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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

Print version ISSN 0038-223X

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.111 no.12 Johannesburg Dec. 2011

 

EDITORIALS

 

Mining Engineering: 50th anniversary

 

 

Mining Engineering was recognized as an important discipline in the South African context when the programme in Mining Engineering was initiated in 1958, just 3 years after the founding of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Pretoria in 1955.

As a specialized discipline, the number of students was at first relatively low, but the programme has steadily grown over the years into the present leading department, with many alumni serving the mining industry with distinction. The university is grateful for the generous and continuous support and cooperation with industry that has enabled us to attract experienced mining engineers such as professors J. De V. Lamprechts, F.Q.P. Leiding, A.N. Brown, A. Fourie, N. v.d. Merwe, and R.C.W. Webber-Youngman, to lead the department.

Over the years the department faced many challenges, with student numbers following the ebb and flow of the fortunes of the industry, but it has proved to be resilient and ready to turn challenges into opportunities. The change of the language of tuition to English to facilitate access, the present strong emphasis on leadership skills grounded in sound technical skills, and contributions to inculcating a safety culture in mining operations serve as excellent examples.

I would also like to especially thank the Tuks Mining Alumni Association and the Advisory Board of the Department of Mining Engineering, who through the years have contributed very significantly to the care and growth of the department.

I would like to thank the Department of Mining Engineering for the very significant contributions that it made over the years to the Faculty, the profession, and the industry. I believe that the best years of the department still lie in the future, and would like to challenge the department to take teaching, research, and industry involvement to even higher levels of excellence.

 

R. Sandenbergh
Dean: Faculty of Engineering Built Environment and Information Technology