Windhoek-Four students from Namibia University of Science and Technology’s (NUST) Department of Mining and Process Engineering (DMPE) recently took part in a Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s (SAIMM) Young Professionals Council (YPC) organised student colloquium at Mintek in Randburg, South Africa.
The competition, ‘’14th Annual Student Colloquium’’, was held on the 25th of October 2017. Prof Thomas Hollenberg accompanied the students.
A number of institutions offering mining, metallurgical and chemical engineering programmes participated. These included, amongst others, University of the Witwatersrand, University of Pretoria, North-West University, University of Free State, Vaal University of Technology, University of Zambia, University of Zimbabwe and the Midlands State University.
Traditionally, the colloquium was a preserve of the South African universities, but the trend was broken by the entrance of NUST on the grand stage in 2013 when the university (then Polytechnic of Namibia) through Monica Angulah became the first non-South African university to participate in the colloquium.
The colloquium has since grown to accommodate all the major universities offering mining, metallurgical and chemical engineering programs in the Southern African region. The panel of judges for the colloquium consists of industry leaders from selected leading mining companies and top academics in the minerals industry.
Charne Eimann, from NUST, emerged the best student in Mining Engineering with her presentation entitled ‘An investigation into the application of x-ray fluorescence technology to upgrade low-grade Zinc ore’.
She was supervised by Dr Mallikarjun Pillalamarry. Martha Amwele from NUST scooped the second prize in Metallurgy. Martha Amwele’s presentation was entitled ‘Improving the leaching conditions of gold at Navachab gold mine’. She was supervised by Professor Dick Groot.
The first prize in Metallurgy was taken by Makua Lebohang from Wits University while Ndangana Ngonidzashe from University of Zimbabwe fell second to NUST’s Charne Eimann in Mining. It was NUST’s first time to compete in the metallurgy section. The other students from NUST who took part in the heavily contested colloquium were Kabuba Namukokoba and Leo Reinhold.
Each category consisted of about nine contestants and amidst the tough competition from the traditionally recognized universities, NUST students managed to outperform fellow competitors, placing NUST at the pinnacle of the prestigious contest.
Namibian students at the colloquia showed acutely sharp presentation skills and what a pride it was to have our students, grabbing an entire audience, with a presentations that are both technically appealing and eloquently put across.
Speaking at the colloquium, SAIMM president Prof Selo Ndlovu expressed satisfaction at the participation and enthusiasm from regional institutions. She described the colloquium as heavily contested as shown by the quality of projects that the students presented.
She also described the colloquium as a unique opportunity for them to showcase themselves to prospective employers who attend to scout for outstanding talent at the colloquium. She reiterated the YPC’s commitment to contribute to the creation of prosperous and empowered young professionals.