Stephen Simukanga was born in Mufulira, Zambia on 20 May 1957. He is Professor of Metallurgy and Mineral Processing at the University of Zambia and was visiting professor at the University of Cape Town for 10 years. He is also Chief Executive Officer (Vice Chancellor) of the University of Zambia and has a Bachelor’s degree (1982) and a Master’s degree (1986), both in Metallurgy and Mineral Processing from the University of Zambia, and a doctorate (1990) in Process Metallurgy from the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom. He is a United Kingdom Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Engineering Institution of Zambia.

He has 26 years of experience in the mining industry and academia having started his working life in the Luanshya mine of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited in 1982. He has been involved in consultancy and research in the areas of mine and quarry evaluation, mineral processing and the environment.

He chairs the boards of the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research and is a member of three other boards of directors.