The Faculty of Science is a vibrant, dynamic and diverse scientific community that is a premier centre for the generation, dissemination and application of knowledge in the natural sciences and technology. We boast state-of-the-art research facilities, outstanding service and support to our students, and internationally accredited undergraduate and postgraduate programmes which are presented via innovative teaching methods that are focused on the learning needs of our students.
We know that our unique contribution to science requires enduring innovation and academic excellence. We are constantly aware of our duty to challenge the existing knowledge about our physical world, to accelerate the creation of new science, to advance the boundaries of our thoughts about what is possible, to create the environment in which students and staff could imagine and explore the impossible.
We produce exceptional research results that are also to the benefit of society. Among others, the Faculty is internationally renowned for its breakthrough in solar energy research, which opens new possibilities for affordable power from the sun.
Our enthusiasm to bring about real change in the communities around us is shared by all our members, staff, students and collaborative partners. Another example of the Faculty’s social responsiveness is The Enerkey Sustainable Mega-Cities project which is a collaborative initiative between, among others, UJ and the University of Stuttgart. In collaboration with our German partners, the Faculty addresses energy-related technical, economic, ecological and social challenges with the aim of uplifting the urban region of greater Johannesburg.
Our Botany and Plant Biotechnology Department played a key role in the ground-breaking discovery of a ‘barcode’ gene; this gene provides scientists with innovative ways to easily identify different plants by analyzing the DNA of the species. Further, the Department is developing an extensive database of DNA information from the majority of tree species on earth and is also delivering excellent research results in plant classification and the use of medicinal plants.
Water… its chemistry, its purification, and its relationship with its fauna and flora. These are all explored in the Faculty of Science.
A case in point is the novel research being conducted in the Department of Applied Chemistry on the development of nanomaterials that are capable of removing pollutants from water. Research undertaken by our Department of Zoology includes pollution monitoring in aquatic environments and the sustainable utilization and conservation of freshwater fish species.
We are proud that our staff in the Physics Department are playing a part in the ground-breaking research on The Large Hadron Collider. Moreover, the Department of Physics currently operates the only laboratory in Africa where physical properties of matter can be studied in experimental temperatures below 2 degrees Kelvin and down to within 0.34 Kelvin from the absolute zero of temperature; and in magnetic fields up to close a million times the magnetic field of the earth.
Our drive for sustained greatness is recognized by the global science community, as is our dedication to quality education – evident in recurring world-wide recognition and acclaim. As one of Africa’s most well-respected facilities, we embrace partnerships with other reputable local and international institutions, with a common purpose of delivering quality learning experiences to our students while at the same time, enhancing the research profile of our Faculty. One such example is our partnership with St Andrews University in Scotland, through which we offer a joined PhD programme in Chemistry. In addition, we are proud to be the first University in Africa to receive accreditation from the British Computer Society for our BSc degree programme in Information Technology.
In the Faculty of Science, we are on a journey to greatness. Through the exploration of existing science, and through the creation of new science, our students and staff lay the foundation for a great world for future generations. We invite you to join us on our journey.