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Cerecam is a formally constituted research centre based at the University of Cape Town. Its principal objective is to provide a coherent focus and point of interaction for research and postgraduate study in theoretical and computational mechanics, and related areas.


Cerecam evolved from the Nonlinear Structural Mechanics Research which was founded in 1980 by the late Professor J B Martin. With the advent major research programmes established by the then Foundation for Research Development (FRD) in 1985, the unit became the Applied Mechanics Research Unit. In 1988 it was granted Centre status by the FRD, and was renamed the FRD/UCT Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics.

From its beginnings as a research group located in Civil Engineering, the scope of activities in Cerecam has expanded considerably over the years. Members now include academic staff and students from the Departments of Chemical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, and Physics.

Consequently, multidisciplinarity has become embedded in the objectives of the Centre, and activities span a wide range of topics in computational engineering and sciences.


The principal objective of Cerecam is to provide a coherent focus and point of interaction at UCT for research and applications in mechanics by promoting and supporting fundamental research, applied research, and industrial interaction in computational and applied mechanics and associated disciplines.

In particular, the Centre has the following key objectives:

a) To be a key centre of expertise in South Africa by carrying out fundamental research of an international standard in the general area of non-linear mechanics, with the aim of contributing to mainstream conceptual developments that are occurring in the international forum.


b) To provide a link between academia and industry by working with national and international industry on problems of immediate concern, with the aim of obtaining funding and generating practical and industrially important research topics for both academics and graduate students.

c) To provide postgraduate training in order to educate students who will be of immediate benefit to South African industry when they enter the workplace; to stimulate interest in mechanics as an area of intellectual endeavour and practical importance in the scientific forum; and to provide for the next generation of experts in mechanics who would be able to take up positions in academia and research institutions.