University of Guyana receives gift of microscopes from University of Toronto

– 140 students in petroleum, mining, geology and engineering programmes to benefit

DPI, Guyana, Friday, March 22, 2019

Over 140 students of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology (FET) of the University of Guyana (UG), who are involved in the petroleum, mining, geology and engineering programmes, are slated to benefit from new microscopes donated by the University of Toronto.

The 23 Leitz Polarizing Microscopes valued $31M (USD$150,000) were gifted to FET at the University’s Turkeyen Campus where Vice Chancellor and 10th Principal of UG, Professor Ivelaw Griffith cited the importance of partnerships for the development of the university.

“We have the wonderful opportunity at our university of strengthening what we do and how we do it, but we also know that that opportunity presents occasions for partnerships, partnerships that are tangible demonstrations of the interest in the university, in the interest of our nation.”

Noting the department’s gratitude for the equipment, Head of the Department of Geology, Dr. Andrew Chater stated that it will be used for the junior students attached to the programmes. “I think this is the way to go because we do need microscopes that we can use… this is good for the petroleum engineers, and it’s good for mining engineers. So, it will have a long term use, it is a basic microscope that we can use in junior years.”

It was disclosed that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), a government agency that employs a large number of graduates from the Departments of Geological Engineering and Petroleum, recently began using improved quality microscopes. Niossi Alsopp, a student of the FET’s Geological Engineering Programme, noted that this would mean that students graduating from the university must be better equipped and adequately trained in the use of the microscopes to be able to function well in the professional environment. In this regard, she further noted that this would now be possible through the gift by the University of Toronto.

The handing over ceremony was held at the Faculty of Engineering and Technology’s New Lecture Room. It saw the attendance of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Paloma Mohamed and Dean of the Faculty of Technology Elena Trim along with Professor Daniel Schulze from the University of Toronto.

The GGMC, as a long-standing partner of The University of Guyana’s Faculty of Technology, had made available a grant valued upwards to $100M for the 2017-2018 academic year. The grant was meant to provide the Faculty of Technology with much-needed equipment for its geology laboratories and with envelopes earmarked for curriculum development, training, outreach and field research. A portion of the grant was used to cover transportation and other costs associated with securing the microscopes.

Nateshia Isaacs.

Images: Ameer Sattaur.