Jacobus Daniel Van Wyk is born 1939, South Africa. M.Sc. Eng.,University of Pretoria, South Africa, 1966, Dr.Sc. Tech. degree (cum laude), Technical University of Eindhoven, Netherlands in 1969, D.Sc. Eng. (honoris causa) University of Natal, South Africa, 1996, D.Eng. (honoris causa) , University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2008.

1961 to 1971, SA Iron and Steel Corporation and technical and scientific staff of the Universities of Pretoria and Eindhoven.  1971 to 1999,  Rand Afrikaans University in Johannesburg, South Africa,  Chairs in Electronics, Power Electronics and Research.  At Rand Afrikaans University in Johannesburg directed the Industrial Electronics Technology Research Group  from 1977 to 1999.  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1999-2005 as core faculty member, National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES).  Leader of High Density Integration until July 2006, and then a Research Professor until 2008. From 2008 Visiting Professor at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science of the University of Johannesburg.

Has worked in the fields of  semiconductor devices, microelectronics, electrical materials, electromechanical energy conversion, electric drives, power electronics, industrial electronics, and many diverse applications in industry, mining, transport and electrical energy supply.  IEEE Life Fellow. 1995 IEEE William E. Newell Power Electronics Award, IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000, 2006 Distinguished Service Award from the IEEE Power Electronics Society, 2006 Outstanding Achievement Award from the IEEE Industry Applications Society. 15 IEEE prize paper awards. Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE Industry Applications and Power Electronics Societies. President’s Award in 1995, South African Institute of Electrical Engineers. Active within the IEEE, as well as in organization of international conferences and in scientific publishing. He was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics from 2002 until June 2006.