Wits School of Mining Engineering paid tribute to the enormous contribution made by its former Head of School, Professor Fred Cawood, during his five year tenure from 2010 to 2014.
Cawood remains in the School as the Professor of Mine Surveying and leader of the school’s digital mine project.
Professor Ian Jandrell, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, commended the bold emphasis on technology promoted by Cawood, in the interests of safer mining.
“Cawood made a profound contribution by championing the digital mine project to assist the mining industry in addressing the target of achieving zero harm,” said Jandrell.
“He recognised at the outset that this was a game-changing direction to take, and worked closely with industry stakeholders to ensure active collaboration.”
Jandrell also lauded Cawood’s ability to ensure smooth leadership transition in the School.
Taking over the role as Head of School is Professor Cuthbert Musingwini, who said Cawood made an indelible mark on the strength and direction of the school during his term as head. “The School has grown substantially in terms of student numbers and special projects, while building its profile and network of industry partnerships.”
Guided by a set of 10 strategic goals, Cawood worked with his team on a range of vital issues including student-staff ratios, sponsorship, partnerships, student throughput, research output and NRF ratings.
“During his five-year tenure as Head of School, Cawood has distinguished himself as a visionary academic leader with a strong passion for future digital mining,” said Musingwini.
An accomplished academic and prolific researcher, Cawood has lectured various levels of study and supervised PhD and MSc students while being actively engaged in his own research across a range of fields from mine economics and mineral rights, taxation and rent, to the development and application of digital technologies in mines. He is also a C1 NRF-rated scientist.
“In the last five years alone, Cawood has produced 44 academic articles published in accredited journals or in conference proceedings, mining magazines, research reports, symposium addresses, seminars and lead editorials.