New Chair in Department of Mining Engineering to help save lives

Posted on June 18, 2013

Apart from research and studies in the above-mentioned fields, efforts will also be made to establish a postgraduate qualification in rock mechanics. Expanding undergraduate teaching in rock mechanics and numerical modelling, specifically as a result of new research being done, will also be an important function of the chair.  

Another important function of the Harmony chair will be to arrange much needed liaison between academic institutions and the industry in general, but specifically between Harmony and UP.  

Harmony will further benefit from this donation through its interaction with international leaders in the field of rock mechanics and numerical modelling research, as well as the interaction with under- and postgraduate students by way of student projects.  

Mr Graham Briggs, chief executive officer of Harmony, said: “Ensuring the safety of each of our mineworkers is Harmony’s top priority. Therefore, further research and development to ensure even safer underground conditions are of the utmost importance to us. It is a privilege to have the University of Pretoria as partner in the pursuit of even safer mining activities.  

“It is of cardinal importance to our industry that South Africa should be seen as leader in the field of research, with specific reference to the prevention of rock related deaths and injuries. We trust that this initiative will strengthen the partnership between academic institutions and the industry in hard-rock research activities and will empower mining companies to effect further safety improvements,” said Mr Briggs.  

During her welcoming address, Prof Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal concurred that long term solutions for the country’s woes, including those in the mining industry, lie in education. She referred to the ripple effect a university qualification creates in a community and subsequently in the country. She underlined the importance of investing in universities (like Harmony is doing) and the development of students’ skills to ensure positive change and growth.   

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