The PNG University of Technology (Unitech) was a technical college until it was elevated to the status of university in 1965. Unitech teaching activities continued to emphasize on skills training in various fields of engineering, technology, applied and natural sciences with the purpose of supplying manpower to local industries, businesses and government departments. As the university grows in terms of both the number of programs it offers and the student population, the need for postgraduate studies and research became more apparent. From 2005, one of the strategic goals of the university was the promotion of scholastic character through postgraduate studies and research. The tasks of promoting this strategic goal were vested with the Office of the Vice Chancellor.

Postgraduate studies have picked up well with 13 departments (out of 15) having PG programs at diploma, master and doctorate levels. Research activities are also picking up, but needs further promotion. Hence the needs for a strategic research plan. The plan will show a definite commitment of the university to promotion of research. It will be aligned to the Mission of the University, and the national Vision 2050. It will provide guidance to various departments and research centers.

DEPARTMENTAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED PHYSICS
DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED SCIENCES
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS STUDIES

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL AND COMMUNICATION ENGINEERING

DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY
DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTER SCIENCE
DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
DEPARTMENT OF MINING ENGINEERING
DEPARTMENT OF SURVEYING AND LAND STUDIES

Research may be defined as systematic and diligent search for new information. It may lead to ‘discovery and interpretation of new facts or revision of accepted theories and laws or finding practical applications of new or revised theories and laws’. Research methodology may take the form of theoretical study or experimental investigation or a combination of both.
Strong research programs at the University will have synergy with teaching and learning at both postgraduate and undergraduate level leading to enhanced academic quality.

Unitech is now well suited to promote research because of its manpower strength of about 180 academics, 500 support staff and 3000 students. Being located in Lae, the industrial hub of PNG, the University has the advantage of close cooperation in research with a large number of industries, business organizations and government agencies. It has also a number of MOUs for cooperation with overseas universities.
Each of the academic departments and research centers will develop its sub-plan in alignment with University Research Plan. The sub-plans will be more specific to their academic disciplines.

The fields of research can be aligned with academic disciplines. Thus, research topics may include those from agriculture, forestry, applied chemistry, food technology, mining and mineral processing, drilling and exploration, architectural designs and heritage, energy and power supply, telecommunication, roads and highways, surface hydrology, disaster management, earthquake resistant design, downstream processing, culture and traditions, tribal integration, land issues, sociology, environmental sustainability, leadership development, promotion of SMEs, etc. Each academic department and research centre will have distinctive focus areas where research efforts will be directed.