Engineering Capabilities from Stellenbosch
The Stellenbosch CSIR Technology for Special Operations (TSO) group works mainly, yet not exclusively in the maritime environment, servicing the needs of the Navy and Special Operations Forces’ operations at sea, in or on water.

Operational Test and Evaluation
The CSIR has been working as the research and technology arm of the South African National Defence Force for many years. The CSIR is dedicated to perform independent test and evaluations of operational systems intended for use in land, air and seaborne missions.

High-speed Photography Capability
The CSIR’s Technology for Special Operations has been using high-speed photography as a research tool, testing and evaluating, for example bulletproof glass.

Explosives and Demolition Support to Special Forces
The CSIR’s Technology for Special Operations chemical engineering involves “chemical product design” where chemicals or explosives are used to develop new devices and techniques to support their client’s specialised environment.

Direct Manufacturing
CSIR clients benefit from a specialist capability that allows one to take a design, capture and simulate it digitally – and produce an actual, tangible object in hand.  Previously known as rapid prototyping, direct manufacturing has changed the manner – and speed – at which a design can be turned into a physical prototype or model.

Modelling and Simulation Software
Modelling and simulation is a process by which researchers can get information about how a structure, for example, will behave under certain conditions, without having to test it in real life. Using simulations are generally more cost effective and safer than conducting experiments with a prototype of the final product.

Behavioural Sciences
Military organisations world-wide are noting the crucial role that behavioural sciences research has to play in enabling improved understanding of the influence human factors have during conflict situations. Combat scenarios on the African continent have become increasingly brutal and intense, and because of this, special operations forces operators find themselves more frequently engaged in highly intense and life threatening battles. Such operations place tremendous stress on individuals – not only physically, but also mentally. Culture and context form part of the conceptual make-up of psychological processing. Because of this, the CSIR has been focused on the African soldier and the African context. With the focus on Military Behavioural Science Research from an African perspective, researchers, military leaders and military practitioners have been learning from each other through both formal and informal sessions, providing guidance of how to nurture and promote knowledge, interfacing between science and the management and implementation of R&D programmes.