Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020 2021
Previous Archive
29 July 2019 | Story Leonie Bolleurs
Dr Martin Clark
Dr Martin Clark, the founder of the MAGIC (Multi-purpose Aerial Geological Image Classification) initiative. MAGIC can obtain geological and structural information that is critical for making informed decisions in exploration and mineral extraction processes.

Mining has historically been described as a boom-and-bust industry, where fluctuations in mineral prices could result in extreme success or bankruptcy. Successful mining companies closely monitor assets/expenditures, risks, and other parameters associated with their business to best ensure their longevity. In most mineral industries, there are a few competitors that dominate the delivery of a mineral resource. As a result, technological development, along with other factors, are critical to ensure that these companies’ business remains viable and protected.

This is according to post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Geology, Dr Martin Clark.

Drone technology: better, faster, safer

He says technological development in mining generally translates to how a company can extract a resource from the ground better, faster, and safer. 

Dr Clark believes the rapid development of drone technology represents a shift in the toolbox that mining companies can employ.

“Drones can collect a great deal of data randomly over vast or small areas within hours, historically accomplished by mapping campaigns which can last months to years. Drones can also collect data in areas which are difficult and dangerous for humans to get to. These include cliff faces or rock walls that are difficult and dangerous to get close to, as well as stretches of land where dense vegetation, inaccessible terrain, and even atmospheric dangers become factors which reduce or modify the scope of exploration work,” he said. 

Expanding application of drones

Dr Clark’s work specifically focuses on expanding the applications for which drones are used. “I assess what and how good the imaging capabilities of drones are, use the imagery to generate 3-D models to drive scientific observation, and yield results which can help companies to extract resources. This initiative is called MAGIC (Multi-purpose Aerial Geological Image Classification),” he said. 



“MAGIC aims to collect geological and structural information that is critical for making informed decisions in exploration and mineral extraction processes,” he added.

Dr Clark is not only the founder of MAGIC; he also drives multiple aspects of the initiative including education, research, and business development. 

In 2013, when he was busy with his doctorate, there was already a spark of interest in using drones to address geological questions. At that time, Dr Clark was working with remotely sensed high-resolution LiDAR imagery to better understand geological structures at the Sudbury Mining Camp in Canada. The interest became a reality in 2018, when he applied this initiative during his post-doctoral fellowship at the UFS.

Now and the future

“At present, there are no direct mining projects underway, but projects are expected to begin in 2020. Drone operation and image-analysis techniques are currently being refined for industry,” he said. 

Besides his work with drones, Dr Clark also work in the fields of structural geology, remote sensing, and geospatial data analysis.  

News Archive

A magnificent Winter Graduation Ceremony
2013-06-27

 

28 June 2013
Photo: Johan Roux

   Winter Graduation video (YouTube)

The way to immortalise a person, is to live by his example. PhD and master's graduates were imbued by the following message from Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), during the UFS Winter Graduation Ceremony: to follow Nelson Mandela's majestic example is to guarantee that his life was not in vain.

Dr Mokhele honoured the graduates for their achievements "that clearly did not come easy", referring to the sacrifices on their part and the role of their support structures.

He also praised members of the UFS' leadership team who contributed academically to the excellent standards. Prof Teuns Verschoor, former Vice-Rector: Institutional Affairs, and Prof Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic, were especially mentioned for their role as respectively co-promoter and promoter of two PhD graduates.

A total of 63 doctorates and 414 master's degrees were awarded to graduates from South Africa, Nigeria, Lesotho, Uganda and Zimbabwe on Thursday 27 June 2013.

On the previous day, the School of Open Learning kicked off the graduation event by conferring 320 qualifications.

The graduates, most of them full-time educators, received qualifications ranging from certificates to diplomas.

"I hope that you will plough back what you have learned and that this qualification will make you a better educator, an inspired one, one that will relentlessly put your efforts into increasing a better future for our children," Prof Hay said, highlighting challenges in South Africa's education system.

"Become enthused, obsessed and passionate to change the education system. Be the change agent in your schools to contribute in giving the quality education our children so desperately need," she said.

An exceptional moment at this year's graduation ceremony was when the two daughters of an academic, Prof Dave Lubbe of the Centre for Accounting, obtained their master's degrees. "It is indeed a highlight in my career that my daughters received their master's degrees cum laude at the same graduation ceremony, under my supervision!"

Prof Lubbe's two daughters, Nandi Lubbe and Leandi Steenkamp, both received their MCom with distinctions in Accounting. They completed their degrees under the supervision of Prof Lubbe and Nandi also won the Dean's medal as the best M student in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept