Excellent prospects for mining engineers in the global competition
In conversation with Professor Carsten Drebenstedt from the Institute of Mining and Engineering at the Technische Universität (TU) Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany).
Of the 4,700 students at the
Drebenstedt: Mining is still a very useful subject to study. There are many reasons for this: for one,
Thanks to these diverse mining activities, a significant mining machinery industry has grown up in
Also, around the world mining is a growing market which presents graduates with interesting opportunities. And now, more and more with German firms. And those who look around for other fields after obtaining their mining qualifications are still well equipped for work in other sectors, too.
How do you adapt your courses to meet these diverse demands?
Drebenstedt: We keep a close eye on the jobs market into which our graduates will go, and are in contact with the future employers, to ensure the education we give the students is adjusted correctly to the day-to-day world of work which they will later encounter. International competence is an important aspect. We have partner universities abroad, prepare joint course content and travel to guest lectures. Also many of our students like to take double degrees.
Are the mining engineers educated at your institute also ambassadors for German mining technology? Is it easier for the German machinery manufacturers to generate sales with these contact persons abroad?
Drebenstedt: Of course. This applies not only to our German graduates, but also to the foreign students who do their degrees with us. Some of them work for German companies in the international divisions, others back in their home countries; some have managerial positions, but all of them value the quality of the education they receive in
Is international research once again a door-opener for the industry which also supports in part the research initiatives?
Drebenstedt: We are engaged in a number of research and development projects with foreign universities and companies. In this way the participating partners are introduced to German technologies and solutions, and later these initiatives may evolve into business projects. We always make a big effort to support German business with the means at our disposal. On the other hand the foreign projects provide us with the background for practical training abroad.
What international research projects are you working on at present?
Drebenstedt: If we look at Asia first, we are involved in
But in Europe, too, we have a number of ongoing research projects, for example, on the use of rotary cutters in extracting limestone in
And finally, there´s our involvement in North Africa: In
The growth market of
Drebenstedt: We have a partnership with the leading mining research institute in Dhanbad, which is part of the research community there. The focus is on improving blasting technology, in particular with regard to environmental impact. Unfortunately around the world the way blasting is carried out is often purely from a production point of view. The environmental impact of these activities, for example flying rocks, dust, vibrations, gas emissions and contamination of soil and water, can be enormous. Much can also be improved in terms of cost-effectiveness. Other themes are also being planned in this cooperation, such as recultivation and water economy.
The world´s leading trade fair bauma, which also focuses on mining, has chosen
Drebenstedt: We will be taking part again as part of the joint stand with other universities. bauma is a unique opportunity to bring together science and industry, and to gain a foothold in international markets.
One of the product focuses at bauma 2010 will be mining and tunnel construction. In Hall C2 and on the open-air site, exhibitors will be presenting their innovations in above-ground and underground mining, and in tunnel technology. In the bauma Forum, which is being held in parallel at the fair, high-ranking international speakers from science and industry will be sharing their expertise and engaging in discussion with trade visitors on the subject of mining and tunnel construction.