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Higher Education Partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa programme

13 March 2019

Professor Tom Blenkinsop in Zimbabwe

Professor Tom Blenkinsop has visited Midlands State University in Zimbabwe as part of a Royal Academy of Engineering Higher Education Partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa programme.

The Higher Education Partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa programme supports engineering professionals, academics and students with study bursaries, business start-up funding, research projects, knowledge transfer partnerships, public engagement and prizes recognising significant feats of engineering.

Professor Blenkinsop and Dr Iain McDonald from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Cardiff University are working with Dr Antony Mamuse from Midlands State University on a research project investigating the potential of industrial minerals and gemstones in Zimbabwe.

Professor Blenkinsop visited Zimbabwe at the end of February 2019, where he taught a course on structural geology to a group of 45 geologists from the exploration and mining industry as part of the grant and Royal Academy programme. They also completed a fieldtrip to the Hurungwe area of northwest Zimbabwe, which hosts notable deposits of graphite, mica, tourmaline and corundum.

“The programme was a key eye-opener to us as students as we were exposed to the reality of challenges faced in the extraction of rare minerals and how we should proffer effective and efficient engineering solutions,” said Brighton Pamire, a MSU Metallurgical Engineering student.

During his visit, Professor Blenkinsop also attended an inception workshop hosted by the Vice Chancellor of Midland State University. A reciprocal visit from staff and students at Midlands State University to Cardiff is planned for August 2019.

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