A Delegation from Memorial University of Newfoundland Visits UMaT

A delegation from the University of Newfoundland (MUN) in Canada has paid a working visit to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa. Prof Steve Butt, a Professor of Petroleum, Mining, Drilling, and Geomechanics led the delegation and was accompanied by Dr Adedoyin Odukoya, the Grant Facilitation Officer of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

After a short documentary on UMaT was played to the delegation, the Vice Chancellor, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma expressed the gratitude of the University to them for their determination to visit UMaT although the first attempt could not be possible due to flight cancellations. He thanked them for their perseverance to come and see what UMaT was doing.

According to Prof Butt, their visit was to establish a relationship with UMaT with the aim of providing a mutually beneficial framework that UMaT and MUN could work within to achieve shared goals. He gave a presentation on the core functions of MUN and indicated that MUN was a world leader in most engineering programmes such as mining, (especially open pit), drilling technology, cold ocean research, teaching and learning and public engagement. He added that their area of expertise was in Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources. He further indicated that MUN was ready to collaborate with UMaT in those areas. He again said that MUN as a University was able to attract external support for research up to the tune of 100 million Canadian Dollars annually. He expressed the hope that the collaboration would allow the two institutions to jointly supervise postgraduate students. He added that there were scholarship opportunities available for graduate students which UMaT students could take advantage of. He said there were scholarships of up to $15,000 for MSc and $18,000 for PhD candidates per year.

Prof Kuma informed them that a School of Petroleum Studies was being developed into a Centre of Excellence where courses such as subsea engineering would be taught. He indicated that one of the benefits of the collaboration would be to develop a model where Guest Lecturers from MUN could come to UMaT to deliver short term courses. This according to Prof Kuma, would be a true symbiotic relationship for the two institutions. Prof Kuma also informed the distinguished visitors that the University had procured Environmental Monitoring Laboratory equipment through a DANIDA mixed credit facility for the University which according to him, will change the face of scientific research in the University when the equipment are finally installed.

At the end of the discussions the meeting agreed on some common grounds for mutual benefit which would feature in a Memorandum of Understanding that would be signed soon. The common issues agreed include student mobility that will allow brilliant students of UMaT to be sent to MUN for Staff Development, UMaT Staff who are pursuing their PhDs locally to be offered six months opportunity to do some research in MUN, to organise short courses that would benefit UMaT Lecturers, research collaboration, to design courses in subsea engineering, robotics and drilling technology.

Also present at the meeting were Mr A. K. Doku, the Registrar of UMaT, Assoc Prof S. Al-Hassan, the Dean of Planning and Quality Assurance Unit, Assoc Prof S. Ndur, the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Mineral Resources Technology, Assoc Prof Anthony Simons, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Assoc Prof J. R. Dankwa, the Head of the Department of Minerals Engineering, Dr S. Mantey, the Head of the Department of Petroleum Engineering and Mr Paul Yeboah, the University Relations Officer.

Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Assistant Registrar and Head, University Relations Office

Bridging the gap in our mines – The story of Marian Onyameba Boatemaa

Marian is a Geotechnical Engineer with the Mine Engineering Department of Newmont Ghana’s Akyem Mine.

In November 2016, Marian was adjudged the Best Candidate (Civil Technical Division) in the Engineering Professional Examination by the Ghana Institute of Engineers.

For Marian, the decision to shift from earlier plans of becoming a pharmacist to joining the mining industry was out of inspiration and admiration for the sector.

One of her inspirations was her Uncle, a Mine Engineer. She recalls how fascinated she was seeing a group of colleagues discussing and taking critical decisions about an ore deposit.

“I remember saying to myself ‘how cool it would be if a woman lead these discussions and made such high-level decisions about a mine’s engineering operations. That was the moment I decided to pursue a career in the mining industry”.

