Since his appointment as Head of Department in 2007, Prof Webber-Youngman has played an important role in developing the reputation and increasing the visibility of the Department, both locally and internationally. The Department’s vision is to be a leading, research-intensive engineering department in Africa, which is recognised internationally for its quality, relevance and impact, and for developing people, creating knowledge, and making a difference locally and globally.
Under his leadership, the Department’s creative and innovative approach to teaching and learning is encapsulated in its mission to educate and lead mining engineering students to become “imagineers”. This is done by empowering students with technical and non-technical skills through the use of world-class education, research, leadership and related technology interventions.
Prof Webber-Youngman’s strong industry experience and collaboration efforts with industry partners through the establishment of research chairs in the Department, ensure the practical implementation of the Department’s research outputs, which contribute to the sustainability of the South African mining industry.
Prof Webber-Youngman has been instrumental in establishing a #UPMiningMatters drive at the University to be explored significantly in 2020 and beyond. This drive has as its main focus to increase the visibility of interdisciplinary mining-related research being done at the University.
The University of Pretoria has been recognised internationally by being rated in the top 100 universities in the world for mining and mineral engineering in the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) subject rankings. Prof Webber-Youngman’s key priority in taking the Department forward is to improve its representation on international ranking systems. This will reinforce its relevance in and contribution to the local and international mining environment.