In June 2006, in an address to the National Research Foundation President’s Awards Ceremony, the Honourable Minister Of Science & Technology, Mr Mosibudi Mangena, singled out the shortage of professional skills in engineering and science as the greatest impediment to both public infrastructure and private investment programmes. Science and technology, stated the Minister, are critical tools in attempts to address socio-economic challenges and position South Africa to meet the development demands of a modern economy.
In this challenging environment, engineering professionals are faced with problems associated with high work pressure as they struggle to maintain organisational effectiveness. This problem is particularly acute with newly graduated engineers, who have to perform as soon as they enter the work place. Learning curves are steep and mistakes can be made due to lack of experience and knowledge. Much of the information required for an engineer to make correct decisions is available in one form or another from a supplier of goods or services. This information is usually straightforward and practical in nature. However, this material is currently spread throughout different media and is often difficult to find, especially under the pressurised conditions that exist in the current work environment.
In order to address this problem, the Engineers Technical Handbook contains practical reference material and articles of use to the engineering professional. Engineering professional are required to have knowledge of a wide range of subjects, often covering other technical disciplines. To answer this need, publications will cover a broad range of subjects in one volume. Material is obtained from specialist organisations in each field and contact details are available for each contributing organisation should the user require additional information, or assistance in solving a problem. It is anticipated that additional material will be added to the body of knowledge annually and published as consecutive volumes. Over a period of time, these volumes will build towards a fully comprehensive reference library covering key aspects of practical knowledge relevant to the practising engineer.
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