School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering


About us

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 the Richard Ward building located on the East Campus. Its team of academic, technical and support staff are 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, and to render excellent and outstanding service to our student body. The Metallurgical Engineering part of the School was one of the founding departments [together with the Schools of Mining Engineering and Geosciences (Geology)] of the University when it was established firstly as the Kimberley School of Mines in 1896 and continuing after the Anglo-Boer war as the South African School of Mines in 1904. Chemical Engineering teaching and research commenced at the university shortly after its inception as the University of the Witwatersrand in 1922. Both departments in the School have a long and proud history of producing leaders in the local industry in their various disciplines and providing the local economy with highly skilled and sought after engineers.

The School has a total staff compliment of 56 made up of academic and non- academic staff, and a student community of approximately 850 students of which about 700 are undergraduates and around 150 are postgraduates. The academic staff members in the School are experts in various field of engineering and apart from being committed lecturers, are also actively involved in cutting edge research activities that spans a range of areas in Chemical, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

We currently have two NRF/DST Chairs: Clean Coal Technology and Sustainable Process Engineering. as well as the South African Institute of Welding (SAIW) Chair of Fabrication and Welding Engineering in the School, in addition to a number of research groups in sus-tainable engineering and metals and materials manufacturing and beneficiation. We also take part and support a number of research focus areas in the Wits NRF/DST Center of Excellence in Strong Materials located in our School.

Degrees offered and accreditation

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), which in 2017 will change to become the Postgraduate Engineering Diploma, a Master of Science in Engineering – MSc (Eng)  [full research – involves submission of a research dissertation or a 50/50 option – half coursework and half research project], professional Master of Engineering – M Eng – [full coursework] and Doctorate PhD – [involves submission of a research thesis].

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