Message from the Head of Department

Click here to view the vision and mission of the Dept

Prof Michael Daramola 

Click here to view the research focus areas 


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. 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. Our mission as a Department is to be a chemical engineering department that grows professionals to contribute toward African development. The Department achieves this by being excellent, innovative and sustainable in teaching, research and human empowerment. In actualizing the vision and mission, 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. 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 locally and globally. The research activities in the Department have a two-fold focus with a good balance between fundamental research and industrial application aiming at providing 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.

The concerted efforts of the staff members of the Department towards actualising the vision and mission of the Department resulted in pushing up the global ranking (QS ranking) of the Department from the Top 350 in 2021 to the Top 300 in 2022. The departmet retains this ranking in 2023, making it the best Department of Chemical Engineering in South Africa (ranked 1st in South Africa).

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.


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