Dr Harmony Musiyarira, the Head of the Department of Mining and Process Engineering (DMPE), commended the partnership and said it will be mutually beneficial to both parties. “The MoU will also enable academic staff to further enrich their industry experience by collaborating with Namdeb on joint research projects which will eventually translate to better and more refined graduates for industry,” Musiyarira said.
Riaan Burger, the General Manager of Namdeb Diamond Corporation, and NUST Vice-Chancellor, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, signed the MoU.
The signing of the agreement coincided with the end of the term of the Department of Mining and Process Engineering’s Industry Advisory Board which met for the last time. Members, made up of industry experts, expressed their satisfaction with the progress the Department is making and singled out the recent accreditation of the Bachelor of Engineering in Metallurgy degree by the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE).
Dr Tjivikua expressed the hope that most of the Board members would be retained to serve a second term as they had done a sterling job in steering the strategic direction of the Department. “Given the immense strides that this Board has made towards laying a firm foundation for the Department of Mining and Process Engineering, it is highly recommended that the mandate of this Board be extended, with minor changes,” he said.
The Head of the Mining Engineering Department at the University of Pretoria, Professor Ronny Webber-Youngman, who is also a member of the Board, gave significant insights into how the DMPE can emulate his University’s virtual learning platform which enables students to experience real-life working conditions in a 3-D virtual mine while sitting in a lecture room.