Ever Since Darwin: Reflections on Natural History
Energy, water and environment – these are the challenging topics for geoscientists in the 21st century on a regional to global scale. South Africa’s energy and mineral resources need to be addressed in the context of global resource management to ensure sustainability. Universities are the academic platform for blue sky research on the one hand and partners for applied research in collaboration with industry on the other hand. Both approaches are necessary to provide a broad basis of knowledge to students and to produce highly competitive graduates and future leading geoscientists for the academic and industrial labour markets, nationally and internationally.
From this background, the establishment of resource-oriented research in geosciences is imperative and the University of Pretoria focuses on this development combining the necessary expertise in natural sciences and engineering sciences – a unique feature for South Africa.
The new research and teaching focus on Energy Resources in the Department of Geology will address the energy demands of the country as South Africa’s sustainable economic and human capital growth is strongly dependent on the future exploitation of its fossil energy resources. The department is a collaborative partner of the newly-established NRF-DST Centre of Excellence for Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis (CIMERA; co-hosted by the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand) and leading the research area Energy Resources of Karoo-aged basins. The new research focus provides a landmark opportunity for UP and the Department of Geology to address future manpower needs in the energy sector not just in South Africa, but internationally.
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