Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah Appointed Vice Chancellor of UMaT

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Prof R. K. Amankwah
Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah

The Council of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, at its 75th (Special) Meeting held on Friday, 14th August, 2020 and upon the acceptance of the report of the Search Committee for the Appointment of Vice Chancellor for the University, appointed Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah, Professor of Minerals Engineering as the Vice Chancellor of the University for a four-year term with effect from Friday 16th October, 2020 to 31st July, 2024. Until his appointment, Professor Amankwah was the Dean of the Faculty of Integrated Management Science. He has thus become the third substantive Vice Chancellor to be appointed by this University.

Prof Amankwah was educated at Technology Secondary School, now KNUST Senior High School, Opoku Ware Secondary School, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, Technical University of Clausthal, Germany and Queen’s University, Canada, where he obtained a PhD in 2005. He was born in Kumasi on September 22nd, 1966, to the late J. S. Amankwah, then a Technician at KNUST and Akua Amponsah, a petty trader.

Prof Amankwah is a distinguished and internationally acclaimed scholar and business oriented academic who has provided dedicated services for many years at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa. He rose to the rank of Professor of Minerals Engineering in October 2011.

He was the Lead Country Researcher for the United Nation’s Women in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining Africa Project. He was the Principal Investigator on the National Science Foundation (USA) project on “Climatic extremes, mining, and Mycobacterium ulcerans: a coupled systems perspective”, the British Council Project on “Artisanal mining, smallholder farming and economic development: developing a strategy for poverty alleviation in rural Ghana”,  the United Nations Development Organisation project on “Building the capacity of artisanal and small-scale miners in eliminating mercury and innovative mercury-free processes” and the Vivo Ghana project on “Strength augmentation of grinding discs used in size reduction of gold ores in small-scale operations”. He has also worked as an Investigator on several international and local projects, a consultant on the European Union’s Ghana Mercury Abatement Project and the World Bank Project on “Poverty and social impact analysis of the artisanal and small-scale mining sector in Ghana” spearheaded by the Oxford Policy Management Group. He is a principal metallurgical consultant to the minerals industry and has worked with every mine in Ghana and many others in West Africa.

Prof Amankwah has a US Patent on microbial-mediated mineral recovery, with three papers, one adjudged key article in the Journal of Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy, IMM, Transactions C, and two others as part of the Top 25 Hottest Articles in the Minerals Engineering Journal and Resources Policy Journal. He has authored 120 academic publications in journals, conference proceedings, books and more than 100 technical reports. He serves on the Editorial Board of two international journals and a reviewer for 17 journals. He is a Visiting Professor to the African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, Nigeria, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya, the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (2ie), Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Mining Engineering Department of Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. By working with several teams, he has helped to raise about $10m from several research councils for academic work in some institutions in the West African sub-region.

As a leader and manager, he has experiences as Dean of a Faculty, Dean of Students, Professorial Member on the UMaT Council, Vice Dean of a Faculty, Head of Department, Examinations Officer and Senior Hall Tutor. He has also served as Chairman or Member of several statutory and adhoc committees.

His research interests include gold beneficiation, biohydrometallurgy, environmental biotechnology, waste engineering, microwave processing of minerals, water quality monitoring, geometallurgy, medical geology, sustainable development and small-scale mining. He is a Fellow of the West Africa Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (WAIMM), and a member of the International Association of Engineers (IAE), Ghana Institution of Geoscientists (GhIG), International Medical Geology Association (IMGA), Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), USA.

Prof Amankwah is a highly gifted communicator, mentor of Barrack Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative, and teacher who has; worked as trainer of lecturers on ‘Effective Lecture Delivery’, motivated students and the general public and been honoured as a ‘Lecturer Icon’ by the Students Representative Council of UMaT.

He is married to Irene and has three children; Otiwaa, Afriyie and Agyeman. His favourite snack is roasted corn and enjoys acting, play-writing and poetry. He is a member of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), where he is a Sunday School Teacher.

Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Senior Assistant Registrar and Head, URO

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