The Department of Geology at the University of Pretoria will celebrate its centennial in early 2008. During the almost 100 years of its existence, after a difficult beginning under short commons (Professor D.F. du Toit Malherbe was responsible, simultaneously, for three departments), it has been guided by six of South Africa’s leading geoscientists, all of whom made seminal contributions to geological education and research in the country: Louis C. de Villiers (1920 to 1947), Ben Lombaard (1947 to 1952), Johannes Willemse (1952 to 1967), Dirk Visser (1968 to 1977), Gerhard von Gruenewaldt (1978 to 1991) and Sybrand de Waal (1992 to 2005). Traditionally, the Department has focused on fundamental research related to layered mafic intrusives, particularly the Bushveld Complex, and applied research within the fields of exploration geophysics and engineering and hydrogeology. Undergraduate teaching has always emphasized the basic geological disciplines, with a strong emphasis on mineralogy and petrology, underpinned in the last half century by excellent analytical facilities.

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