Engineering participated in an event aimed at educating youth about the mining industry

Jul 7th, 2023

By Jackey Locke

Members of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s Department of Process Engineering attended the Young Minds in Mining Showcase, held at Valmont Academy in King’s Point last month.

The event, which was organized by Maritime Resources, aimed to bring together the mining industry, its stakeholders and approx. 200 high school students for a day of information sharing.

The team from process engineering was led by faculty members Drs. Stephen Butt and Cui Lin, and included PhD candidates Judith George and Sharmin Israt from the Memorial chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) MetSoc Chapter.

Dr. Butt is pleased with the response from students.

“The showcase provided us with an opportunity to highlight process engineering education and the faculty’s co-operative education work term experience leading to careers in mining,” he said.

The team educated youth not only about the process engineering program, but also about the co-operative education program, which maximizes the learning experience for students by alternating classroom learning and industry work terms. This approach provides students with up to two years of industry work experience prior to graduation as well as networking opportunities.

Students learned about potential career opportunities across natural resources sectors, including mining, from process engineering professors and graduate students at the booth.

Dr. Butt said the plating experiment where students had to wear a laboratory coat, protective eye wear and gloves, was popular.

The first part of the experiment involved cleaning steel billets, which are round discs about the size of a loonie, by lowering them into hydrochloric acid using tongs. For the second part of the experiment the discs were transferred to a copper sulfate bath to plate the discs with shiny copper.

The students could keep their discs as a takeaway.

“The interest from the students in engineering, especially in mining and mineral processing is very encouraging,” said Dr. Syed Imtiaz, head, Department of Process Engineering. “This is a great way to give back to our community as well as promoting engineering to young minds.”