She applied for a degree programme in Geological Engineering at the University of Mines and Technology (UMAT), Tarkwa. Her four-year study at the University forever shaped the mindset with which Marian pursued her passion. She admits not being blind to the challenges and effects she faced as a woman while in school.

Out of her determination and hard work, Marian had an opportunity to work with Newmont Ghana’s Akyem mine in 2013 through its Emerging Talents Program.

Currently, she collaborates with her team to plan and execute the designing of mine pits, install prisms and maintain water levels in the pits, manage the pit hole stability as well as provide ground support to mine production targets. One of the things she speaks about is Newmont’sInclusion and Diversity Strategy.

“Newmont’s Inclusion and Diversity Strategy creates the enabling environment for women and nationals to thrive and assume leadership positions. This makes me motivated and always ready to explore opportunities as a woman in my chosen field without inhibition.”

Marian represents the many stories of women who when motivated and developed in an inclusive and diverse environment can rise and excel in the mining industry and Newmont is advancing strategies to promote such a culture in all its regions worldwide.

“Through Newmont’s Inclusion and Diversity Strategy, I feel very confident and assured that I am in line to be one of the leading international experts in rock mechanics like Evert Hoek and hopefully make my name in the geotechnical hall of fame.”


Source: https://www.ghanaweb.com

Minescho Credit Union Hands Over 32-Seater Toyota Coaster Bus to UMaT SRC

The Minescho Credit Union has handed over a new 32-Seater Toyota Coaster Bus to the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa at a brief ceremony at the forecourt of the Union’s Office. The Credit Union entered into an agreement with the SRC for the purchase of the bus to be used to convey students and to make their movements easier and convenient. The bus is estimated to cost GH¢390,000.00.

Presenting the keys to the bus to the Vice Chancellor, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Minescho Credit Union, Prof William K. Buah, indicated that it was a joyous occasion for the Credit Union to be handing over the bus to one of the constituent members of the University Community. He said that the Board was approached by the SRC to support them to procure the bus and they readily accepted the terms of the agreement because, according to him, supporting the SRC falls in line with one of the objectives of the Credit Union which is to ensure financial inclusion for all members of the University Community. He was hopeful that the community at large will also benefit from the services of the bus. Prof Buah called on those who would manage the bus to put in proper management principles for the bus to last long so that the Credit Union could continue to support future projects. 

The 32 Seater Coaster Bus
Receiving the keys to the bus on behalf of the University, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma said that it was some few months ago that the SRC approached Management of the University with a proposal to purchase a bus for the purpose of conveying students from the Gold Hall to and from campus. Management bought into the idea and asked that they got terms and conditions from three Financial Institutions who would be ready to help procure the bus. According to Prof Kuma, the SRC brought the terms and conditions from Minescho Credit Union and two other Financial Institutions but Management accepted the terms and conditions from Minescho Credit Union because they had the best terms and conditions. The request was subsequently approved by the University Council and that paved the way for Minescho Credit Union to purchase the bus for the SRC. Prof Kuma indicated that for the University it was a very good decision for the Credit Union to support the bus project and expressed his gratitude to the Board and Management.
Prof Kuma praised the out-gone SRC President, Mr Hamza Sherfif Mohamed for showing exceptional leadership because, according to him, Mr Sheriff devoted all his energies and efforts in making sure that during his tenure as President of the SRC, the students saw developmental projects on campus. Prof Kuma described him as a development oriented leader who worked for the welfare and interest of the students at all times.
According to the Vice Chancellor, the 2017/2018 SRC has been the best so far, as far as he was concerned, because since being the Vice Chancellor for the past five years and also having been in the University as a Senior Member for many years, this was the first time he was witnessing such monumental work from the Executives of the SRC. Prof Kuma, therefore, encouraged the in-coming SRC President, Mr Eric Osei Banahene to put up a better show of leadership during his tenure.
The procurement of the bus is one of the numerous projects undertaken by the 12th substantive SRC led by Mr Hamza Sherfif Mohamed. The other projects include a 300 meter stretch paved-road from the Chamber of Mines Hall to the bridge around the UMaT Library Complex was also constructed and in addition the volleyball court has been upgraded.
Responding, Mr Hamza Sherif thanked the University Council, the Vice Chancellor, the Dean of Students and more especially the Late Mr Matthew Asare, the former Acting Finance Officer of the University for the Good Counsel he received from all of them. He also thanked all his colleagues for supporting the dream to become a reality.
Also present at the ceremony were, the Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof V. A. Temeng, the Registrar, Mr A. K. Doku, the Dean of Students, Prof Bernard Kumi-Boateng, the University Relations Officer, Mr Paul Yeboah, the Manager of Minescho Credit Union, Mr Samuel Mwiniyorbu, other Officials of Minescho Credit Union and some out-gone and in-coming SRC Executives.
Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, (Head, University Relations Office)

