Electrical Engineering Programme

Electrical Engineering


Prof T J O Afullo - Discipline Academic Leader

Contact:    +27(31) 260 2730 or Afullot@ukzn.ac.za

Dr A Swanson - Programme Leader

Contact: +27 (31) 260 2713

or Swanson@ukzn.ac.za

Electrical Programme Syllabus

The electrical engineering curriculum is designed to prepare the student for the environment in which the generation, transmission and use of electrical power takes place. This environment varies from large generators in a power station to the latest microprocessor used to control a process in a factory or the supply of electricity to a house. We believe that the best way to accomplish this preparation is by a broad-based degree in which the third year includes courses such as Electromagnetic Theory, Electrical Machines, Power Systems, Electronics, Digital Systems, Power Electronics and Control Systems. The study of electronics and the use of computers are integrated into the electrical engineers training because they are vital tools. They also attend a course on Engineering Management and Labour Practices in preparation for the management role they will assume in industry.

Final year students take two compulsory courses in each semester including Engineering Business and Entrepreneurship. Apart from these courses, the Electrical Engineering programme offers six design projects starting from first year to final year that allows the students to grow doing hands-on work on physical models and real time simulation studies of electrical engineering phenomenon. The remaining course credits required are selected from a wide range of options to suit a student's specific interests and chosen career specialization area. These options address issues likely to be experienced in practice and so familiarize the future graduate with problems that will be faced in industry. Options that may be offered include High Voltage Engineering, Power Systems, Power Electronics, Electrical Machines, Control Systems, Automation, Digital Signal Processing, Embedded Systems, Illumination and Data Communications and Telematics. Currently, Electrical Engineering is enjoying the Real Time Digital Simulator facility that is used to simulate power systems on real time and to test hardware connected with it in-loop, e.g. protection relays for power systems.

Practical Experience

To enable the integration of the theory with the practice of engineering to take place, the student is required to complete a minimum period of 13 weeks of practical vacation work in industry. This is normally undertaken during the long vacations of second and third years. After each such period of training the student is required to submit a formal report on the work completed. In addition, second year students are required to attend a 1-week general workshop training course held in the  Electrical & Electronic Engineering Buildings during the July/August vacation.

Career Opportunities

With the increasing demand for electricity and the tremendous growth of the information, manufacturing and telecommunications industries there are many challenging and exciting jobs awaiting each graduating computer, electrical or electronic engineer.

Profession Registration

The Bachelors degree in Engineering is recognized as the qualifying degree for registration as a professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa under the Professional Engineers Act 1969. A period of at least three years of relevant postgraduate experience is required before full registration as a Professional Engineer. Professional registration is currently a requirement, in South Africa, for those wishing to become consulting engineers, whether in the private or public sectors. The Computer Engineering degree has been provisionally recognised, pending the production of its first graduates in 2004.

Post Graduate Research

The School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering is well equipped to carry out a wide variety of post graduate research work and research students, both from South Africa and from overseas, are studying for masters or doctors degrees in our many different laboratories. Funding for this research is provided partly by the University and partly by Industry in the form of donations or contract research and many bursaries are available to excellent students.

In Electrical Engineering, the main directions for research are electrical machines, power system stability, power syste protection, power electronics, control systems, motion control, high voltage systems and artificial intelligence.

In Electronic Engineering, the main directions for research are digital signal processing, optical fibre communications, telecommunications and data networks, cellular communication networks, digital systems design, microwave antennas, acoustics, laser and quantum optics.

Some research projects involve computer, electronic as well as electrical engineering staff and students.

Further Particulars

The Electrical Engineering programme accepts only a limited number of students into first year on the Durban campus. A smaller additional number are accepted to do first year in Pietermaritzburg but have to transfer to Durban from second year onwards.

Prospective students are invited to visit the Discipline to discuss their future careers with members of staff. The best time for this is during one of the two "Open Days" held each year. Alternatively, you may contact one of the following persons to make arrangements for an individual meeting.

Should you have any queries please contact one of the staff members below who will assist you:


Ms Dumisile Ngcobo

Ph: +27(031) 260-2753



Mrs Bennedin Mokoena

Ph: +27(031) 260-2744



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