches, develops courses, conducts and supervises research in the areas of stress analysis, elasticity, plasticity, failure analysis, finite elements, pressure vessels and piping, fatigue, creep, fitness for service, etc. He has published more than 80 papers in reputable international journals and conferences and supervised more than 22 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students. In March 2014, his h-index lies at 14 and more than 560 citations. Some of his research was made in response to national needs of the industry in Egypt. In appreciation of his activities, he won the "State Prize for Encouraging Engineering Research" in 1990, and in the year 2000, he won the "State Prize for Distinction in Engineering Sciences".

He held a number of senior administrative positions at Cairo University. He was the executive director of the Center for Advancement of Post Graduate Studies and Research in Engineering Science at Cairo University (CAPSCU) during the period 1998 - 2005 during which CAPSCU successfully provided more than 600 consulting task to the national and regional industry. He served as "Vice Dean for Academic and Student Affairs" at the college of Engineering, Cairo University during the period 2005-2007. In 2008, he was chosen as the “General Secretary: of the SCU (Supreme Council of Universities) engineering sector committee.

B. Delpouve, University of Lille I

Doctor in Biochemistry and Engineer in Food Processing Industry,, Beatrice Delpouve has been working since 1988 at the central level of the University of Lille (France), for the development of the European programs for Research and then for Higher Education. She is participating to the creation and implementation of joint curricula and is involved to the comparison of the three cycles and study programs (European levels, TEMPUS, EUA and TUNING projects in Europe and its feasibility in Africa, JOIMAN project).

She is as well involving in different international projects leading to international cooperation and mobility. She works with all continents, especially European, African countries, Brazil and China. She is being asked by the European Commission to help HE institutions to implement ECTS, the DS, joint degrees and European Projects even outside Europe as a Bologna expert.

S. Chama, Copper Belt University

Dr Shadreck Chama holds a PhD in Material Science and Engineering from the University of Liverpool, UK (2001), a Master of Science degree in Advanced Engineering Materials from the University of Liverpool, (UK) (1996), and a Bachelor of engineering degree in Mechanical engineering from the University of Zambia (1994). He joined the Copperbelt University in 1995 as a Staff Development fellow and has been there since. During this period he has taught several courses including Material Science, Fracture Mechanics and production and operations management at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has held a number of positions in the University including that of Assistant Dean, Head of postgraduate studies, Dean of the School of Engineering, a member of Senate and a member of the University Council, acted as Vice Chancellor and is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor for the Copperbelt University.


On the international scene he is a member of the AAU supported and European Union funded project called Tuning Africa, whose broad terms are to foster harmonization of curricular across African Universities with the specific aim of gravitating towards competency based teaching for all degree programs. He is also an executive member of the UNESCO founded World Academy of Young Scientists (WAYS) and the Secretary General of WAYS-Africa Unit. The World Academy of Young Scientists (WAYS) is an international organization devoted to advancing science and enhancing the situation of young scientists throughout the world.


Research interests:

  • Development of novel light alloys for aerospace applications.
  • Study of oxidation- development of stable protective oxides.
  • Microstructural evolution during  processing and microstructure-property relations.
  • Manufacture and characterization of aluminium metal foams.
N. Mahomed, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Dr Nawaz Mahomed has a BSc Eng Degree and MSc Eng Degree from the University of Cape Town, and a PhD from the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, specialising in modelling and computational simulation of high viscous flows with applications in injection moulding and metal casting.  He held positions of Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering at CPUT, Director of R&D at Central University of Technology, and Portfolio Manager in Materials Science and Manufacturing at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.  He later joined the Department of Science and Technology for 5 years as Director for Local Innovation, Manufacturing and Technology Localisation, where he was involved in the establishment of a range of research & technology programmes in advanced manufacturing, materials, and regional innovation.  Thereafter, he headed up the Institute for Maritime Technology linked to the Defence Industry.  He is currently Dean of Engineering at CPUT.
V. Kayibanda, Kigali Institute of Technology

Dr.Venant Kayibanda is Senior Lecturer  and Head of Mechanical Engineering Department at Kigali Institute of Science and  Technology (KIST). He graduated in 1995 with Bsc, in 1996 with Msc , and in 2010 with PhD  from Don State Technical University(DSTU) ,Rostov-on- Don, Russia. He teaches Mechanical Vibrations, Applied Thermodynamics, Automobile Technology, Maintenance Management &reliability, Engineering operations & management, Dynamics of Machines and Engineering drawing for UG students; Renewable Energy Systems Design including Geothermal, Solar, Bio and Wind for M.Sc students. He has research publications in Engineering Journals. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2011 and he has been working in KIST  since November 2003.

Research Interests: Vibration in Mechanical Engineering: Research activities are conducted on the application of Mechanical Vibration for improvement of efficiency of technical equipments such as Compressors, compactors. Research activities are also focused on implementation of Vibrating technology in automotive repairs and services.

