Sugar Technology

MSc. in Sugar Process Technology

Sugar Process Engineering is area of training, which can be obtained as elective, focus area, or stream of graduate chemical engineering, or by specialized training from graduate program. It applies physical science (sugar chemistry, physics, and agronomy), and bio science, together with mathematics and economics to produce, transform, and distribute sugar and related products including energy generation and utilization in a way that maximizes productivity and minimize environmental impact. It essentially deals with the technology and engineering of sugar products, energy, and the processes that create/or convert them in to a valuable products. Well skilled sugar technologists often takes the starring role in multidisciplinary teams with chemical, mechanical, electrical and others as sugar projects and plants benefit from different perspectives and area of expertise, while there are several perspectives that require the sole decision of sugar technology professionals including: which process pathway should be used to make sugar, how to separate and purify sugar, how to control the process and ensure it is safe, how to make sugar processing cost effective, how to diversify sugar and byproducts, how to reduce unwanted product, and how to recover, optimize and recycle energy within process. 

The ideas that underpin collaborative, multidisciplinary R&D activity in the sugar sector depend on a sound grasp of sugar bio-agronomy, chemistry, math and physics and its application. This activity adds to the body of knowledge that constitutes our fundamental understanding of the science of sugar technology. In turn, this body of knowledge is the foundation upon which modern sugar technology and engineering education/training are based. Armed with this knowledge, sugar technologist and engineers adopt a solution-based approach to design, build, operate and manage safe and sustainable processes that deliver the products and services which people need.

As part of Ethiopia’s recent drive to boost its economy through materialization of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I, II and III) that is devised to transform the drudgery agriculture based economy of the country into prosperous and industrially developed one, using the unite effort of the nation. In line with these, promotion of some priority crop commodities have been given due emphasis. Particularly, refuting the trends of sugar production dating back half a century in Ethiopia, because of the country’s immense potential, suitable agro ecological conditions and underutilized workforce, it is identified that sugar production is an extraordinary sector of overall agriculture and therefore of the total economy.
Based on the GTP, in addition to expansion of the existing three sugar factories, the country has been constructing 10 additional sugar mega projects in which five of them are started production. It is projected to raise the current production of sugar from 300,000 ton to 2.25 million ton at the end of the first phase of the GTP (2015). When the entire sugar projects are finalized, the country is expected to produce 4 million ton of sugar per annum. It is realized that the economic situation of the country will tremendously be impacted by the sector through export diversification and foreign exchange earnings of billions of dollar beside creation of huge direct employment opportunity for citizens. Estimates indicated that the per capita consumption of Ethiopia which has stacked on 4kg, whereas per capita consumption of Africa is 17kg, is expected to rise up to 11kg during GTP1. 

Studies indicate that, there are weak institutional arrangements that coordinate the different stakeholders to work towards achieving a common goal. Despite the sector’s immense economic and social benefits, empirical evidences are not available on the magnitude and likelihood of the current and future impacts of climate change and the extent of the vulnerability of this major export agricultural commodities and the welfare impact on people including women and girls whose livelihood largely lie along the different value chains of this commodity in Ethiopia.

Because of policy and overall organizational structure of sugar industry are thought to considerably influence the sugar trade operations, there is a recent trend that allows sugar technology professionals to involve deeply in the sugar trade policy in order to bring together the entire challenges of sugar industry on one platform, and to properly address the technical, leadership, financial and legal risks involved in the sugar commercialization operations, to hedge the position of the industry against a volatile sugar market.

It is revealed that of many of the targeted goals planned both in the sugar projects or sugar production during the GTP1 has been extensively delayed and Ethiopia still remains a net importer of sugar. In addition, none of the plants presently operational are producing sugar at their full capacity. One of the constraints still persisting as a stumbling block is absence of well qualified man powers that are able to design, assess, evaluate and implement projects, productions, including contracting systems. 

Recognizing that there is no simple answer to achieving GTP 1 and 2 plan of the country without confronting a complicated web of constraints that needs ground breaking researches at their full potential, Bahir Dar Institute of Technology would like to elevate the level of sugar processing sector’s professionals through provision of advanced training that will equip trainers with comprehensive spotlights of some of the challenges in the sugar industry projects, processing and managements through identification of technological solution that align people and process for success in the sugar sector. 

Objectives of the program
The  objectives of MSc in Chemical Engineering (Sugar Process Technology) graduate of the Department of Chemical Engineering are: 
  • Endeavoring to serve the needs of Sugar Industry, it is required to boost or agitate the vast evolvement’s the country is recently experiencing, through producing tailor-made skilled man power that can cope with technological advancements in the sector. 
  • To spearhead the indulgence into this alluring sector, scaling up the indigenous sugarbased skills in the local sugar industry and higher learning institutions as well ahead of time, so as to help the nation utilize the immense potential soon for wellbeing.   
  • To train highly qualified sugar technologists and engineers that are capable to manage, design, develop and optimize the process and produce value-added products based on Ethiopian natural resources.  
  • To generate opportunities for sugar process technologist and engineers drawing a bead on taking in-depth leader ship roles in the vastly evolving sugar, ethanol and allied industries of the country.   
  • To produce qualified engineers capable of providing services and consultancy to government and NGO’s with regard to sugar and ethanol industry development problems.

Graduate Profile

The MSc program in Sugar Process Technology prepares the students for a multidisciplinary career and gives the students a broad option when they face the job market.For example,

  • Conduct design, economic and technical feasibility studies in the sugar plant and related processing industries.
  • Oversee the construction, modification, operation and maintenance of sugar processing units or processing plants.
  • Design and test sugar processing and related plants and equipment;
  • Establish and conduct quality control programs, operating procedures and control
  • strategies to ensure consistency and adherence to standards for raw materials, products and waste products or emissions in the sugar industry.
  • Act as liaison between plant engineering personnel and equipment suppliers,
  • Prepares technical documents, handle contracting systems and supervise and coordinates the sugar projects.
  • Advise management regarding the design, layout of sugar industrial plants and the installation and sizing of equipment.

Duration of the program

  • Two years
Medium of Instruction
  • English

Admission criteria

    • MSc Degree or equivalent in related fields which is to be decided by FGC from a recognizedi nstitution.An applicant with MScdegrees in non-chemica lengineering fields, but very close background to the proposed specializationmay have to attend somegraduate courses recommended the advisory committee and through special admissionpolicy of BDU to fulfill the prerequisites of the PhD courses. Because of this, they mayrequiremore time tocomplete the PhD program.
    • PhD by Research candidates should demonstrate a strong academic and  (i.e. at least 2 publication) including having the ability to independently pursue the research of interest in a scientific manner.
    • The Faculty may give a written qualifying examination and an obligatory interview inconsultation with thea dvisors.The Faculty Graduate Committees (FGC) with in the faculty will conduct the evaluation as well as thei nterview.Refer the BDU legislation and BiT PhD guideline about FGC.
    • Candidatesareexpected tosubmittworecommendationletters onastatementofinterest/motivation,and aresearchconcept note for the PhD program.
    • The assessment of admission is made by the FGC, endorsed by the faculty academic commission and approved by thei nstitute counsel of graduate studies (GSC).
    • Candidates must also meet the general application and graduate admission policy of Bahir Dar University and Bahir Dar Institute of Technology. 
Annual intake
5 students
Tuition fee
(2020/21 rate)
Temesgen Atnafu, PhD