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Research groups

  • African Centre for Cities


    Cities in AfricaThe centre was established in 2007 to serve as a platform for interdisciplinary research on urban issues. The primary focus is on applied research to address complex, intractable urban problems and challenges. This is undertaken in a manner that advances novel ways of thinking about and understanding urbanism across the global South, yet is rooted in the realities of African urban spaces.

    Website: www.africancentreforcities.net/


  • ATProM


    ATProM Unit applies the fundamental principles of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat and mass transfer to model industrial processes. Modelling such processes will allow for better understanding of plant capability and contribute to condition monitoring. The Unit is established by the Eskom Specialisation Centre for Energy Efficiency through the Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI).

    Contact: Priyesh Gosai


  • Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU)

    The unit was accredited as a formal research group in 2003, primarily driven by a request from industry to form a centre of excellence in blast protection and survivability. The stated objective of BISRU is engineering research that saves lives, especially where humans are subjected to blast and impact situations.

    Website: www.bisru.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Professor G. Langdon

  • Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research

    The unit, formally set up in 2001, has a long history of research in this field, contributing to the growth and development of biochemistry in South Africa through a national centre of expertise in bioprocess engineering. The unit maintains a productive balance between research centred on the application of biological principles through process development and on the fundamental understanding of biological processes at the mechanistic level and of the interaction of these processes with their environment.

    Website: www.ceber.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Professor Sue Harrison

  • Centre for Catalysis Research

    The centre concerns itself with both fundamental and industrial research and development in the general field of heterogeneous catalysis, encompassing all of catalyst synthesis, physico-chemical characterisation and performance evaluation for industrially interesting chemical conversions. The main fields of investigation within the centre are Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, zeolite/acid catalysis, especially as applied to hydrocracking, phenols and derivatives, and catalysis by gold. The centre is the host laboratory for the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Catalysis.

    Website: www.cchange.ac.za

    Contact:​ Professor M Claeys

  • Centre for Materials Engineering

    MaterialsThe centre strives to educate and train students in techniques and fundamentals in the broad field of materials engineering. It also seeks to serve a wide range of engineering activities, giving advice concerning material processing, properties and performance whilst maintaining an international profile for its research. Research activities are aimed at addressing national needs in terms of both the provision of technological solutions and the development of skilled graduates.

    Website: www.mateng.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Dr Sarah George

  • Centre for Minerals Research

    This is a multidisciplinary, interdepartmental research centre based in the Departments of Chemical, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. The focus of research is on the processes of froth flotation and comminution, among the most important unit operations in mineral beneficiation. Inefficiencies in these processes cause loss of revenue and waste of valuable and steadily declining mineral reserves.

    Website: www.cmr.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Professor D Deglon

  • Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics (CERECAM)

    The centre concerns itself with basic research, industrial research and development, and postgraduate education in computational and applied mechanics. Its activities are multidisciplinary, involving the participation of persons qualified in a number of branches of engineering, applied mathematics and scientific computing. The research interests involve the broad field of non-linear problems in solid, structural and fluid mechanics, with a particular emphasis on the application and development of the finite element method.

    Website: www.cerecam.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Professor B.D. Reddy

  • Centre for Research in Engineering Education (CREE)

    The centre promotes and develops research in engineering education to improve student learning. It is now regarded as the key player in the promotion of engineering education research and development across South Africa.

    Website: www.cree.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Professor Brandon Collier-Reed

  • Centre for Transport Studies

    TransportThe centre offers postgraduate qualifications in the field of urban passenger transport planning and management. Curricula are modular and flexible in structure, enabling full-time students and those in employment to enrol. Courses are structured on a 'block release' basis in which lectures are concentrated into one week and sandwiched between periods of self-study. It is possible to start with any course at any time of the year.

    Website: www.cfts.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Associate Professor Roger Behrens

  • Centre of Excellence in Broadband Networks and Applications

    The centre is an interdisciplinary one, focussing on research into advanced networking systems with an emphasis on industry relevance. Collaboration among research groups in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Computer Science takes place across the university.


