Research Matters

Welcome to Research Matters. This curated site highlights some of the University of Pretoria’s most impactful and innovative research which addresses some of our society’s most pressing concerns so that we can transform lives and communities. We are rated as the number one university in South Africa for research outputs. Our vision is to be a leading research-intensive university in Africa that is recognised internationally for its quality, relevance and impact. We develop people, create knowledge and strive to make a difference locally and internationally.


Latest featured research
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Engineering 4.0: How to make a city street-smart

South Africa and the world will need to go a big step further to create smart cities where cars are safer and traffic congestion becomes a thing of the past: road infrastructure needs to “talk” to the vehicles driving on it, says UP's Professor Schalk Els.

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Engineering 4.0: Our future depends on smart African cities

Smart cities can be used as vehicles for South Africa and the world to move towards a sustainable, smarter future, free from the threats of food security, climate change and inequality.

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Engineering 4.0: Big data for smart cities – challenges and opportunities

Researchers at UP's Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment, and Information Technology are using computer models and diplomacy to bridge gaps between those who hold the data and those who need it, by making it easy for everyone to talk to each other.

News & Analysis

Latest featured news & analysis
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More drought, dust storms and heavy rains expected to spread disease

Climate change in South Africa has major health risks associated with it, such as new vector-borne diseases emerging from heavy rainfall, malnutrition from poor food security caused by drought, and respiratory diseases caused by dust storms and air pollution.

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UP’s Engineering 4.0’s ‘smart avos’ key to determining impact of transportation conditions on agricultural products

Scientists at the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Engineering 4.0 research facility are tracking the journey of 3-D-printed avocados on a ship from South Africa to the Netherlands. These avocados have microsensors and are part of a research project to determine damage to fresh produce that is being transported from producers to supermarkets.

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Researcher Profile: Prof Sue Nicolson

Professor Sue Nicolson was born in New Zealand and studied at the University of Auckland before doing her PhD at Cambridge University in the UK. She worked in the Zoology Department at the University of Cape Town for 20 years before moving to the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2001. She was Head of the Department of Zoology and Entomology from 2003 to 2011.