The GNPC Ghana Foundation has presented a cheque worth $250,000.00 to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa in fulfillment of the agreement to set up a Professorial Chair in Mining Engineering. The cheque was presented on behalf of the Foundation by Dr Patrick Ofori, the Head of Education and Training at a short ceremony at the University Campus.
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Dr Ofori impressed on the University through the Chair to use the funds judiciously for its intended purpose. He indicated that the Monitoring and Evaluation team of the Foundation will regularly visit the University unannounced to inspect the progress of work.
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Responding, the Vice Chancellor, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma, expressed the gratitude of the University to GNPC as a Corporation, led by the CEO, Dr K. K. Sarpong and the Foundation led by Dr Kwame Baah-Nuako for fulfilling the pledge to set up the Professorial Chair in Mining Engineering in UMaT. According to Prof Kuma, in addition to the Chair, the Foundation has been supporting 106 students of the University with scholarships throughout their studies. He said the institution of the Chair was going to help the Department of Mining Engineering of the University to train high level human capital for the country. Prof Kuma further indicated that the Chair is being occupied by Prof Victor Amoako Temeng, an Associate Professor in the Department of Mining Engineering and also the Pro Vice Chancellor of the University.
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The focus of the Professorial Chair is to undertake research in Mining Engineering on the topic “Prediction of Blasting Outcomes using Artificial Intelligence Techniques”. This research has the objective to develop modules for predicting fragmentation, overbreak, vibration and air blast using artificial intelligence techniques based on blasting operations in Ghanaian mines. It is expected that once the predictability of the artificial intelligence based techniques are established, it will serve as feedback to blast design process to improve blasting outcomes. The models would be compared with models that are traditionally used to predict these outcomes using data from some operating mines in Ghana.
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The fund will also support staff capacity development for Doctor of Philosophy candidates, to provide Masters degree scholarships, purchase of teaching and research equipment and honorarium for the occupant of the Chair.