UMaT Placed 2nd in Hacklab Hackathon 2018 Innovation Competition

A team of students from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa have placed second in the 2018 HackLab Hackthon innovation competition held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi. Ho Technical University and KNUST placed first and third respectively.
The competition is organised by HackLab foundation, a non-profit organisation focused on preparing the youth for future jobs and also breeding entrepreneurs to create jobs for others.
The competition is held annually to bring together developers, engineers and other stakeholders in technology to meet, discuss and identify opportunities and the way forward in making Ghana a better place using technology.
The 2018 HackLab Hackathon competition brought together 112 teams from various universities and hubs across the country to showcase and exhibit their various technological talents. Participants in this year’s HackLab Hackthon were tasked to develop industry standard solutions to address local problems within the period of 36 hours.
The UMaT Team worked on a project entitled Blink – an application that is centred on making life easier by using facial recognition to keep the home and workplace more secure and also for controlling electrical gadgets.
The UMaT team was awarded a cash prize of two thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢ 2,000.00) and would be mentored to scale up their project.
Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Assistant Registrar and Head, University Relations Office

GNPC Signs a Memorandum of Understanding with UMaT

The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa to set up a Professorial Chair in Mining Engineering at the University. This is in fulfillment of a promise by the GNPC to invest in research in the core area of the university which is mining engineering. The agreement provides that GNPC will support research in mining engineering in the University with an amount of $250,000.00 annually.
The fund would enable the Chair conduct research pertinent to the mining industry, establish facilities for the Chair, give scholarships to postgraduate students working with the Chair and take care of the allowances of the Chair. The fund will also be used to organise refresher training for faculty members, conferences and workshops, to set up a Centre of Excellence in Ghana and Africa for producing world-class professionals in the fields of mining and technology to provide innovative solutions to the mining and petroleum industries and also to engage industry in the training of the next generation of Mining Engineering professionals. The Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, Dr K. K. Sarpong, signed on behalf of the GNPC whilst the Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma, initialed for UMaT.
Dr K. K. Sarpong indicated that the main idea behind the establishment of the chair is to ensure that technology and research based tertiary institutions took up the challenge to develop industry specific human resource to advance the development of the country. He further said that industries could only do well if they depended on the quality of research and innovations that emerged from academia. According to Dr Sarpong, instituting a professorial chair to advance research, therefore, was the right thing to do. Dr Sarpong further said that the GNPC is, therefore, committing one million dollars for the Professorial Chair for a four year period.
Professor J. S. Y. Kuma, Vice Chancellor of the UMaT on his part thanked GNPC for the support and indicated that UMaT had made a lot of progress in research into the mining sector and in other technology related areas which have won the University a lot of awards locally and internationally. He gave an example of progress that has been made in the design and development of the ‘Sika Bukyia’ a Direct Smelting Kit, which is used to recover gold without the use of mercury with a recovery rate of 99%. According to Prof Kuma, the Sika Bukyia project which was funded by the European Union has been tested in the field and adjudged by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as one of the best technologies of the type in the world. He said further that the small-scale mining industry would benefit largely from the use of the Sika Bukyia. “This Chair will go a long way as far as research in this area is concerned”, Prof Kuma emphasised.
Prof Kuma further said that, UMaT was uniquely positioned to provide quality engineering education in the country because UMaT has the best Student Teacher Ratio in Ghana today for science and engineering programmes, a strong Quality Assurance System where students assess their lecturers online and a well motivated staff and students. He further said that one of UMaT’s distinguishing features was that as part of the curriculum, theory and practical lessons are well blended which gives the students the best teaching experiences and an edge over their other colleagues from other Universities when they engage in competitions.
Prof Kuma thanked GNPC led by Dr K. K. Sarpong and reiterated that the signing of the MoU will help strengthen the already existing relationship between the two institutions.
Present at the signing ceremony were Nana Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi ll, the Chairman of the GNPC Foundation, other Officials from GNPC and the Registrar of UMaT, Mr Andrews K. Doku.
Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Head, University Relations Office

