Services on State-of-the-Art Equipment

UFS strip research

The UFS is known nationally and internationally for excellence in education and research. Our state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and infrastructure have made this possible.

In collaboration with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the NRF has launched the National Equipment Programme. This infrastructure funding instrument provides assistance for the procurement, enhancement, and advancement of cutting-edge research equipment.

Over the past two years, the university has invested more than R50 million in infrastructure.

This list includes some of the equipment at the UFS that contributes to the creation of globally competitive knowledge and technologies.


The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences undergraduate microscope laboratory is the most advanced and largest digital classroom of its kind in Africa and the third largest in the world. The microscope laboratory, with 227 microscopes connected to 67 computers, is proof that the faculty continues to upgrade and expand its training and research equipment, giving students a relevant learning experience with the latest, most modern equipment.

Contact me

Prof Liesl van As
Associate Professor: Zoology and Entomology
T: +27 51 401 3460
E: vanAsLL@ufs.ac.za


The HRTEM allows for direct imaging of the atomic structure of samples. This powerful tool allows researchers to study the properties of materials on an atomic scale. It can, for instance, be used to study nanoparticles, semiconductors, metals, and biological material. The instrument can also be used to optimise heat treatment of materials, as it can heat the sample up to 1 000 °C while recording live images of the sample.

A focused ion-beam secondary electron microscope is used together with the HRTEM to cut out samples on a microscopic level to place inside the HRTEM. Having access to both the HRTEM and the ion-beam secondary electron microscope places the UFS on another level with its research.

Contact me

Prof Koos Terblans
Head of the Department of Physics and Professor of Physics
T: +27 51 401 2844
E: TerblansJJ@ufs.ac.za


Our PHI Quantes XPS system in the Department of Physics is the first in Africa and one of only 20 in the world. The Quantes XPS system uses X-rays to determine the chemical composition of molecules on the surface of a sample. The system is unique in the sense that it also has an extra X-ray source that can determine the chemical state below the surface, which was not possible in the past. This will help to dictate the position of defects in phosphor materials, which will consequently enable the department to create better phosphor for solid-state lighting as well as solar cell applications.

The increase in resources in the Department of Physics is playing a major role in the success rate of its research outputs. Other equipment includes the X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (for the study of atoms), the scanning auger microscope, as well as the ion time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (revealing the chemical bonds in a sample and drawing maps of the positions of atoms).

Contact me

Prof Hendrik Swart
Senior Professor: Physics and SARcHI Chair: Advanced and Luminescent Materials
T: +27 51 401 2926
E: SwartHC@ufs.ac.za

DSC_3673    5757__VER

Astrophysics research facilities include:

  • 60-inch Boyden reflector telescope
  • 16-inch Watcher robotic telescope
  • 14-inch Celestron Smidt-Cassegrain telescope
  • 20-inch recommissioned from SAAO
  • UFS high-performance computer cluster

Contact us

Prof Matie Hoffman
Associate Professor: Department of Physics
T: +27 51 401 2924
E: HoffmaMJ@ufs.ac.za

Prof Pieter Meintjes
Senior Professor: Physics
T: +27 51 401 2191
E: MeintjPJ@ufs.ac.za

National Control Lab2    National Control Lab1

The National Control Laboratory for Biological Products (NCL) is one of only 12 laboratories worldwide contracted to perform vaccine testing for the World Health Organisation. The NCL is also the only vaccine testing laboratory in the country that performs the final quality-control testing of all human vaccine batches marketed in South Africa on behalf of the South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA). When the first COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the country, the NCL performed the all-important task of vaccine lot release.

Contact me

Dr Quinton Meyer
Director: South African National Control Laboratory for Biological Products
T: +27 51 401 2404

 Cardio simulation1   Cardio simulation2

Simulation training provided by the Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit (in our School of Clinical Medicine) imparts a hands-on training and learning opportunity, allowing for deliberate practise and mastery of learning. Human patient simulators provide a tool to enhance the education and training of medical students by expanding the teaching platform.

Contact me

Prof Mathys Labuschagne
Head of the Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit, School of Medicine
T: +27 51 401 3869

space1   space2

Our School of Nursing also boasts state-of-the-art simulation laboratories. The Clinical Simulation Unit in the School of Nursing offers healthcare students exposure to training in a safe environment without harming the patient, using computer-based interactive mannequins. The authentic learning spaces include intensive care units, a ward, a midwifery unit, the shack, and reflection rooms.