L. Y. Kabeya Mukeba, Institut Superior des Techniques Appliquées Kinshasa

Le Docteur L.Y.M. Kabeya est professeur à l’Enseignement Supérieur, Universitaire et Recherche Scientifique  ( ESURS ISTA-Kinshasa) de la République Démocratique du Congo. Il est Doyen de la Faculté de Mécanique. Il a eu son diplôme d’Ingénieur technicien en mécanique d’aviation  à l’Université Nationale du Zaïre / ISTA-Kinshasa en 1981, le diplôme de maîtrise en mécanique de l’Ecole normale de Paris en 1984, et une thèse de doctorat en sciences  d’orientation mécanique des fluides à l’Université de Liège, Belgique en 2007.  Il a une expérience de 6 ans en qualité de Directeur Technique  dans l’usine GENERAL MOTORS de 1985 à 1991, de Directeur Technique et de Production du Centre de Recherche pour les Problèmes de la Défense (CRPD), de 1999 à 2002. Chercheur PostDoc auprès de l’ALTECH sa Waremme  et AEC, Expert international de l’Organisation Internationale de Migration (OIM-Mida) à  l’ISEA Busogo, Rwanda et  Kigali Institute of Sciences and Technology, Consultant Expert national et international  pour les projets de développement communautaire. Professeur de 3è cycle à l’Université Pédagogique Nationale (UPN) de Ngaliema et aussi  Président du Jury de thèse de doctorat en Sciences de spécialité  mécanique en  2013.

A l’ISTA  il dispense les cours ci-après : Séminaire de master sur la Conception et fabrication mécanique.  Au deuxième cycle : Système mécanique de production, Machines de conditionnement et de conservation, Industries frigorifiques,  la Simulation et la modélisation des systèmes de propulsion, Séminaire du génie mécanique et systèmes multi variables. Au premier cycle : fabrication mécanique et machines thermiques.

Ses axes de recherche :  Interfaces  Solide-fluide en « CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), Energy, Mass and Heat Transfer,Thermodynamics,  Internal Combustion Engine, p-Version Finite element method », Méthode de Volumes finis, « Design and  Manufacturing Engineering,  Bibliography », Projet de développement communautaire. Membre du Comité scientifique, et Point focal de l’Exposition de l’ESU 2011 et de l’ESURS 2012. Membre de l’ASME ( American Society Mechanical Engineering) et de Tuning.
A. Müller, Stellenbosch University
André Müller is the head of the Centre for Academic Planning and Quality Assurance at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He coordinates the approval of new programme submissions and changes proposed to existing academic programmes (across ten faculties). He also facilitates the quality assurance and quality enhancement processes with regard to external evaluations of departments and support services, and institutional and national reviews.


Alarcon, Francisco, Pablo Beneitone, Roberto de Armas, Sergio Kieling, Leticia Sune, and Diana Veneros. Student Workload and Degree Profiles: the experience of CLAR credit in Latin America.” Tuning Journal for Higher Education, no. 1 (2013): 165-186.

Galal Abdel-Hamid Abdellah et al. “Recent developments in Egyptian engineering education through competitive projects.” 2008. Paper presented at the Third African Regional Conference on Engineering Education (ARCEE), Pretoria, South Africa, courtesy the African Engineering Education Association (AEEA), September 26-27, 2006.

Hahn, Karola, and Damtew Teferra. “Tuning as instrument of systematic Higher Education reform and quality enhancement: the African experience.” Tuning Journal for Higher Education, no. 1 (2013): 127-163.

Jackson, H., K. Tarhini, A. Zapalska, and S. Zelmanowitz. “Strategies to Infuse Global Perspectives and Industrial Collaboration in Engineering Education. Paper presented at the 40th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Washington, DC, October, 2010.

Kouwenhoven, W. “Competence-based Curriculum Development in Higher Education: a Globalised Concept.” In Technology Education and Development, edited by Aleksandar Lazinica and Carlos Calafate. InTech, 2009.

Cantrell, M., M. Kool, and W. Kouwenhoven, eds. “Competence-based curriculum development in higher education: some African experiences.” In Access & Expansion: Challenges for Higher Education Improvement in Developing Countries. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: University Press, 2010., 2010.

Kumar, V., Karl R. Haapala, Julio L. Rivera, Margot J. Hutchins, William J. Endres, John K. Gershenson, Donna J. Michalek, and John W. Sutherland. “Infusing sustainability principles into manufacturing/mechanical engineering curricula.” Journal of Manufacturing Systems 24, no. 3 (2005): 215-225.

Markes, I. “A review of literature on employability skills needs in engineering.” European Journal of Engineering Education 31, no. 6 (2006): 637-650.

Martín P., Ignacio de los R., and Dante G. “Higher Education in Industrial Engineering in Peru: Towards a New Model Based on Skills.” Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences 46, no. 2 (2012): 1570-1580. Paper presented at the 4th World Conference on Educational Sciences (WCES-2012), February 2-5, 2012 Barcelona, Spain.

Meijers, A.W.M. et al. “Criteria for Academic Bachelors and Masters curricula.” Technical University of Eindhoven, 90-386-2217-1, Eindhoven, 2005.

_____. “The ABET “Professional Skills” — Can They Be Taught? Can They Be Assessed?Journal of Engineering Education 94, no. 1 (2005): 41-56.

Strobel, J., Wang, J., Weber, N.R., and Dyehouse, M. “The role of authencity in design-based learning environments: The case of engineering education.” Computers & Education 64 (May 2013): 143-152.

“Worldwide CDIO Initiative.”

How to Cite
Sackey, S. M., V. R. Ancha, M. P. Chinyama, C. Awono Onana, R. Danwe, M. M. Megahed, B. Delpouve, S. Chama, N. Mahomed, V. Kayibanda, L. Y. Kabeya Mukeba, and A. Müller. 2014. “Collaborative Meta-Profile Development to Harmonise Mechanical Engineering Education in Africa”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 2 (1), 161-78.