UMaT Female Students Develop Alcohol Detector to Reduce Drink Driving at the 4th Innovation and Career Fair held at the University

Two 3rd year female students of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, namely: Mercy Adoley Quaye and Irene Okai have displayed ingenuity by developing an alcohol detecting device that will help curb drink-driving. The device was showcased at the 4th Innovation and Career Fair organised for students of the University.

According to Mercy Adoley Quaye and Irene Okai, they developed the device because driving under the influence of alcohol has caused and is still causing much danger to lives and property in the society. They also believe that drunk driving does not only put the driver at risk but also innocent passengers, pedestrians and other road users. According to the two students, the device has a mechanism that detects the presence of alcohol and takes measures when the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) crosses the acceptable threshold. A Short Message Service (SMS) would then be sent to relatives or the station master (in the case of commercial vehicles), when the presence of alcohol crosses the threshold value. The system will then lock the engine and prevent it from starting when the presence of alcohol is detected.
The Innovation and Career Fair is organised to provide a platform and an impetus for students to transform what they study in the University into feasible and scalable projects that would impact positively in communities and the country at large. In addition, it is to unearth the entrepreneurial potential among the students. The Fair brought together engineers, researchers, students, consultants, business executives, service providers and all those who are interested in innovation in Mining, Petroleum and related disciplines.
Welcoming the participants to the fair, the Vice Chancellor, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma, indicated that the innovation and career fair was one of the flagship programmes of the University and therefore continues to be one of the main pillars in the training of the students. “The quality engineering education we give to our students continues to make them critical thinkers and this is, therefore, an occasion and platform for those ideas to be unearthed and displayed for the whole world to see” he emphasised.
Prof Kuma reiterated the University’s support for His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s policy of a Ghana beyond Aid. According to him national development should centre on creativity and innovation and that would be the only way to make the policy of a Ghana beyond Aid very possible. He further indicated that, to be able to achieve a Ghana beyond Aid, therefore, the creativity and innovative ideas of the students needed to be supported with the required skills to improve on their projects. This, according to Prof Kuma, will help them to be able to implement their projects so as to become employers of other graduates to help solve the unemployment problem currently confronting the country.
Prof Kuma called on the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and other agencies interested in helping young people to create the enabling entrepreneurial environment to help fund, train and support the innovators to find space to learn about entrepreneurship and how to position their businesses for growth.
The Special Guest of Honour for the day was Ing Kwame Ababio, an Alumnus of UMaT. Ing Ababio is the Chief Executive Officer of Green Afro Palms, an agro processing Company dedicated to helping smallholder palm farmers to increase their yield using improved technology and make more money. He told the gathering that, in Ghana, 80% of oil palm cultivation comes with low output and that the method of production was also archaic. According to him, with Green Afro-Palms’ technology, smallholder farmers now process nearly 3 times more oil from their crops, and earn 3 times more.
Ing. Ababio encouraged the innovators to put passion and drive in their projects in spite of the challenges they may face as they try to get funding to implement their projects. He told the students that his motivation for venturing into agro processing, especially in the oil palm sector, was influenced by the fact that as a trained Geomatic Engineer from UMaT, he realised that there was a huge problem in the oil palm sector in Ghana so he decided that he will help find a solution to the problem. He said as engineers they are trained to be problem solvers and so encouraged the students to work hard to achieve their dreams.
Ing. Ababio also stated that engineering was to be seen not only as a discipline, but also as a lifestyle which should run in the system of those who graduated as engineers, something that is needed for their engineering to be of value to the society. He thanked the Vice Chancellor and the Management of the University for inviting him and also commended them for their efforts in giving students the platform for them to showcase their talents and passion – an action Ing. Ababio says will go a long way to help UMaT as a university, Ghana as a nation and Africa.

