RWTH Aachen University

RWTH Aachen University

European Mineral Engineering Course

The European Minerals Engineering Course is co-operative advanced education program in which four universities are participating: Aachen (RWTH), Delft (TU Delft), Helsinki (HUT) and London (Imperial College). This program is developed for the students of the four universities, however a limited number of outside students are taking part as well. As a result, annually between 12 and 18 students join this program. The course is leading to Master degrees in Mineral Engineering and Recycling (processing, metallurgy, recycling and waste treatment).

The programme consists of one-year of co-operative (masters) courses in mineral mining engineering and recycling techniques. Undergraduate students spend the first part, the bulk, of their studies at their home university in the country of origin. There they obtain the basic engineering skills and a fundamental understanding of mineral engineering. During the fourth year, the students of all four universities spend two months at each of these universities to study the various specialisations. The language of instruction is English. All written and printed material is supplied in English. Proficiency in a second language is promoted.

During the final part of the curriculum (after April/May) the students will develop special expertise in mineral engineering and recycling. They will carry out the (M.Sc.) thesis work under guidance of one of the universities (not necessarily in their home country) which is most specialised in that particular field. At this stage, industry may be involved with student theses. Upon completion of the thesis programme, the home university continues to award the degree.

Traditionally the European Universities have one degree after a study of about 5 years. This degree (Dipl.-Ing. in Germany, Ingenieur in the Netherlands), is equivalent with the M.Sc. as used in the Anglo-Saxon system. A couple of years ago the European Commission decided to enforce a B.Sc. / M.Sc. system in all member states. The speed of implementation of this system is different in all countries. In the new system, the EMEC will be the first year of the M.Sc. programme.

From the start it was felt, that co-operation with the industry was essential for the success of the programs. Participation of industry ensures feedback to the universities concerning the required skill level of new engineers. During the course, companies are invited to give a presentation and to interview students. Industrial visits are also an integral part of the course. Finally, companies get the opportunity to have a student work on one of their problems as a subject for his/her thesis.

The response from industry about the course has been very positive. Many companies in Europe, North America and South Africa are looking for internationally orientated, broadly educated mining and mineral processing graduates. A number of companies interviewed the course participants and were particularly impressed with the high quality and broad interest of the students.

Federation of European Mineral Programs:
A legal organisation has been established on 16 December 1999 in order to co-ordinate the activities of the various programs. The board of this “Federation of European Mineral Programs” (FEMP) consists of representatives of the universities, which organise the programs and a representative of Euromines, the European Association of Mining Industries, Metal Ores and Industrial Minerals.

Financial arrangements:
The program is organised as a Socrates (former Erasmus) exchange. Therefore, the students pay only the regular course fee at their home university. Additional costs of living are for the most part paid by the industry through the Federation of European Mineral Programs (FEMP). A list of the FEMP members can be found here under the link industry.

The EMEC program does have a website . These pages give further information about the programs and the schedules.

Every year there is a reunion where alumni and representatives from industry and professors from the four universities meet.

The participants of the EMEC spend approximately two months at the Chair of Processing and Recycling of Solid Waste Materials in Aachen. Their stay in Aachen normally starts in November and ends around Christmas. The following choice of pictures and students comments will give the best impressions what the EMEC is like…

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