The Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI), established in 2012, has been founded to create a stable platform for research and post-grad education between Eskom and South African Universities. Seven specialisation areas with specific themes cover the relevant topics: Energy Efficiency, Combustion Engineering, Emission Control Technologies, Materials Engineering, Plant Asset Management, Electrical Engineering and Renewable Energy Technology. Main tasks of EPPEI are to increase the number of post-graduate students within Eskom, increase the technical and scientific knowledge and strengthen the interaction between Eskom and the participating universities.


The activities of the Eskom Materials Science Specialisation, established within the UCT Centre for Materials Engineering, are directed towards the most urgent challenges in the power plant materials field. The primary focus will be laid on high temperature behaviour, fatigue and corrosion of engineering materials, with emphasis on materials utilised in power generation. Research will explore the influence of service operating environments on the performance of materials with a view to being able to

  1. better predict the life of engineering materials and components in power generating plant,
  2. optimize the selection of materials for plant construction,
  3. improve manufacturing technologies including welding and
  4. improve the reliability in monitoring material and component integrity.

EPPEI Materials Science and Mechanics Specialisation

The following students have graduated through the EPPEI programme:

Mr Philip van der Meer - MSc

Effect of geometry on the microstructural ageing of a 1CrMoV turbine rotor steel
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Mr Teboho Molokwane - MSc

Microstructural and property assessment of creep aged 12Cr steel after welding
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Mr Nadeem Gamiet - MSc

Numerical analysis of compressive residual stresses in metallic materials as a result of shot peening
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Ms Nicole Seumangal - MSc

Influence of the heat treatment procedure on the stress corrosion cracking behaviour of low pressure turbine blade material FV566
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Mr Lee Naicker - MSc

Influence of heat treatment condition on the stress corrosion cracking properties of low pressure turbine blade steel FV520B
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Ms Trisha Rasiawan - MSc

Investigation of the fine grain heat affected zone of repair welded creep aged power plant steel
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Mr Oliet Tshamano - MSc

Small punch test: evaluation of embrittlement of power plant materials
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Mr Philip Doubell - MSc (part-time)

Philip, who was a masters student at our Centre and an Eskom engineer, died tragically in a motor cycle accident in 2017.

The Philip Doubell Memorial Lecture was presented by Professor Neil James at the Eskom Academy of Learning on 25 October 2018.

Professor James delivered a very fitting tribute to Philip by outlining his substantial contributions to the development of the innovative Weldcore process. The Weldcore process enables the extraction of metal samples in situ which affords the opportunity to examine the condition of a component without taking the component out of service. Philip received the SAIW’s Harvey Shacklock Gold Medal Award in 2006 and 2018 for his contributions to this technology development.

Philip was an inspiration to many people, but especially to young engineers whom he helped develop into highly competent engineers. His legacy will have a lasting presence on our Centre.


Mr Nicolas Cardenas - MSc

Investigation into the applicability and performance of the Digital Image Correlation method to measure creep strain in pipe welds in the Eskom power station context.
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Mr Ryan Matthews - PhD

Intergranular oxidation of 316L stainless steel in the PWR primary water environment
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Mr Kashir Singh - MSc

Investigation of the influence of service exposure on strain localisation in steel weldments
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Mr Muhammad Stracey - MSc

Modelling of dislocation creep in 9-12% chromium steels
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Mr Royden Weyer - MSc

Modelling of damage due to diffusional creep in high chromium steels
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