UMaT Graduate Wins Young African Entrepreneurship Award for the Second Time

A UMaT graduate, Mr Kwame Ababio, has won the Young African Entrepreneurship Award for the second time in the competition’s history.  The 2017 Awards saw 41 finalists out of 5,349 applicants from 19 African countries and were brought together for a boot camp in Casablanca, Morocco. Mr Ababio was the only Ghanaian among the twelve winners. In the 2016 edition, Mr Ababio was also the only Ghanaian among fifteen winners which competition attracted 756 applicants from 38 African countries.
According to the Organisers of the award, the Journey is made up of 4 rounds of mentoring and starts by applicants taking a few minutes to submit an idea and, begin a journey with real entrepreneurs who have been where they are today. Since the competition was launched by BMCE Bank of Africa in 2015, the awards have recognised 33 entrepreneurs, who were supported by more than 300 African and global mentors.
Mr Kwame Ababio’s business, Green Afro-Palms (GAP) is working to put more money in the pockets of smallholder palm farmers and also introduces best practices to the sector. GAP’s processing technology known as GAPROTECH, which processes 1,000 litres of Palm oil per day also increases crop yields and steers farmers away from non-sustainable practices. According to the Company, in Ghana, 80% of oil palm cultivation comes with low output and is archaic. With Green Afro-Palms’ technology, smallholder farmers now process nearly 3 times more oil from their crops, and earn 3 times more.
Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Assistant Registrar (University Relations Office)

Prince Essel, a UMaT Final Year BSc Electrical and Electronic Engineering Student receives the 2nd Prize of the Africa Energy Generation Prize 2016

Mr Prince Essel, a UMaT final year BSc Electrical and Electronic Engineering student has won the second prize of the Africa Energy Generation Prize. This is a Pan-African innovation and invention contest for affordable and sustainable energy solutions. Mr Essel’s “Eco Diesel” project allowed him to produce fuel based on plastic waste. Prince took home 3,000 Euros as his prize money at the Lomé Mini Maker Faire, the first innovation fair to be held in Togo. In 2016 Mr Essel was the only Ghanaian among ten winners across Africa to be selected in October for the next phase of the competition.

The competition was organised by the Association of Energy Generation in Paris with support from Akon Lighting Africa Initiative, Solektra Solar Academy, Bamako, Mali and Schneider Electric, France. The competition is the culmination of a process to promote the energy sector in Africa. Prince Essel will also undertake a one week training in the Solektra Solar Academy in Bamako, Mali.
More than six months after selecting ten project leaders in a quarantine to integrate its academy in Lomé, the winners of the Energy Generation were nominated for the first edition of this competition dubbed the “Africa Energy Generation Prize 2016”. The contest finally saw six young Africans proposing projects of low-cost unconventional energy generating solutions. These six project leaders were from Togo, Congo, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Chad and Ghana.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Posts and Digital Economy, Togo, Cina Lawson, and the Ambassador of the United States to Togo, David Gilmour.
Source: Paul Y.A. Yeboah, Assistant Registrar and Head, University Relations