JOURNALISTS COVERING 25TH AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT VISIT DST-NRF CIMERA

on Monday, 22 June 2015. Posted in CIMERA - Latest News

The 25th African Union Summit Conference was held in South Africa in the week beginning 7th June 2015. The event was covered by a large contingent of both local and overseas journalists. The National Research Foundation (NRF), the funding arm of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), together with Brand SA, requested DST-NRF CIMERA to host a group of journalists, as part of highlighting the NRF’s flagship Centres of Excellence programme. DST-NRF CIMERA, in conjunction with the Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences, hosted at the University of the Witwatersrand, put together a programme for the journalists for Monday 8th June 2015. The CoE in Palaeosciences was also requested to host the journalists, and hence the joint programme.

The 25th African Union Summit Conference was held in South Africa in the week beginning 7th June 2015. The event was covered by a large contingent of both local and overseas journalists. The National Research Foundation (NRF), the funding arm of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), together with Brand SA, requested DST-NRF CIMERA to host a group of journalists, as part of highlighting the NRF’s flagship Centres of Excellence programme. DST-NRF CIMERA, in conjunction with the Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences, hosted at the University of the Witwatersrand, put together a programme for the journalists for Monday 8th June 2015. The CoE in Palaeosciences was also requested to host the journalists, and hence the joint programme.

At UJ, the visit by the group of nine journalists began in the Council Chambers at UJ where Professor Bruce Cairncross, Head of the Department of Geology, welcomed all. Professor Nic Beukes, Director of DST-NRF CIMERA, gave an overview presentation on the objectives of the CoE and its importance in the context of South Africa’s mining industry in particular, and in Africa, in general. After a short refreshment break, Professor Michiel de Kock and Dr Bertus Smith of the Department of Geology, took the group on a short tour of the UJ Auckland Park Kingsway Campus, followed by a visit to SPECTRUM, UJ’s state-of-the-art analytical facility. Professor Jan Kramers kindly gave an explanation of the Argon-Argon rock dating process, while Professor Fanus Viljoen explained how the Mineral Liberation Analyser (MLA) worked.

The journalists then bussed across to the University of the Witwatersrand campus, where Professor Roger Gibson, Head of the School of Geosciences, welcomed all at the Origins Centre. He gave a brief history of the School of Geosciences, and was followed by a presentation from Professor Judith Kinnaird, Co-Director of DST-NRF CIMERA, and Director of the Economic Geology Research Institute (EGRI). Professor Kinnaird expanded on the importance of mineral resource research for the future benefit of mankind as a whole. She highlighted South Africa’s superlative gold, platinum group metal, chromium, iron, manganese, coal and diamond resources, and their future contribution to the country’s economy.

Professor Ray Durrheim, SARChI Professor at Wits and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), then gave a brief overview of the highly successful Africa Array seismicity initiative that has Africa-wide collaborators as well as several from America. Professor Bruce Rubidge, Director of the CoE in Palaeosciences, closed off the presentations with a compelling review of the important fossil record in South Africa, and the role that his CoE is playing in furthering research.

After lunch the journalists were conducted on a tour of the refurbished Petrology Laboratory in the Department of Geology. Professor Kinnaird laid out some rare mineral specimens for viewing, including a famous octagonal gold crystal on quartz, and a diamond in kimberlite matrix. This was followed by a visit to the newly-established Seismology Laboratory. Dr Sue Webb gave a brief overview, with five post-graduate students showing some of their research outcomes afterwards.

The group then trekked across to the Palaeosciences building where they were treated to brief visits to the Vault, fossil preparation and storage rooms and the Microfocus X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner. The afternoon concluded with a tour of the Origins Centre.

 

1

Journalists covering the African Union Summit visiting SPECTRUM. Professor Michiel de Kock is on the left. 

2

Professor Jan Kramers explaining the Argon-Argon rock dating instrument to the journalists covering the AU Summit meeting.

3

Professor Roger Gibson welcoming the AU Summit journalists at the Origins Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand.

4

Dr Sue Webb addressing the visiting journalists in the Seismology Laboratory in the School of Geosciences at Wits.

5

Post-graduate student explaining the intricacies of seismic interpretation in the Seismology Laboratory.

6

Professor Judith Kinnaird showing some of the important South Africa mineral ore types to the AUjournalist in the Wits Geosciences Petrography Laboratory. 

7

Group photo of AU journalists in the School of Geosciences.

 

 

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