Head of Department: Professor G.A. Ekama
The Department is involved in research in a number of diverse fields and has strong research groups in Water Engineering and Water Quality, Concrete, Geotechnics, Structural Engineering, Urban Engineering and Management and Urban Transport and GIS and Urban Water Management. It also interacts with research groups in other departments and institutions, such as CERECAM, Chemical Engineering and the Universities of Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch, KwaZulu-Natal and Pretoria, and with outside organisations such as the Cement and Concrete Institute, Water Research Commission, CSIR and City of Cape Town, City of Tshwane and Sasol. Most of the work is applied research from practice and of direct benefit to designers, contractors, industry and communities on the one hand, and the students and staff who develop high-level expertise on the other hand. The emphasis is on excellence in the conventional Civil Engineering disciplines of Structures, Geotechnics, Water Quality, Hydraulics and Materials. However, there is also a shift of emphasis to the provision of engineering infrastructure to developing communities, e.g. application of appropriate technology. To this end, the staffing structure of the Department has changed and new areas of urgently needed research are being developed. The disciplines of Urban Engineering and Urban Management were introduced in 1996. In 2000, further multi-disciplinary research in Urban Transport Policy, Planning and Modelling was introduced, coupled with a teaching programme in Transportation Policy which commenced in 2002 and in 2005. A postgraduate programme in Municipal Infrastructure Design and Management, and research in Urban Water Management was started as part of the Faculty’s Cities in Africa Network. In 2003 the Cell Life initiative was launched jointly with Electrical Engineering, which seeks to provide an innovative technology based platform for the management of HIV/AIDS.
Permanent and Long-Term Contract Staff