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Max Fernandez-Alonso

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Max Fernandez-Alonso
Department: Earth Sciences
Division: Geodynamics and mineral resources
Job Title: Geologist
Specialisms: Geology of the Kibaran belt (East DRC, Rwanda, Burundi)
Email: max.fernandez@africamuseum.be
Phone: 32 2 769 5431
Education

1969-1974: Highschool, Latin - Mathematical curriculum
1975 - 1980: Gent University; Earth Sciences studies (Licenciaat in de Aard-en Delfstofkunde)
1981 - 1985: Gent University and Royal Museum for Central Africa: PhD research work.

Career

Since April 1992: Tenure in the Department of Geology and Mineralogy of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA), Tervuren, Belgium.
January 2017: Senior Scientist (SW3) Unit Geodynamics and Mineral Resources
January 2013 – December 2016:
Project Manager and group leader of RMCA's consultancy activities for
the Worldbank PROMINES programme , DRC.
May 2008 – December 2013:
Head of Unit (Afdelingshoofd) Geodynamics and Mineral Resources
March 1998: Principal Scientist (Werkleider)
April 1994: Junior Scientist (Eerstaanwezend Assistent)
2009 – 1996:
Professor, Faculty of Sciences, Geology and Soil Sciences research goup; Gent State University
March 1992–July 1989:
Contract Research Assistant at the Department of Geology and Mineralogy of the RMCA
Working in a research project from the Department of Geology entiteled "Computer assisted multi-data processing for geological mapping", and managing the informatical infrastructure of the Department.

Investigations on the geological application possibilities of geoscience information storing and processing techniques in image processing systems and GIS environments.
June 1989 - March 1987
Contract Geologist for the Department of Geology and Mineralogy of the RMCA. Project management, work coordination and field work for a joint RMCA/Belgian Cooperation Agency project for the geological mapping of Rwanda.

Managing and developing the geomatics infrastructure of the Department of Geology.
January 1987 - January 1986
Contract Research Assistant at the Department of Hydrology, VUB, Brussels Free University.
December 1985 - January 1981
Ph.D. research work Gent State University. Geological fieldwork in Burundi
Military service (1983-1984)
December 1980 - July 1980
Contract field geologist for the Department of Geology and Mineralogy of the RMCA. Geological fieldwork & mapping in SW Rwanda.

Dissertations

MSc. in Geology (Licenciaat in de Wetenschappen, groep Aard- en Delfstofkunde), Gent State University, magna cum laude, 1980
Ph. D. in Geology, (Doctor in de Wetenschappen, groep Aard- en Delfstofkunde), Gent State University, magna cum laude, 1986

Research

Research, services and consultancy work on the regional geology (geodynamic evolution) and the mineral resources potential of Precambrian terranes of central African, and on the genetic link between both, with emphasis on Rwanda, Burundi and the DR.Congo.

Professional expertise:
 geological fieldwork in tropical (central African) areas
 geological mapping in Precambrian crystalline, metamorphic and metsedimentary terrains and in Phanorozoic volcanic domains
 use of remote-senting techniques for geological mapping and mineral prospection
 use of geomatics (GIS, DBMS) for geological data management and processing

Research topics:
The Meso- and Neoproterozoic(Central African) orogenic belts in and around the Congo craton and their implications on/for Rodinia and Gondwana supercontinent reconstructions
Active, in collaboration with belgian and/or international colleagues in the following long-term resreach topics:
 the Mesoproterozoic Karagwe-Ankole (KAR) and Kibara (KIB) belts and their place in the Rodinia supercontinent amalgamation.
 the Neoproterozoic West-Congo belt (Gabon-Rep. Congo, DR. Congo, Angola), its links with the Araçuai Belt (Brazil) and their place in the Gondwana amalgamation
 the metallogenic history of the KAR and KIB belt
 the geological evolution of the "proto-Congo" craton until 1000Ma.
 a new geological synthesis of the DR. Congo (supergroup stratigraphy and geodynamic history)

International scientific Services and Consultancy:
My acquired academic knowledge (through research and fieldwork) is put into practice in the scope of my services and consultancy activities. These cover a wide spectrum of topics, from transfer of knowledge towards the African geoscientific community, the implementation of collaborative research and institutional programmes, developing systems and programmes for transfer of information and data using geoinformatics, up to reporting and consulting work for the professional private mining sector, interested in the mineral potential of the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi.
Total of 21 listed international consultancy and/or coordination activities ; see (http://www.africamuseum.be/museum/home/contact/staff/FERNANDEZ-ALONSO_Max/view)

(Field)work in Africa

Since my recruitment as contract geologist by MRAC in 1987, I have carried out +/- 150 work missions abroad. Most of these were missions in Africa of intermediate length (2 weeks – 1 month); although at the start of my career (1978-1989) and more recently (2006 – now) I stay(ed) for several consecutive months in Rwanda and the DRC. The short missions (<2 weeks) were mostly in the scope of meetings, workshops, seminars and colloquia on topics covering a wide spectrum of the African Geology and Mineral resources.

Most of the earlier missions were in the scope of mapping and geological research activities. Later missions were focussed on (inter)national projects for capacity building, institutional and legal reorganisation of African (mining) agencies and involved both fieldwork as transfer of knowledge (seminars, training), implementation of new technologies (GIS? Remote sensing, geomatics). The last years the emphasis shifted on major project development , mamagement and coordination.

Most of this work was carried out in Central Africa (Burundi, D.R. Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon)and to a lesser extent in southern Africa (Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, Zuid Africa). Occasionally I worked also in some other African countries (Ethiopia, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Sudan).