David Wilson, who began his forty-year career at UCT cleaning Jameson Hall and worked his way up to Senior Technical Officer in the Department of Geological Sciences, was hailed for his outstanding contribution to the university last month with a Vice-Chancellor's Bronze Medal.
Wilson, who has worked in the department for more than forty years and served as Senior Technical Officer for two decades, did not have the opportunities his colleagues had to forge an academic career, but demonstrated the same passion, respect for detail, accuracy and energy that was shared by the best researchers, said Dr Max Price, Vice-Chancellor.
Beginning as a workshop assistant in Geological Sciences, Wilson's interest led him deeper into the world of analysing rock specimens. Wilson even helped prepare samples of rock that were brought back from the moon by the Apollo 11 mission.
Price described Wilson as a world-class producer of thin-sections: the meticulously sliced samples that reveal the crystal structure of rocks when viewed through X-Ray and electron microscopy – equating the process to 'turning a piece of mountain into a microscope slide'.
Since the 1980s, VC Medals have been awarded at the Vice-Chancellor's discretion to individuals who have made an important contribution to the university.
Story by staff reporter. Image by Je'nine May.
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