The BIUST Association of Mining Engineering Students is a student association aimed at promoting professional growth among the mining engineering students in BIUST. BAMES held their first Mining Practical Workshop on the 4th May 2018 with the objective of promoting student’s academic excellence, innovation and creativity.
The mining students were divided into 5 inter- level groups and tasked to build mining models on the underground operations thus being the open pit operation, Materials handling systems in a mine, drilling and blasting design. The groups continued their contest through presentations and reports, as a way of improving speaking and writing skills amongst participants. The models were judged looking at creativity, usefulness, innovation, completeness, durability and quality of a model.
An award ceremony and incoming committee inauguration was held to award prizes to the participants and to introduce the incoming committee. When delivering his welcome remarks the BAMES outgoing president Mr Desmond Munyadzwe gave a background of the BAMES. Munyadzwe highlighted that the struggles they faced in the mining engineering program made them form an association that will expose them to their field of study.
BAMES was established under the Botswana International University of Science and Technology Student Representative Council (BIUST SRC), with the motivation to expose member’s at all academic levels (100, 200…, 500) to the environment of mining industry and related fields. We emphasize much on career development, competence in graduates, academic excellence, innovation and creativity, which is expressed through our activities like the current MPW he said”. Munyadzwe noted that the Mining Practical Workshop is planned to take place annually.
When giving his address the Vice Chancellor Prof Otlogetswe Totolo said that “BIUST was created to be one of the engines that will drive Botswana’s socio-economic transformation from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based one. It does this through curricula that are relevant and appropriate, learning that is problem-based, and forging strong linkages with business, industry, professionals and the public sector to produce work-ready graduates and to promote dialogue, information sharing, and skills and technology transfer”.
“BIUST is expected to produce graduates who are able to generate products and services that are relevant to our people, can substitute the importation of foreign-made products and will improve the lifestyles of our peoples. Students-led organisations such are BAMES are crucial to the mission and vision of vision. Like other students-led organisations, BAMES assist the University in ensuring that the learning environment is relevant, appropriate and sufficiently effective for a knowledge-based economy. They also assist the University in nurturing, promoting and ensuring industry and professional linkages between our students, scholars, administrators and the workplace, and STEM industries”. he said
Prof Totolo encouraged the students to be different and not think like any other student. “The education you get from BIUST should be solution based. BIUST is a university that drives change. Theory gives you the foundation but practical’s gives you reality of where you want to be he said”.
In his conclusion Totolo said I want to reassure our students’ organisations such as BAMES for continuing to assist the University in attaining its mission and vision, for their collaborative effort with the University’s administrators and academics, and for continuing to build industry and professional linkages between themselves and STEM industries. BAMES, I want to thank you for inviting me to this event, and also to thank you for your noble gesture of being an essential part of the learning and research efforts at BIUST.
Giving his closing remarks Mr Mathealoso the incoming BAMES president expressed his gratitude to being given an opportunity to lead and take the BAMES to another level. He thanked his colleagues for believing in him, and also appreciated his predecessor for the good job that he has done during his term in the office. Mathealoso thanked the institution and the department of engineering for allowing them to use the resources.
The anticipated moment of awarding prices highlighted the night as the outgoing president announced the verdict. The winning team got an award of P3, 150.00 in prize money, second prize at P2, 443.00; third prize at P1, 445.15; and appreciation prizes for other participants at P1, 085.00 per group.