Min­ing ex­pert re­turns to Macc to fire up next ge­ol­ogy gen­er­a­tion

Macclesfield Express - - SCHOOLS NEWS -

A FOR­MER King’s stu­dent has re­turned to the school to share his ex­pe­ri­ences as a min­ing ex­pert.

Dr Ian Bratt grew up Tytherington and went to King’s from 1965 to 1972, be­fore go­ing up to Cam­bridge to study Nat­u­ral Sci­ences.

He stud­ied a doc­tor­ate in Chem­istry be­fore em­i­grat­ing to South Africa to be­come a se­nior man­ager for Im­pala Plat­inum.

Out­side of work he founded the South African Ori­en­teer­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, rep­re­sented the coun­try in 1983 and later man­aged the na­tional team.

Dr Bratt told of his pas­sion for run­ning as he has com­pleted 67 stan­dard marathons and 38 ul­tra­ma­rathons.

He said: “The most im­por­tant les­son I have learned is that you must work hard and per­se­vere. This was def­i­nitely drilled into me at King’s but as you go through your ca­reer you learn more and more skills and an im­por­tant les­son is never let any­one tell you that you can’t do some­thing.

“I have man­aged hun­dreds of work­ers and one thing you have to learn is how to make de­ci­sions and not be afraid to back your judge­ment.”

Dr Bratt re­turned to the school to ed­u­cate stu­dents on ge­ol­ogy and frack­ing. He told stu­dents: “There is still a great de­mand for min­er­als and nat­u­ral re­sources and though we have been look­ing for many, many years there is still a great deal we don’t know about. How­ever, we are run­ning out of coal, oil and gas and I am afraid green en­ergy just will not sup­ply global de­mand now or in the near future so we have to ex­ploit all re­sources that are avail­able to us. How­ever it can be done re­spon­si­bly.”

Stu­dent Jonathan Pro­vis said: “I love ge­ol­ogy be­cause it is a fab­u­lous in­ter­con­nected puz­zle where ev­ery­thing re­lates to ev­ery­thing else and you ap­pre­ci­ate the bal­ance of Mother Earth.”

Dr John Fitzger­ald, head of ge­ol­ogy, said: “We tell our ge­ol­o­gists that if you can’t grow it, you have to dig it out of the earth and our A-level course is an al­len­com­pass­ing study of how planet earth func­tions.

“For the first time, it would ap­pear that the fos­sil record we leave be­hind, to be dis­cov­ered by who knows what species, will show how hu­man kind left a last­ing im­pact on planet earth, ir­re­triev­ably chang­ing the na­ture of the planet.”

Mike Carter

Dr Ian Bratt (left) is pic­tured with Dr John Fitzger­ald and King’s ge­ol­o­gists Robert Massey, Eleanor Tu­nick and Jonathan Pro­vis

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