A training programme that is making mining engineers care for the environment

This blog is about a training programme that caught our eye. It takes place in Brazil. And involves some of the big names is mining and technology (two topics that we care passionately about). The programme is probably looking slightly different to how it was plan, given the impact of COVID-19, but it is a good step in the right direction.

MINE Program students and other program participants at a hackathon in Salvador, Brazil, are pictured here before the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted such gatherings.
Source: MIT News

The mining company we’re talking about is global mining giant Vale and and the institute we’re talking about is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) among others who are making it possible to train engineers in caring for the environment through their MINE programme.

Context

We know that mining companies are taking their ESG responsibilities more seriously and this is only going to increase in the next few decades. Many are looking to technology others to innovation. Vale, the global mining giant is looking at education.

Stephen Potter, Global Strategy Director for Vale, knows that local understanding of sustainability is fundamental to reaching its goals. “We need to attract the best and brightest young people to work in the Brazilian mining sector, and young people want to work for companies with a strong sustainability program,” he says. Potter has been quoted in MIT news.

The MINE programme

The original press release by Vale says that the programme will run from November 2019 to June 2020 and will be held across a number of cities in Brazil. 30 students will be enrolled at Centro Universitário SENAI CIMATEC and will receive a monthly scholarship for their studies.

MIT news reports that the Environmental Sustainability Institute (ESI) based on MIT’s campus provides expert perspectives on sustainability that students wouldn’t receive in ordinary engineering training courses. “MIT offers a unique blend of scientific and engineering expertise, as well as entrepreneurial spirit, that can inspire young professionals in the Brazilian mining sector to work toward sustainable practices,” said ESI Director John Fernández (quoted by MIT news.)

Cross-industry involvement

Apart from Vale and MIT’s Environmental Sustainability Institute (ESI), others who are helping to make this programme a possibility are: Imperial College London Consultants, The Bakery, a London-based start-up accelerator and SENAI CIMATEC, a Brazilian technical institute.

The programme also benefits from the expertise of Suzanne Greene who founded the Metals & Minerals for the Environment initiative with the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative.

Will an initiative like this thrive during Covid-19 and what is your mining company doing about innovation and education? Do tell us in the comments section.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s