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The University Research Office is based at the Govan Mbeki building on Westville campus

The University of KwaZulu-Natal currently has more than 250 post-doctoral fellows

Funds requests must be directed through the Colleges at the office of the College Dean of Research

You can upload your own publications on IRMA and ResearchSpace

ResearchSpace is the institutional repository of UKZN. It is a collection of full text theses and also includes research publications produced by UKZN academics.


Professor Sunil Maharaj is the holder of the prestigious South African Research Chair in Gravitating Systems. He was made a Fellow of UKZN in 2009 for his research contributions

Maharaj, who is the Director of the Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit in the School of Mathematical Sciences, focuses his primary research on the modelling of astrophysical processes in relativistic stars and the mathematics of large scale dynamics in cosmology.

His contribution, in collaboration with many MSc and PhD students, to science and technology is manifested in his work on gravitational forces within the context provided by Einstein’s theory of general relativity. These works include: exact solutions of the Einstein Field equations, the structure of ultra compact stars and the thermodynamics of radiating matter.

Homogeneous cosmological models are important in describing realistic processes such as the formation of voids and particle creation in the universe. With colleague, Professor Kesh Govinder, and a doctoral student, Mr Mandla Kweyama, Maharaj has been analysing the dynamics of these processes. Together they have found several new solutions to the Einstein equations in this context by using a variety of advanced mathematical techniques including Lie point and contact transformations.

In particular, they studied the evolution of shear-free spherically symmetric charged fluids in strong gravitational fields. This required the detailed analysis of the coupled Einstein-Maxwell system of equations, which couple gravity and charge in a nonlinear way. Few models to this long-standing and difficult problem are known. By using advanced group theoretical techniques involving Noether and Lie conserved quantities, they generated new classes of charged gravitational models which are the most general known.

This is a significant achievement as it completes an initiative that arose in the pioneering work of Kustaanheimo and Qvist in the 1950s. The results have been published in the international journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.

These new models will help to obtain a deeper insight into the behaviour of gravity in the presence of charge.

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