About the Department

The Department of Geology was founded in 1908 as one of the first four departments at the then-Transvaal University College. It also boasts the oldest student society on campus, the Geological Society of the University of Pretoria (GVUP/GSUP), founded in 1936.

We have a long and proud tradition of geological studies on the world-famous Bushveld Igneous Complex, host to the world’s greatest resources of platinum group elements, chrome and vanadium. Training in Mineralogy and Mining Geology are other cherished traditions, supported by the excellent analytical facilities within the Department (XRF, XRD and electron microprobe) and the close working relationships with the mining industry.

The four research focus areas of the Department are:

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 – so far unique in the entire country. Thus, it is a challenge for any geoscientist with a 

strong background in energy research to join the Department of Geology at the University of Pretoria to actively drive and support the University’s 2025 vision to become the leading research university in Africa while being locally relevant.

University of Pretoria GEOLOGY

- Author Matthys Dippenaar

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