Prof Bumby ready to take Geology department forward

Posted on July 05, 2019

Prof Adam Bumby has been appointed as the new Head of the Department of Geology at the University of Pretoria (UP) from 1 June 2019.

Prof Bumby is very excited about leading this dynamic department and says that "it is a great privilege to have the opportunity to drive the Department towards new goals. Like all departmental headships, it is proving to require a great deal of effort, but with the support of my energetic colleagues, I see no reason why my vision cannot be readily accomplished."

He emphasises that the Department of Geology has a young and dynamic staff complement that is well-positioned to transform into a mature and diversified team that is renowned for the quality of both its teaching and research. "We also boast excellent analytical facilities run by expert technical staff. In the past, the Department has generally focused on mainstream academic and mining-related geology, and to this, I wish to add a greater focus on applied geology, especially in the fields of hydrogeology, engineering geology, and natural hazard assessment."

Prof Bumby added that "the existing staff members already provide a unique combination of expertise in these disciplines, and I feel that to further build upon these strengths is more in line with faculty research foci and national sustainable development goals. Growing strength in these fields has obvious beneficial implications for the improvement of groundwater provision, infrastructural design and environmental protection. The provision of graduates that can lead in these fields in the future requires a broad-based geological education, in addition to more specialised studies implicit for more applied research. There is, therefore, a great deal expected from the staff in the Department – undertaking world-class research that can make a real difference to society and providing a solid foundation in geoscience education that will produce future leaders in a variety of fields, including the mining, environment and construction industries,’ he concluded.

Prof Bumby received his PhD in 2000 and his MSc (Geology) in 1997, both from the University of Pretoria. He joined UP in 2003 as a Senior Lecturer and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. He has been serving as Acting Head of the Department since October 2018.

His research focuses on the development of sedimentary basins during the Precambrian. How global-scale tectonic events have led to the formation and deformation of those sedimentary basins is also a question of great interest to Prof Bumby. In particular, he focuses on the development of sedimentary basins within and adjacent to the Kaapvaal Craton of southern Africa. He has supervised research projects on other sedimentary basins to the north in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, as well as younger, Karoo-aged sedimentary basins on the edge of the Kaapvaal Craton.

Prof Bumby has collaborated with more than 70 peers from 10 different countries. He has published extensively in ISI journals and has attended several major conferences in the field. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology (Elsevier), is a fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa and also serves on the Palaeoproterozoic Task Group of the South African Committee of Stratigraphy.

Prof Bumby teaches undergraduate courses in structural geology. He has developed novel teaching techniques that involve simulation of the field- and mine-based geological settings within the confines of the geology department, which are designed to enhance geology students’ 3D spatial abilities.

His interdisciplinary research and innovative teaching methodologies place him in a favourable position to contribute to the institutional and faculty strategic priorities, and to take the department to the highest level of success.

- Author Martie Meyer

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