School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering

The School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, within the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of the Witwatersrand, offers a 4-year BSc (Eng) degree in Chemical or Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. The school is  situated in Richard Ward building located on the East Campus. With its whole team of academic, technical and support staff committed to the vision to maintain and build its reputation as a world-leading hub of knowledge and development in the fields of Chemical, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering in Africa and beyond.

Chemical Engineering is the branch of engineering which deals with large scale industrial processes which convert, by physical or chemical change, raw materials into products with a higher economic and social value.  Examples of activities that depend on the application of chemical engineering principles include (amongst others), the production of plastic and synthetic fibres, petroleum from coal, paper, fertiliser, cement, food processing, water and effluent treatment and others technologies.

Metallurgy and Materials Engineering comprises the production of minerals and metals from natural resources to meet the diverse needs of various industries, the production of alloys and other materials, their fabrication and shaping, and the development of new materials.  Further, it is concerned with maximising the use of raw materials and energy by controlling and developing more efficient processes in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.  

Our undergraduate programmes are continually reviewed, modified and aligned to reflect the very best of current practices within industry and the wider profession. . The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) accredits the undergraduate degrees offered in the School, this is an internationally accepted accreditation through the Washington Accord. This accreditation ensures that our academic offering remains pertinent to the dynamic industry that the school serves and also acts as a quality assurance of our programme so that the quality of graduates we produce remain competitive. ECSA visits the School every five years and conducts a comprehensive review to evaluate the undergraduate programme for compliance with rigorous and international agreed guidelines for the education of engineers. In 2012, the School received full accreditation for the maximum period of five years.

The school offers three postgraduate qualifications: Graduate Diploma in Engineering (GDE), Master of Science in Engineering – MSc (Eng)  [full research – involves submission of research dissertation  OR 50/50 option – half coursework and half research project], Master of Engineering – M Eng – [full coursework] and Doctorate PhD –[ involves submission of a research thesis].

The School has a total staff compliment of 56 made up of academic and non- academic staff, it has a student community of 920 students of which 715 are undergraduates and 205 are post graduates. The academic staff members in the school are in addition to a fabulous job of teaching also actively involved in cutting edge research activities that spans a range of areas in Chemical, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.