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Students promote mining studies

Students and lecturers from the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków promoted mining studies among the students of the Jan Paweł II High Schools Complex in Pawłowice. The choice of school was not accidental, as the Pawłowice school is one of the few that educate future mining technicians. The aim of the campaign, prepared by the AGH Faculty of Civil Engineering and Resource Management, is to popularize among this year's high school graduates not only the university, but also fields of study related to the mining industry.

photo: Dawid Lach

- We organize such meetings periodically throughout the country. During the events, we convince young people that it is worthwhile to plan their professional future in mining and its cooperating industries. We show what mining looks like, proving that it is not a declining industry, but a sector that – contrary to popular opinion – has prospects, of which Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa is a perfect example. The company is a producer of coking coal, a strategic raw material for the European Union. Fortunately, after years of declining interest in mining majors, our faculty is seeing prospects for an increase in the number of applicants. These will, of course, no longer be the numbers of students that there were ten or twenty years ago, but we can see that the situation is changing and more and more young people are looking at mining differently than it is portrayed in the media - said Prof. Radosław Pomykała, associate dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Resource Management at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków.

During the meeting with students, AGH representatives stressed that the educational offer is being modified all the time to meet the changing needs of modern mining. Students studying underground and open-pit mining technology also acquire knowledge and qualifications in modern design methods, geomechanics or mineral processing. The faculty's educational offer also includes education in majors related to the environment (Environmental Engineering), revitalization (Revitalization of Degraded Areas), safety (Safety Engineering), or production process management (Engineering and Production Process Management).

These are majors that are also badly needed for the mining industry, as the industry is constantly changing. Modern mining is a multifaceted industry with many faces and many needs - noted Prof. Radosław Pomykała.

According to students of the Pawłowice school, such a meeting has a number of advantages. For those who have not yet decided on their future educational and professional path, it helps them make a final decision. This year's high school graduates also stressed that meeting both with lecturers and students in person allows them to gain a lot of valuable information.

The visit by representatives of the AGH Faculty of Civil Engineering and Resource Management was not only promotional. It was also part of an educational project – [email protected] – implemented with funding from the European Institute of Technology. The project pertains to cooperation between universities and high schools in the space of broadly defined raw materials. The result was a workshop that the university students prepared and conducted for their younger colleagues. The class focused on the topic of circular economy and waste, which can be a source of raw materials.  The next day, students were able to confront theoretical knowledge with the realities of a modern mine in practice. During their visit to the Pniówek mine, they were able to learn about the technological process of coking coal mining. They will be able to use the experience they have gained in their next workshop for high school students. For some students, it was the first opportunity in their lives to go underground.

- Only then can you realize how complicated and complex an organism a mine is, and how saturated the mining process is with modern, automatic and digital technologies - said Sylwia Rusnak, a student of Engineering and Production Process Management, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Resource Management at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków.



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