Message from the Head of Department







Welcome to the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Pretoria. We started our journey in the year of 1959. Over the last six decades, we have grown our expertise and competence in the core Chemical Engineering curriculum and research. Our mission as a Department is to be a second-to-none Chemical Engineering Department recognized for academic excellence and innovative research that empower people to shape the future of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, Africa, and developing countries at large, in particular post COVID-19 future. In addition, we are a Chemical Engineering Department that advances education, scholarship, knowledge, and understanding through teaching and innovative research for the benefit of the individual, university, society, and the world at large.

The strategic goals of the Department, which are described in its 2020-2024 strategic plan, are to achieve Excellence in teaching and learning; Excellence in research and postgraduate supervision; Excellence in administration, engineering training & consultancy services; Sustainability in operational capacity and staff professional development. In actualizing these goals, our department offers science-based engineering curriculum. The primary focus of our curriculum is to impart technical know-how to students, promote their problem-solving skills and innovation of new technologies. The Department offers a large number of Honours BEng/BSc courses which provides a wide spectrum of options to the students to pursue their interests. The course contents are periodically updated for introducing new scientific and technological developments.

We have a strong undergraduate program in chemical engineering. At the postgraduate level, we offer HonsBEng/BSc, MEng/MSc by research and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering or Chemical Technology. Several sponsored candidates from industries and research laboratories carry out their postgraduate studies in our department. Besides this, our department hosts postdoctoral fellows and visiting researchers.

Innovation, in particular technological innovation, is assumed to drive improvement in the socioeconomic growth of a nation. Therefore, our research foci in the Department harness the strong research activities existing in the Department for knowledge creation and human capacity development for sustainable technological solutions that improve socio-economic situation of South Africa, Africa and developing settings, especially post COVID-19. The knowledge and tools generated via the Departmental research foci are globally relevant, while their applications are often embedded in the local context for benefit of societies in South Africa, Africa, and the developing countries. In addition, the departmental research foci intend to build interdisciplinary research activities that ground sustainability in energy, environment & sanitation, clean water production and utilization, food production, and advanced & applied materials in their socio-economic context to ensure relevance and impact post COVID-19, particularly in developing nations. The research activities in the Department have a two-fold focus with a good balance between fundamental research and industrial application aiming at proffering solutions to various socio-economic problems mitigating sustainability in the aforementioned areas in South Africa, Africa and the developing nations. Thus, the research activities of the Department aim at knowledge creation and human capacity development in Sustainable environment and water utilization processes; sustainable and efficient energy processes; advanced and applied materials; and process modeling, control and optimization. Our department maintains active research groups for carrying out collaborative and interdisciplinary research. The Department is a home to state-of-the-art research facilities to support our academic programs and research. We have a distinguished record in both teaching and research. Lecturers and researchers in the Department have excellent academic credentials and are highly regarded. Several academic members serve on the editorial boards of national and international journals, review technical articles for journals on a regular basis, and organize international symposia and conferences.

As much as COVID will impact your year of study at UP, I would like to reassure our undergraduate students that we empathize with you and we are resolutely committed to delivering a program that will fulfill your degree requirements and inspire you to pursue research or career opportunities in Chemical Engineering. As a team in the Department, we are working flat out to redesign labs and modules for online delivery and also planning for in-class instruction, especially with labs, wherever we can. If there is a silver lining to COVID, it is that we have been forced to reimagine how we can teach chemical engineering in a compelling way that goes beyond the traditional mode of classroom-based learning.

In closing, I will like to emphasize that the Department of Chemical Engineering at UP is a very vibrant department and there are lots of opportunities afforded to students while studying here. The many open lectures, seminars, and other events which will be held throughout the duration of your programme, alongside the excellent resources of our Information Services Centre, will supplement your formal programme of study. Please accept my warm welcome. It is expected that your decision to join us will culminate into your transition into becoming one of the members of the “Leading Minds”, the alumni of UP, that Make Today Matter.


Prof Michael O. Daramola

Professor and Head: Department of Chemical Engineering

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