Centres, Chairs, Hubs, Institutes and Laboratories


Centre of New Energy Systems (CNES)

This Centre has gained a reputation as a premier research institute in the area of energy management, both nationally and internationally. It is the only Centre of Excellence in energy optimisation and standardisation in South Africa. Its research expertise is focused on energy systems and it maintains a leading position in the field of energy optimisation, management and standardisation. With the hard work of its researchers, it has placed increasing emphasis on both theoretical and practical research, so that both academic results and industrial applications are developed.

Centre for Electromagnetism (CEM)

The Centre conducts research on electromagnetism in its comprehensive measurement facilities. Over the years, the Electromagnetism Group has developed very strong computational abilities in various aspects of electromagnetism. Research is focused on achieving a high level of excellence in electromagnetic technology, particularly the design, development and evaluation of microwave antennae, radar backscatter and antenna measurements.

Centre for Connected Intelligence (CCI)



SARChI Chair in Advanced Sensor Networks

The Advanced Sensor Networks Group is a leading hub of research and development in advanced sensor networks. It aims to be a focal point in the creation of a critical mass in this key field, partnering with local and international academic institutions, research organisations and industry. This is a joint initiative with the Advanced Sensor Networks (ASN) Group at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)’s Meraka Institute under the digital@SERA partnership. It refers to the set of technologies and disciplines, which allows distributed embedded systems to cooperatively sense, decide, learn and act in real-time to achieve certain goals. These can revolutionise our understanding and control of the physical world.

Sentech Chair in Broadband Wireless Multimedia Communication

This research chair participates in forefront research activities in the field of broadband wireless multimedia communications. Research focus areas include radio frequency transmission and penetration, modelling and wireless access technologies. The main thrust of its current research activities is in the area of dynamic spectrum management in cognitive radio networks, massive Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) systems and optimizing the resource allocation in cognitive wireless networks.

Exxaro Chair in Energy Efficiency

The Centre for New Energy Systems (CNES) is host to the Exxaro Chair in Energy Efficiency.The Chair leads research in the broad field of energy security for energy efficiency improvement.Its primary focus is demand side energy efficiency studies in mining, manufacturing, commercial and residential sectors.With cooperation from Exxaro, the research is put to immediate use; hence the training of PhD and masters students in applying advance tools in the study of EEDSM improves the international reputation of the University of Pretoria through research results published in leading international journals and speeds up research in the field of energy security in our country.

MultiChoice Chair in Machine Learning

The field of Artificial Intelligence and specifically Machine and Deep Learning, is key to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a truly digital future. There is a severe skills shortage world-wide, and even more so in Africa. MultiChoice has identified opportunities to apply Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at various points throughout its value chain. This includes content creation, understanding what content to offer customers, customer service and improving it interactions with its customers. As this is a very specialised field, partnering with an academic institution, is a forward-looking way to nurture these skills in South Africa, the company said. This Research Chair, fully funded by MultiChoice, will act as a bridge between the two partners to guide them on the projects and research topics to be chosen for sponsorship. It will also include awarding bursaries and will support students at all levels. Projects will range from Final year and Honours projects through to Masters and PhD degrees in Engineering, Data Science or Computer Science.



National Hub for Postgraduate Programme in Energy Efficiency and Demand-side Management

The South African National Development Institute (SANEDI) selected the University of Pretoria to house the Energy Efficiency and Demand-side Management (EEDSM) Hub. SANEDI is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). It has identified energy efficiency and demand-side management as key research and development themes for South Africa. The EEDSM five-year postgraduate programme was initiated as one of the targeted, government-funded programmes to generate high-quality master’s and doctoral graduates who are specifically trained to meet the needs of an expanding and sustainable energy industry in South Africa.



Carl and Emily Fuchs Institute for Microelectronics

This institute has been active in the field of microelectronics research and specialist training since 1981. The research and postgraduate programme mainly covers integrated circuit design, especially the design of analogue signal processors, radio frequency circuits and optical receivers in complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology. The application of semiconductors as opto-electronic devices plays an important role in the Institute’s activities.



Smart Grid Laboratory

This Laboratory has established itself as a leader in smart grid research. It delivers high-quality research, products, services and capabilities that fill the widening gap between end users and electricity suppliers across the African markets. Some of the practical applications and opportunities for research include renewable energy integration, smart prepaid metering (with time of use), AMI security and active network management. It endeavours to pave the way for new approaches to solving South Africa’s energy crisis by offering a fresh approach to smart grid research that empowers end users and delivers savings, while benefitting utilities and municipalities, as well as industry and the commercial and residential sectors.

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