Prof. Susan Webb

Professor of Geophysics

The School of Geosciences at the University of the Witwatersrand



Prof. Susan Webb is an associate professor of geophysics in the School of Geosciences at the University of the Witwatersrand and has a passion for creating opportunities. Her curiosity driven research examines fundamental global geophysical problems to develop applied solutions for scientific challenges.  She forged her unique perspective by gaining geophysics degrees in three different countries (USA, Canada, and South Africa) and from studying the Earth from its core to near-surface resources with collaborative, international groups and students. Her well-known, innovative research on the Bushveld Complex demonstrates broad connectivity between the Bushveld limbs and has facilitated projects for numerous graduate students. She is currently a PI on the ICDP Bushveld Complex Drilling Project (BVDP). She has recently been appointed as the Acting co-director of the DSI-NRF Center of Excellence for Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis (CIMERA).

Her international board experience mirrors her passions; she was a founding committee member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Geoscientists without Borders (GWB) that set up the this highly successful international humanitarian program. She has also served on the executive committee of the SEG as second vice president. Election to the board of directors of the American Geophysical Union as the International Secretary saw her serving for 6 years facilitating an international perspective across all aspects of AGU business. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the SEG Foundation. She invests her time locally, serving on the governing committee of the South African Geophysical Association (SAGA).

She developed the AfricaArray Geophysics field school out of a need for linkages within Africa, the USA and a dire need for practical hands on training. This program attracts support from international sponsors since formal establishment in 2005. The evolving field school is developing new engagements with industry and encouraging entrepreneurial opportunities. This field school has spawned similar opportunities in Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana and Egypt and enabled many of the participants to progress to better employment opportunities. Long-term links with the participants from the US and within Africa have ensured a widespread international network for South African students to rely on.

Her passion for education is internationally recognized, as the inaugural awardee of the SEG’s “Outstanding Educator” award, she was also selected as the SEG’s Honorary lecturer for Africa and the Middle East, lecturing throughout the region for 6 months and forging new connections with Middle East and African colleagues. She is featured in the 2020 book “Mentoring and Sponsoring: Keys to Success” by Maria Capello and Eve Sprunt. She continues to develop new opportunities for students in conjunction with the African component of the Next Generation Explorers Award!