KNUST Hosts 2nd Geoscience Conference
The Geophysical Society of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has hosted the Second (2nd) African Geoscience Students Conference (AGSC) at the College of Science auditorium. The theme of the conference was “Exploring the Depth and Breadth of the Geosciences.” The opening ceremony was chaired by the Vice Chancellor, Professor William Otoo Ellis.
The conference was a student-organised event of the Society of Exploration Geoscientists (SEG) in partnership with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and American Association of Petroleum Geologist (AAPG). Students, professionals and other resource persons were brought together to learn and share novel and best practices in the discipline of Geoscience and also to network to foster bonds across the African continent.
In a speech read on behalf of the Chairman of the opening ceremony, Professor Aboagye Menyeh noted that KNUST had a reputation of being one of the foremost technology universities in Africa. To live up to this reputation, graduates trained should be relevant to the continent. He said the discovery of oil in many African countries had brought to the fore the need to train skilled manpower for the oil industry. He added that as future scientists, the students had direct roles in charting a responsible approach to meet future energy requirements.
Prof. Menyeh explained that the exploration and production of oil would continue to expand and new discoveries would be made in more hostile environments. This would pose significant technical and environmental challenges for future earth scientists “this is where conferences such as the African Geosciences Students Conference are very useful” he indicated. Additionally, he said KNUST was working assiduously in order to improve the kind of graduates it trained, especially in the fields of Geosciences and Allied Sciences. He finally welcomed all participants and hoped that students and young professionals who were present would learn, make friends and network.
The AGSC Chairman, Mr. Cyril D. Boateng, stated that the first AGSC came on in July, 2013 in Nigeria for students in Africa. He observed that this year’s AGSC programme had attracted delegates and professionals from many other African countries to interact, share and gain relevant skills. He commended sponsors, volunteers and staff of the Department of Physics, KNUST, for their contribution to the event and pleaded with industry and the staff of the Department of Physics to work hand in hand to create a platform for students to compete. He finally urged participants to network for future opportunities.
In a keynote address, Madam Alexandra Amoako Mensah, the President of the Ghana Institution of Geologist said the theme for the conference amply communicated versatility and the applications of the Geosciences. In her view, the theme did not only serve to identify potential employment opportunities for students pursuing studies in the Geosciences but also drew attention to avenues through which the Geosciences could better contribute to development, particularly in developing economies.
She explained that the Geosciences encompassed all the sciences that studied the structure, evolution and dynamics of Planet Earth and its mineral and energy resources. She gave a tall list of examples: Geology, Petrology, Mineralogy, Crystallography, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Structural Geology, Hydrogeology, Photogeology, Exploration Geophysics, Engineering Geology, among others. She remarked that the Geosciences were fundamental to almost all the key sectors in the development of any economy as well as in the provision of many social amenities. She therefore called on industry to have good working relationships with students and academia to help bring stakeholders together.