Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong
Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong is the first female Professor of Minerals Engineering in Ghana, and is currently the Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, she holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Energy and Mineral Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, USA, a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Resources Management and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Metallurgical Engineering, both from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. She is also a product of the Yaa Asantewaa Girls Secondary School, Kumasi, and Saint Mary’s Secondary School, Accra.
Professor Ofori-Sarpong has over 20 years of experience as a lecturer and researcher in minerals-related courses. She is actively involved in research and consultancy in the areas of precious minerals beneficiation, aqueous processing, mine waste treatment, acid mine drainage issues, and myco-hydrometallurgy, precious metal beneficiation, microwaves in extractive metallurgical analysis, water quality analysis, and microbial mineral interactions, among others. she has about 90 technical publications to her credit and her research has culminated in over 90 journal and conference publications, with 681 citations and an H-index of 12 from Google Scholar, and many technical reports.
Her pioneering work in mycohydrometallurgy has made a great contribution to the use of fungi in a ‘one-pot’ process to biotransform sulphides and carbonaceous matter simultaneously to enhance gold extraction from recalcitrant gold ores. She has about twenty publications in this research area, and the information disseminated has opened several research doors, evidenced by new publications that refer to her original work. Her research continues to impact the scientific community by finding ways to smoothen out the engineering problems, which required moving the process from bench-scale level to commercialisation.
Within her two decades in academia, Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong has taught over twenty (20) courses, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels and has supervised about a hundred and one (101) theses including; twelve (12) PhDs, eleven (11) MSc and seventy-eight (78) BSc. She has also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the African University of Science and Technology, Part-Time Senior Lecturer in the Materials Engineering Department of KNUST, and a reviewer for several scientific journals including Hydrometallurgy Journal, Minerals Engineering International, and Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. She is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy.
Professor Ofori-Sarpong has made great strides in her field and one key achievement for her as an academic is when she was nominated as one of the Five Women Recipients of the 2017 OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for Early Career Women Scientist in the Developing World for outstanding research in Engineering, Innovation and Technology for serving as an inspiring role model to future generations of women science leaders which she emerged winner from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Other awards received by Professor Ofori-Sarpong include the MEfDA Award to participate in the Maiden M4DLink Women in Resources Mentoring Programme, DAAD and HRK Fellowship to Participate in DIES Training on ‘Internal Quality Assurance in Anglophone West Africa’. Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong was also part of a Research Teams that won the Shell Ghana Award for a project on ‘Strength Augmentation of Grinding Discs Used in Small-Scale Gold Mining Operation’, the International Growth Centre Award for a project on ‘The Informalisation of Ghana’s Small-scale Gold Mining Economy: Drivers and Policy Implications’, Development Partners in Higher Education (DelPHE), UK, Award for research on ‘Artisanal Mining, Small-Holder Farming and Economic Development, and the National Science Foundation, USA, Award for ‘Research and Education on Buruli Ulcer’. In 2012, Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong received the Australia-Africa Partnership Facility (AAPF) Award to participate in the ‘African Women in Mining and Development Study Tour in South Africa and Australia.
Professor Ofori-Sarpong is the Founder and President of Ladies in Mining and Allied Professions in Ghana (LiMAP-Gh), a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS), and West African Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (WAIMM). She is also a member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Engineers (SME), International Association of Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and Women in Mining, Ghana. Professor Ofori-Sarpong also serves as a member of several national boards including the Governing Boards of the Minerals Income Investment Fund, Ghana Chamber of Mines Tertiary Education Fund, Governing Council of the University of Mines and Technology, Governing Board of Academic City College and equally served on numerous national and international committees including the Ministerial Committee of Enquiry on Health and Safety in the Mining Industry, the Publication Committee of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Committee of Independent Reviewers for International PhD Scholarship.
Professor Ofori-Sarpong is currently the Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, where she has spearheaded several transformations including double admission, postgraduate diploma, professional doctorate, and the introduction of modules on Individual Studies and University Teaching Experience. Since her appointment in the University, Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong has served in several other capacities including, the Acting Pro Vice Chancellor, Dean of the Faculty of Mineral Resources Technology, Vice Dean of the Planning and Quality Assurance Unit, Head of the Petroleum Engineering Department, Head of the Environmental and Safety Engineering Department, University Examinations Coordinator, Faculty Examinations Officer and Departmental Examinations Officer.
During her two-year tenure as Dean of the erstwhile Faculty of Mineral Resources Technology, she pushed for the faculty to start one-year certificate programmes in all the departments. She also received appreciation from UMaT Management for her effective and efficient leadership of the Petroleum Engineering Department. She was also received an award for Best Female Lecturer from the Student Representative Council for the year 2014.
Professor Ofori Sarpong has served as an organiser, keynote speaker, resource person and moderator for several conferences, workshops and seminars both locally and internationally. She has also served as Chairperson/Member of several committees such as the UMaT Statutes Review, Disciplinary, Curriculum Review, International Conferences, and Independent PhD Scholarship Review.