School of Engineering


Ukulinga Research Farm


World class facilities complement the Discipline of Bioresources Engineering’s excellent research and teaching programmes. The Ukulinga Research and Training Farm houses a workshop, computer controlled engine test bay and control room, as well as a soil and water laboratory. Since its inception the Ukulinga Research and Training Farm, a 400 hectare farm situated near the campus, has been the site of unique and ground-breaking research in several agricultural disciplines and provides an invaluable resource at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Apart from some of the oldest ecological experiments on the continent, Ukulinga also boasts internationally recognized research facilities. It is used extensively as an “outdoor laboratory” for research and the training of students and also includes a sustainable small-scale farming section. The farm features active facilities for agricultural research, including poultry, dairy, swine, grasslands, and field crop (irrigated and dryland) agriculture.

Aerial view of Ukulinga

The subtropical climate at the site makes it suitable for a broad range of crops in a variety of production levels, ranging from hand operated “community gardens” to fully mechanised production. Bioresources Engineering brings together teaching and research, and as a result it is able to offer an exceptionally wide range of exciting and innovative multi-disciplinary courses that will broaden perspectives, foster a capacity for independent critical thinking, and provide intellectual tools for developing your mind, while at the same time enhancing your career opportunities in the local and global marketplace.

Laboratories & Workshops

Laboratories and workshops located at the UKZN Ukulinga Research Farm include the following:

  • General Power and Machinery Laboratory
  • Diesel Pump Test Room
  • Tractor Test Bay and Control Room
  • Computer Room
  • Electronics Laboratory
  • Computer Workstations
  • Workshop
  • Lecture Hall
  • Soil and Water Laboratory

A number of instrumented research catchments/sites are located throughout South Africa (e.g. Kruger National Park, Sabie River Catchment, Weatherly Catchments in the Eastern Cape, Potshini Catchment near Bergville, Wartburg Catchment near Greytown, Mbogintwini AECI site) where field research is conducted.

Engine Test Facility

The Engine Test Facility, in the Discipline of Bioresources Engineering, is a unique, automated research laboratory for the testing of Bio Energy in engines. A computerised data acquisition and control system operates the test equipment, allowing measurements of torque, power, speed, and fuel economy for a range of conditions.