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Cuthbert aims for servant leadership

- By Kemantha Govender

Professor Cuthbert Musingwini, the new Head of the Wits School of Mining Engineering says getting staff and students to excel in what they do will be key to his success.

Musingwini’s chief responsibilities include providing strategic leadership, managing the School’s functions, conducting research and supervising postgraduate students.

“My other role includes providing servant leadership on a number of fronts. Most importantly, as the Head of School I need to best serve both staff and students by fostering an environment that is welcoming and that they are set up for success.

“I can only consider myself to be successful in my role if both staff and students can excel in what they do. The role also requires reviewing and establishing collaborations with industry and other educational institutions both locally and internationally,” Musingwini said.

Having lectured at Wits since 2004, Musingwini has over 20 years of experience in the mining sector – including mine production management and planning, consulting and academia.

“I am excited by the vote of confidence to lead one the largest mining schools and to work with a committed team in delivering on a new strategic plan to chart a new direction for the School.

“The School’s priorities going forward center around increasing normalised research output, improving our teaching and learning effectiveness for better throughput. We also started on a structural re-alignment of the School to better serve the needs of our Faculty, the University and the mining industry at large,” Musingwini said.

He lectures at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Mine Planning Optimisation and Mine Financial Valuation.

Cuthbert began his career in the Zimbabwean gold mining industry in the 1990s. He then worked as a research fellow – and later a lecturer – at the University of Zimbabwe. He obtained an MSc and PhD in Mining Engineering from Wits in 1999 and 2010, respectively.

He is a senior vice-president and honorary treasurer of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), a Fellow of the SAIMM and a registered professional mining engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). He serves on ECSA’s Engineering Programmes Accreditation Committee and Professional Advisory Committee for Mining Engineering. He is also a member of the Society of Mining Professors.

Cuthbert is also a managing editor of the International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment published by the Taylor and Francis Group in the UK. He was awarded a National Research Foundation C3 rating in 2014. He has published and presented papers both locally and internationally and supervised to graduation several MSc and PhD students.

The School ranks among the top in the world and boasts one of the most expansive mining programmes. There are more than 800 students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the School.

Among undergraduates, over a third of the students are women including some from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. Offering world-class accredited programmes, the School prioritises multi-disciplinary research into best practice innovations and technology to forge a mining sector that is safer, more productive, environmentally and socially responsible, and economically successful.