May Hermanus to lead CSIR mining environment research

Mining sustainability academic Prof May Hermanus will lead the CSIR mining environment research unit as executive director from June 2013.

Hermanus is the director and adjunct professor at the Wits University Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry, where she is developing public education in occupational health and safety, environmental impacts and sustainable development. She is a former DMR mining chief inspector.

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) CEO Dr Sibusiso Sibisi said Prof Hermanus “brings with her vast knowledge and expertise from the private and public sectors, to add value to our business and contribute to our mandate of using directed and multidisciplinary research and technological innovation to better people’s lives.”

Hermanus has a degree in geology and an MSc in physical metallurgy. For two decades, she has advanced health and safety in mining, and integrated mining OHS with environmental protection and sustainable development across Africa.

She was an NGO volunteer, then coordinator of the mining health and safety unit in the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in South Africa, and involved in various forums of the United Nations (UN) International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Prof Hermanus was chairperson of the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC) and chairperson of the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA). She is a former deputy director-general of the Department of Minerals and Energy for mine health and safety.

Hermanus is a member of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and serves on the boards of Aveng group, the Railway Safety Regulator, Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) minerals and mining development board. She also chairs Anglo Gold employee share option scheme, Bokamoso Trust.

Hermanus said she was delighted to join the CSIR Natural Resources and Envrionmental Research unit, to participate in technological and scientific innovation.

“I have had the privilege of working in interdisciplinary environments, and look forward to being part of a team producing multi-dimensional solutions and insights into the complex challenges facing society.

“This move to the CSIR involves, for me, a sense of continuity in interface with colleagues in various industries and tertiary institutions, in grappling with sustainable development issues.”

The CSIR is a semi-state research, development, technology and innovation institution with a history of 65 years. The appointment raises the CSIR mining environment research capacity and profile. Visit or call 012 841 2000.

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