Contact me

Bennie Botha
School of Nursing
T: +27 51 401 2229

 20230119_101956   20220805_150038

The node for Mineral Biogeochemistry was established at the UFS after the Department of Science and Technology approved a Mineral Biogeochemical Research Infrastructure Platform, which is housed in the Centre for Mineral Biogeochemistry on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Contact me

Dr Mariana Erasmus
Deputy Director: Centre for Mineral Biogeochemistry
T: +27 51 401 2274
C: +27 72 246 9626
E: ErasM@ufs.ac.za

Paradys Experimental1   Paradys Experimental2

The mixed farming activities on the Paradys Experimental Farm are serving a teaching and research purpose for the faculty. It also boasts a weather station and was the first tertiary institute in the world to mechanise in-field rainwater harvesting on a commercial scale. The experimental farm is also hosting the commercialisation activities of the agribusiness development, where novel projects with potential commercial value are developed for successful commercialisation. The start-up companies include a brewery, cheese factory, large-scale mushroom production, and plant-growth stimulator production, grouped within a newly developed agribusiness park.

Contact me

Prof Frikkie Neser
Head of the Department of Animal Science
T: +27 51 401 9261
E: neserfw@ufs.ac.za

Sensorylab1   Sensorylab2

The UFS Sensory Lab, a world-class facility, is equipped to deliver a variety of sensory analysis and consulting services to both internal and external clients. The sensory testing and evaluation of food and beverage products is a service offered on a regular basis. This is done in the form of student panels, consumer panels, and trained panels. 

The lab boasts the Tobii Pro Nano and Tobii Pro Glasses 3 eye trackers, which are of great value – not only for the department, but also for the industry. The eye tracker, which can measure computer interaction in consumer environments among other things, is placing the UFS sensory laboratory on a completely different level from their competitors when it comes to profiling and comparing food products.

Contact me

Dr Carina Bothma
Senior Lecturer: Sustainable Food Systems and Development
T: +27 51 401 2216
E: BothmaC@ufs.ac.za

Crystallographic1   Crystallographic2

The Department of Chemistry is home to a state-of-the-art crystallographic research centre, which holds more than R18 million in specialised and advanced crystallographic equipment.

The following research equipment is available in the Department of Chemistry:

  • High-performance computing centre
  • 300-, 400-, and 600-MHz NMR spectrometers
  • Solid-state NMR spectrometer
  • Single-crystal and powder X-ray diffractometers
  • Inductive coupled-plasma (ICP-OES and IPC-MS) spectrometers
  • DSC and TGA equipment
  • Gas (GC and GC-MS) and high-performance liquid (HPLC) chromatography
  • Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI-TOF)
  • Electrochemistry (CV, SW, and LSV)
  • High-pressure and industrial/research microwave reactors

Contact me

Prof Walter Purcell
Professor and Head of the Department of Chemistry
T: +27 51 401 2200
E: PurcellW@ufs.ac.za


The Department of Geology installed the JEOL JXA-iSP100 electron probe micro-analyser in 2022. The instrument is equipped with secondary electron and back-scattered electron detectors for imaging, an EDS detector for rapid compositional determinations, and four WDS spectrometers for quantitative mineral chemical analysis and mapping.

Contact me

Megan Purchase
Analytical Scientist
T: +27 51 401 7158
E: purchasemd@ufs.ac.za


The university has been designated as a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre (WHO CC). This centre will be part of the Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD) Pathogens Genomics Cluster.

The Next Generation Sequencing Unit, situated in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the UFS, in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), has been conducting genome sequencing of pathogenic organisms, including rotavirus strains from the African continent, since 2020 (to 2024).

Contact me

Prof Martin Nyaga
Head: Next Generation Sequencing (UFS-NGS) Unit
T: +27 51 401 9158
E: NyagaMM@ufs.ac.za

Science Park1    

The UFS is finalising the development of a Science Park for the Faculty of Education. This development comprises an outdoor Science Garden and an indoor Science Discovery Centre. It also includes interactive educational displays and exhibitions, and features an ICT laboratory, amphitheatre, Family Math and Family Science training facilities, as well as a ‘planetarium dome simulator’.

The Science Park will support and complement the innovative teaching and learning programmes of the Science-for-the-Future (S4F) unit in the Faculty of Education.

Contact me

Dr Cobus van Breda
Manager: Science Education Centre (Sci-Ed)
T: +27 51 401 3640
E: vbredaj@ufs.ac.za

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