Marwala was previously a Dean of Engineering at the University of Johannesburg, a Professor of Electrical Engineering, the Carl and Emily Fuchs Chair of Systems and Control Engineering as well as the DST/NRF South Africa Research Chair of Systems Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a professor extraordinaire at the University of Pretoria, was the Chair of the Local Loop Unbundling Committee as well as the non-executive director of the State Information Technology Agency (Pty) Ltd. He has served as a Deputy Chair of Limpopo Business Support Agency and on boards of EOH (Pty) Ltd and City Power Johannesburg. He was a councillor of Statistics South Africa as well as the National Advisory Council on Innovation. He is a trustee of the Bradlow Foundation as well as the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation. He is the youngest recipient of the Order of Mapungubwe and was the first African Engineer to be awarded the President Award by the National Research Foundation of South Africa.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Magna Cum Laude) from Case Western Reserve University, a Master of Engineering from the University of Pretoria, a PhD in Engineering from St John's College, Cambridge and successfully completed a Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School. He was a post-doctoral research associate at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and in year 2006 to 2007 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. In the year 2007 to 2008, he has been appointed a visiting fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He matriculated at Mbilwi Secondary School and completed Sixth Form at St John's College  in Johannesburg.
His research interests include the application of computational intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine. Marwala has made fundamental contributions to engineering including the development of the concept of pseudo-modal energies and the development of Bayesian framework for solving engineering problems. Marwala is a theoretician who has contributed to concepts such as the National Democratic Revolution  and developmental state. He has supervised 30 masters and PhD students and has published over 170 papers in journals such as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Journal, proceedings and book chapters. His book Computational Intelligence for Modelling Complex Systems is published by Research India Publications. He was part of a team that has succeeded in bringing the 2014 World Congress of Automatic Control to Africa for the first time. He is a fellow of TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences, a senior member of the IEEE and a distinguished member of the Association for Computing Machinery. His work has appeared in publications such as New Scientist, Time Magazine and The Economist.
1. David Mark Starfield David Milton Rubin. Tshilidzi Marwala Method and Apparatus for Radiation Imaging. IPC8 Class: AG01T100FI USPC Class: 25036302 
2. David Mark Starfield David Milton Rubin. Tshilidzi Marwala Coded Appertures Masks for Ration-Based Medical Imaging. WO 2008/14254 
3. Megan J. Russell, David M. Rubin, B. Wigdorowitz and Tshilidzi Marwala. (SA Provisional Patent: 2008/05078) An artificial larynx. 
1. T. Marwala. Computational Intelligence for Missing Data Imputation, Estimation, and Management: Knowledge Optimization Techniques. Information Science Reference, 2009, ISBN 978-1-60566-336-4.
2. T. Marwala. Computational Intelligence for Modelling Complex Systems. Research India Publications, 2007, ISBN 978-81-904362-1-2
- T. Marwala. Fault classification using pseudo modal energies and neural networks. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Journal, 2003, 41(1), pp. 82–89.
- M. Lagazio and T. Marwala. Assessing different Bayesian neural network models for militarized interstate dispute. Social Science Computer Review, 2006, 24(1), pp. 119–131.
- D. Lunga, T. Marwala. Online forecasting of stock market movement direction using the improved incremental algorithm. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, In Neural Information Processing, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, Volume 4234, 2006, pp. 440–449.
- T. Marwala. The national democratic revolution, technology and a developed economy. Umrabulo, Vol. 22, 2005, pp. 58–60.
- T.N. Tim and T. Marwala. Computational Intelligence Methods for Risk Assessment of HIV. Proceedings of the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering, 2006, Vol. 14, pp. 3581–3585, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg. Eds. Sun I. Kim and Tae Suk Sah, ISSN 1727-1983.
- T. Marwala and S. Chakraverty. Fault classification in structures with incomplete measured data using autoassociative neural networks and genetic algorithm. Current Science Journal, 2006, 90(4), pp. 542–548.