Prof. Lopo Vasconcelos is a fellow of GSAf
|Lopo António Ferreira Trigoso de Sousa e Vasconcelos, shortly known as Lopo Vasconcelos, was born in Lourenço Marques, colonial name of present Maputo, Mozambique, on the 8th March, 1953.
He completed all his studies in Mozambique, having graduated in Geology in December 1975 at the then University of Lourenço Marques, currently Eduardo Mondlane University, at the age of 22, being the first Mozambican geologist graduated after National Independence (25th June 1975).
Due to the massive exodus of Portuguese qualified personnel, including teaching and technical staff of the University, he was called to occupy the position of Dean of the then Faculty of Geology in May 1975, at the age of 23, until August 1980, when he was “released” to start thinking about his academic development. From 1981-1983, he took a professional internship at the State Secretariat of Coal and Hydrocarbons, participating with the Brazilian company CPRM-RS in the fieldwork for prospecting of the Coal Basin of Mucanha-Vúzi, Tete Province, on the northern bank of Cahora Bassa Lake. This field work was also used to start collecting samples and data for his PhD on a sandwich regime with the then Bergakademie Freiberg of the former German Democratic Republic, which he visited twice for 12 months in 1983-1984 and 1985-1986. Due to the fact that in between the region became war zone, he could no longer make field work so he had to cancel his PhD program.
Later, from 1990-1995, we was at the Porto University, Portugal, where he completed his PhD with the thesis entitled Contribution to the knowledge of coals from the Moatize Coal Basin, Tete Province, Republic of Mozambique.
After his return from Portugal, he occupied the position of Head of Geology Department from 1996 to 2000 and, in that position, was coordinator of the Capacity Building Project between Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and the Department of Geology of Eduardo Mondlane University, which led to the training of several colleagues to MSc and PhD levels, as well as professional training of some technical staff With this project some labs were also equiped.
His teaching activities started when he was still a university student. He taught French classes at night courses for workers, and Geology to private school night shift students. At the university, he was also a monitor of the subjects of General Geology for the Degree in Biology, and Applied Geology for the Degree in Civil Engineering. Also participated in the campaign for adult literacy organized by the Academic Association of Mozambique (university student association).
In the first years after independence, and due to the abovementioned exodus of Portuguese staff, he was responsible for a series of disciplines for the courses of Geology and Mining and Civil Engineerings. Throughout his teaching career, he also taught Geology to the courses of Geography, Physics and Agronomy of his University, and for Geography of the then Higher Pedagogical Institute, not to mention the various classes of the propaedeutic course created in 1977 for workers, and in 1978 for students, when the Government closed the last two classes of the secondary education and put them under the responsibility of Eduardo Mondlane University.
In the scope of his professional activities he participated in the process of elaboration and revision of the syllabus of the degree in Geology, produced didactic texts for the students and the Guide of the Student of the Department of Geology. He also supervised several undergraduate theses, and co-supervised Master’s Dissertations, and PhD Theses inside and outside EMU. At the request of the then Secretary of State for Technical and Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education, he also prepared the syllabuses for the technical courses of the Technical Institute of Geology and Mining to be then created in the Province of Tete.
In the area of research, Prof. Dr. Lopo Vasconcelos has developed several research projects, especially in his area of his expertise, the Coal Geology area, and has regularly published the results of his research in specialized scientific journals, as well as in national and international conferences.
2018.03.31 Field work at Moatize coal basin. Murrongódzi River. Vúzi (Tillitic) Formation (bottom) and Moatize (Coal) Formation, Karoo Supergroup. Photo by Mussa Achimo, 2018.
He presented more than 50 papers at national and international scientific events, published more than 30 scientific papers, and gave talks in conferences and some foreign universities. He has been several times invited for reviewer of scientific papers, Editor and / or Co-Editor of Books of Abstracts and Summaries of Scientific Events, is a co-author of two book chapters.
He was a member of Organizing and Scientific Committees of National and International Congresses and Conferences such as the Workshop on Tertiary Sector Geoscience Education in Southern Africa (2000), 54th Annual Meeting of the International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology (2002), the 7th Geochemical Congress of the Portuguese Speaking Countries (2003), the 21st Colloquium on African Geology-CAG21 (2006), the MMEC 2008 – Mozambique Mining & Energy Conference (2008), the 1st National Congress of Geology (2012), and the 2nd National Congress of Geology & 12th Geochemical Congress of the Portuguese Speaking Countries (2014).
He was invited to participate in various working committees of the Eduardo Mondlane University (with special relevance to its Commission for the Strategic Plan) and other State agencies, having integrated teams to design the respective Strategic Plan proposals, such as the Ministry of Science and Technology and Higher Education (Strategic Plan for Higher Education), and the Mozambican Parliament. He was also member of the University Council (1998-2002).
He is co-founder and 1st chair of the AGMM (Geological Mining Association of Mozambique – 2003-2010), and is member of several scientific and professional organizations, as GSAf (Geological Society of Africa, having been councilor – 1999-2003, vice-president – 2004-2013, and Newsletter editor – 2011-2018), ICCP (International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology, having been vice-president – 2003-2011), IAGETH (International Association for Geoethics, having been vice-president – 2013-2018), GSSA (Geological Society of South Africa), TSOP (The Society of Organic Petrology), APG (Portuguese Association of Geologists) and GIRAF (Geoscience information in Africa).
In November of 2015, he presented the public exams for the promotion to Full Professor in Geology by Eduardo Mondlane University. He presented a research project entitled “Characterization and possible use of coal ash used in brick kilns in the Moatize District, Province of Tete“, and given a lecture on “Peats – a forgotten resource in Mozambique“.
2015.11.05. Public examinations for Full Professor
Along the more than 40 years of his career, he received some praises and acknowledgments for his work, namely:
- During CoGeo01, in 2012, he was honored by the AGMM at the opening session of the event, “for contributing to the teaching of Geology in Mozambique”. Prize received from the hands of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Mozambique;
- At the closing session of the 3rd YES Congress (Young Earth Scientists) in August 2014, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, was publicly honored by the YES organization as a Mentor and Network Advisor YES for unconditional support for YES initiative in Africa. Prize received from the Vice President of Tanzania.
- Awarded the 1st Degree Award of Excellence in Teaching, during the Academic Gala of the Eduardo Mondlane University, on September 19, 2014.
- During CAG27 in Aveiro, Portugal, July 2018, he received a recognition plaque for the work he had developed for GSAf and was awarded the GSAf Fellowship.
During CAG27 in Aveiro, Portugal, July 2018 – recognition plaque from GSAf. From left: Prof. Gbenga Okunlola (President of GSAf), Prof. Lopo Vasconcelos, Prof. Aberra Mogessie (Past president)