The Research Group, Materials, Vibrations Analysis and Manufacturing, is situated in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the NWU Faculty of Engineering. This research group specialises in materials selection for design, ceramics, and wear resistant ceramic matrix composite processing, high temperature nuclear materials, metals and materials coating processing, material integrity and failure analysis, vibration mitigation and vibration analysis.

The group hosts projects that are financed through a variety of entities:

  • In one of the the projects, the NWU plays host to PhD and Masters students with bursaries from the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECS) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on projects related to protective coatings, ceramic processing, reaction modelling, waste encapsulation and the reduction of data during residual stress determination through neutron diffraction (SAFARI-I) analysis.
  • In another project, the DTI and the Ametex (Pty) Ltd is sponsoring contract research via a THRIP project on industrial valve design, cast modelling and casting of valve bodies in an effort to improve South African competiveness in this area of manufacturing.

Other important research is:

  • Braking energy utilization on diesel electric locomotives for South African Railways Duty Cycles.
  • High speed milling of titanium, carried out in collaboration with CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research).
  • Pipe systems flanged-joint integrity improvement through the use of the AME Pressure Vessel Research Council’s Convenient Method of bolt load determination and the application of friction reducing pastes.
  • Materials failure and vibration absorption designs for Lonmin (Pty) Ltd. And other companies, with students conducting research on vibration isolation and optimisation of the structural design of grain screens, the integrity of a gyrocopter rotor blade and IT integration of condition monitoring of industrial gearboxes and rotating machines.

Contact details:

For more information on the work that the research group do please contact prof. Johan Markgraaff at:

Email: Johan.Markgraaff@nwu.ac.za