ISSN 0257-9669 printed version
ISSN 2309-8988 online version



Scope and Editorial Policy

The journal covers the full spectrum of South African mechanical engineering research, both academic and industrial and is supported by South African leading academics and has one of its aims to promote such research and its proponents in a constructive manner.

To be considered for publication in the online open access R & D Journal, a paper should report on some aspect of the theory of Mechanical Engineering practice. The project described in the report should be the work of the author, or of a team of which he was a member. Split papers (same author/team/topic) are discouraged.


All papers will be reviewed by more than one referee whose proposed amendments, if any, will be conveyed to the author.
Authors must nominate at least two referees that the editor may ask to review the paper. It remains the prerogative of the editor to appoint referees and nominated persons will not necessarily be invited to participate in the review process. Full contact details of nominated referees must be supplied. Papers accepted for publication may/will be subject to editorial correction.


Authors submitting work for publication must furnish an undertaking that the work has not been published previously. Authors are responsible for the factual accuracy of their papers.


Manuscript Format and Layout


Manuscripts must be presented in a form that corresponds closely with the current layout of the journal and should be in Microsoft Word. English is the preferred language for papers and the presentation shall be in the third person. The abstract shall be in English. The journal uses a size 10 font. All pages must be clearly numbered in sequence.


Papers are limited to 8000 words, or an equivalent length to allow for the space taken up by figures and/or equations. Shorter papers, 5000 words or less, are preferred. Special provision is made for brief research ,notes (typically equivalent to 1000 words).

Title, Authors Name(s) and Affiliation

The title should be brief (usually 6 to 8 words), sufficiently informative for automatic retrieval techniques, and should contain keywords. Additional keywords may be supplied. The authors’ name(s) must be given with the main author’s name first. His/her position, affiliation, SAIMechE membership grade (if a member), and e–mail and postal address must be given as a footnote, co–authors’ names need have only their position and affiliation (company or institution, and city) in a footnote.


A full–length article and a synopsis must have a summary–type abstract of ±100 (not more than 200) words in a single paragraph, using full sentences and not telegraphic phrases. It should indicate the objectives of the investigation, the major techniques employed, and the major new results and conclusions, as specifically as space permits. It should not include numerical references. Research notes and comments do not require abstracts.


A full–length article must have an introduction which states the purpose of the work and its significance in relation to the literature. The introduction is numbered 1. and all subsequent sections and subsections must be numbered accordingly.


A list defining the complete nomenclature should be inserted between the abstract and the introduction. List the symbols (cursive for variables) in alphabetical order within each of the following groups: Roman, Greek, subscript, superscript and abbreviations. Only SI units, listed as [m], may be used.

Mathematical Equations

Mathematical expressions should be formulated and condensed to fit into a single column when printed. Lengthy equations should be broken at a suitable point to fit onto more than one printed line. Cursive letters should be used for variables. All equations, definitions etc. must be numbered in one sequence.

Tables, Figures and Captions

Tables and figures should be clearly numbered consecutively, and be explained in clear and concise (typed) captions. Tables should be as simple as possible, with the longer axis vertical. Graphical presentation is preferred. Lengthy tables and multiple graphs should be avoided or presented as an appendix to the paper. Figures must be plotted by computer, with lines and dots (including grid lines) bold enough to withstand reduction. Lettering (not handwritten) must be large enough to be at least 1.5 mm high after reduction. Photographs should be sharp and should be 300 DPI. Figures and photographs should be placed in position throughout the text and in addition, the figures should be saved separately (out of the document) as .jpg and sent as separate attachments.


    Sample book reference:
  1. Schlichting H, Boundary–layer Theory, 6th ed., McGraw–Hill, New York, 1968.

  2. Conference paper:
  3. Oppenheim AK, Development and structure of plane detonation waves, Combustion and Propulsion, 4th AGARD Colloquium, Pergamon, Oxford, 1961, 186–258.

  4. Journal paper:
  5. Clark RH, Some aspects of computer–aided design, SA Mechanical Engineer, 1981, 31(3), 8–15.

  6. Website:
  7. SAIMechE,, 3 November 2006.
Sources cited in the text must be indicated in chronological superscript numerals, e.g. Clark3 and subsequent citations of the same reference must retain the same numeral. References must be listed at the end of the article (before any appendix) as above.



Address articles for publication or correspondence to:

The Editor, R&D Journal of The South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering,
c/o Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Stellenbosch,
Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602, South Africa. Email:


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Research and Development Journal
University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland, Cape Town, Western Cape Province, ZA, 7602,
Tel: +27 21 808 4091