Sunil Maharaj

Sunil Maharaj, professor at University of Pretoria in South Africa, is appointed honorary doctor at the Faculty of Technology and Society. Professor Maharaj is an outstanding researcher who has significantly contributed to the faculty's research field.

Sunil will hold a lecture with the title Next Generation Networks: Enhancing responsiveness and sustainability through connecting the unconnected.

You can take part of the lecture both on site in Auditorium D138 at Orkanen, or via live stream. A link to the live stream will be published on this webpage later on.

Moderator: Reza Malekian



The role of universities in a digitally connected world is increasingly contested. At the heart of contestation is a growing mistrust in academic expertise and knowledge production, especially in developing economies. The perception is that universities are elitist and exclusionary on the one hand, while on the other are viewed as not responsive to societal needs.

In this lecture I will present the research work and projects that have been undertaken at the University of Pretoria in our Broadband Wireless Multimedia Communications (BWMC) research group over the years that contributes to technology and science and also seeks to address some of societies challenges in connecting the unconnected especially pertaining to broadband communications. From Cognitive Radio Networks to beyond the current operational framework of the internet of things (IoT), network devices must have the capability to learn, think, understand, and take appropriate actions without human intervention through the advent of Digital Twin technology. These developments for next generation or future networks like 5G and beyond are just as relevant to developed and developing economies and the lecture will present such opportunities and align them to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).


BT (Sunil) Maharaj is the Vice Principal: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Education at the University of Pretoria (UP), and holds the SENTECH Research Chair in Broadband Wireless Communications at UP. He obtained a PhD in Electronic Engineering from UP in 2007 and is a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering.

Sunil has research contribution on reliable wireless broadband access communication technologies for traditionally underserved areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as on promoting deployment and experimentation of prototype systems. Some in collaboration with TS researchers. Sunil has over 34 years industry, academic, consulting and research experience, and participated in the South Africa Sweden University Forum (SASUF).

His contributions to engineering education as Chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council have played a key role in promoting quality of life, and diversity.