    Contact: Neco Ventura

  • Concrete Materials & Structural Integrity Research Unit (CoMSIRU)

    This research unit has developed technologies and procedures for the design and assessment of concrete structures for more than 20 years. There is a marked focus on infrastructure performance and renewal, largely in response to industry needs. Key areas of interest include service life prediction, deterioration science, assessment technologies and repair/rehabilitation strategies for concrete structures. The unit provides consultancy and postgraduate teaching in the areas of concrete material technology, concrete durability, structural health monitoring and repair/rehabilitation.

    Website: www.comsiru.uct.ac.za

    Contact: Professor Pilate Moyo

  • Crystallisation and Precipitation Research Unit

    The primary focus of the research is metal precipitation, a separation process used in mineral processing operations as well as for the treatment of metal containing effluent. The significant difference between process and effluent streams is the metal concentration. The unit enjoys broad support from the local mineral processing industry and collaborates with international institutions in the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and the United Kingdom.

    Website: www.crystal.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Professor Alison Lewis

  • Digital Image Processing Group

    The group conducts research into computer vision, using and developing computer algorithms for extracting information from images and video sequences. Much of the work is in multi-view 3D reconstructions and subsequent use of these for classification and optical sensing. The group also has interest and capacity in medical imaging and computer tomography. There is a strong emphasis on industrial applications, and receives funding from De Beers, Anglo Platinum, Rio Tinto, Lodox Systems, the National Research Foundation, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

    Website: www.dip.ee.uct.ac.za

    Contact: A/Professor Fred Nicolls 

  • Energy Research Centre (ERC)

    The Centre is an African-based multi-disciplinary energy research centre which pursues excellence in technology, policy and sustainable development research, education and capacity building programmes at a local and international level.

    Website: www.erc.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Professor H. Winkler

  • Future Water

    Future Water is an inter-disciplinary research institute. Research in Future Water addresses issues of water scarcity, and is based within an over-arching systems framework supported by strong sociological, technical, environmental, legislative and governance expertise. 

    Contact: Professor Sue Harrison

    Website: www.futurewater.uct.ac.za  

  • Hy/SA Catalysis

    The South African government has embarked on an ambitious national hydrogen and fuel cells technologies flagship project, known as Hydrogen South Africa or HySA. The aim is to establish the country as one of the few nations that export high-value products into the growing international hydrogen and fuel cells markets. With some 80% of the world's Pt and Rh reserves, South Africa's future role is no longer exclusively as the supplier of raw materials but as a manufacturer of value-added components.

    Website: www.hysacatalysis.uct.ac.za

    Contact:​ Dr Sharon Blair

  • Radar Remote Sensing Group

    Progress in space science over the last 40 years has been rapid. Advance satellite technology has spawned remote sensing technology, allowing observation of the earth from space using a wide range of sensors. Satellite remote sensing has become an indispensable tool in the quest to understand global ecology. This group has been operating since 1988 and is funded through contract research grants from industry and postgraduate bursaries from the NRF.

    Website: http://radarsmasters.co.za

    Contact: A/ Professor Amit Mishra

  • Structural Engineering and Mechanics

    This research group conducts both basic and applied research in the broad areas of structural engineering, and engages in postgraduate teaching and thesis supervision. Members participate in various scientific and technical committees at both the national and international level, provide consultancy expertise to local industry, and arrange short courses, workshops, seminars and conferences from time to time.

    Website: www.structures.uct.ac.za

    Contact: Professor Alphose Zingoni

  • Water Research Group

    The principal aim is conservation of both water quality and quantity for domestic, industrial, agricultural, recreational and ecological uses in South Africa. Through basic and applied research the group seeks to generate solutions to water quality problems of national importance and actively participates in the technology transfer of these solutions.

    Contact: Professor George Ekama

  • Urban Real Estate Research Unit

      The Research Unit is a unique inter-disciplinary research platform for academia that promotes the identification of issues and seeks solutions to urban real estate investment,
       finance,economics and management problems in Africa.

      Website: www.ureru.uct.ac.za

    Contact: Professor Francois Viruly