Mining expert returns to Macc to fire up next geology generation
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.”
Dr Ian Bratt (left) is pictured with Dr John Fitzgerald and King’s geologists Robert Massey, Eleanor Tunick and Jonathan Provis