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Hesham Ahmed, process metallurgy Photo: Richard Renberg
Hesham Ahmed, process metallurgy Photo: Richard Renberg View original picture , opens in new tab/window

"We conduct research along the entire minerals and metals value chain"

Published: 5 April 2022

Meet Hesham Ahmed, Program Manager on The Bachelor Programme in Mineral Resource Engineering.

Why study this programme at Luleå University of Technology?

There are two core reasons, one is connected to the program and the other is connected to Luleå University of Technology. The program offers education across the entire value chain of minerals and metals which is taught in an integrated, project-oriented approach and supported closely by and in conjunction with industry which is unique in Sweden and globally. 

Luleå University of Technology possesses unique competence, we conduct research along the entire minerals and metals value chain. The planned educational programme directly includes seven different research subjects: Ore Geology, Exploration Geophysics, Environmental Geochemistry, Mining, Mineral Processing, Process Metallurgy and Human Work Science. These subjects are one of a kind in Sweden and in combination, they are unique in Europe and can only be found at few other universities in the world.

What is unique about this programme?

The Mineral resource Engineering program is a multidisciplinary education that will enable students to understand the earth system and the minerals and metals value chain. Students will be able to contribute to a sustainable use of mineral resources and to act in a global digitalized world. The course of the programme covers the entire value chain including exploration, mining, extraction, refining and recycling while emphasizing the environmental, social and economic aspects. As well as close cooperation with relevant industry.

The programme aims at educating students with the knowledge and skills they need to be able to contribute to the green transition and the subsequent increased demand for metals. The program will have the system approach and create understanding of the sustainable value chain.

What does the education programme entail?

The new program will focus on a sustainable mineral and metal value chain. It will be a broad system focused three-year Bachelor of Science (180 ECTS) (teknisk kandidat) covering the entire mineral value chain, with five consecutive two-year Master of Science (120 ECTS) educational programs. The program aims to have international recruitment and will thus be given in English from the first year.

The program focuses on exploration, mining, extraction and recycling while considering environmental, social and economic aspects. During the first two years, students will take a project course that deals with the entire value chain for minerals and metals. The course is given in collaboration with companies and has both practical and theoretical parts, such as experiments and field exercises. The project course runs in parallel with basic courses in, for example, mathematics, physics, chemistry, mineralogy, and an introduction to earth sciences. In the third year, students will study human work science, raw material economics, and mathematical statistics, and deepen their knowledge through elective courses. 

After the bachelor's degree, students will be offered to choose from one of five master's programs to specialize in one of the following areas: Exploration Geoscience; Environmental Geoscience; Mining; Sustainable minerals and metallurgical engineering or Resource governance.

What advice would you give to those considering applying for this program?

Don’t hesitate about the program content and intended learning outcomes, they are designed in close collaboration with relevant industries. During the three-year program you will be able to get to know the market and build your network with our industry partners. After graduation you will have many opportunities to get your desired job. You will have the chance to gain the ability to recognize your contribution to society during your future career life.

What can you work with after graduation?

The Sustainable Mineral Extraction programme gives a broad technical competence in mineral resource engineering. After graduation, students can, for example, work in the mining and minerals industry, in consulting companies, government organizations, and in the metal and recycling industry in Sweden and internationally.

What is the current state of the mining sector?

Sectors across the minerals and metals value chain in Sweden and Europe are experiencing problems in finding engineers with the right skills. With the fact that sectors along the value chain, in the region and globally, are growing consistently specially in the areas of green transitions, sustainability and electrification, it is expected that those sectors will face even more challenges to find skilled engineers. Therefore, the demand for our engineers after graduation is expected to be high.

In what way do you collaborate with the industry?

The goal is that the students should have a close relation to both the subjects as well as industry partners. To achieve this, the industry partners will be a natural part of the education and are already an integrated part of the course development. The students will thus meet the industry partners in their first course and via arranged extracurricular activities.

Moreover, the research projects that are currently running in conjunction with industry can be used for training examples in project-oriented learning as well as for areas that can be developed in the individual Bachelor/Master thesis projects. This will be in all areas across the value chain, which gives the students a chance to integrate cutting edge research in conjunction with industry partners into their studies.

What makes Luleå university of technology unique in this area?

Luleå University of Technology possesses unique competence, in that we conduct research along the entire minerals and metals value chain: to find metals via the subjects Ore Geology and Exploration Geophysics, to mine via Mining and Rock Engineering, and to extract and recycle via Mineral Processing and Process Metallurgy. In the subject Applied Geochemistry, we also possess expertise in water and waste management and how the surrounding environment is affected by mining. 
In addition to the technical rock value chain, Luleå University of Technology also has expertise in human work science, law and economics, on issues relating to gender equality, resources and collaboration with various societal actors. Luleå University of Technology also has unique research on digitization, automation and AI and how these can be applied along the value chain.
We have a long tradition of collaboration both in education and in research with world-leading companies in the field; exploration companies, mining companies, analysis companies, technology suppliers, metallurgical industry, recycling companies, environmental consultants and authorities such as SGU, the Swedish Environmental Agency and County Administrative Boards. In combination, it gives us the opportunity to lead educational development in the field to create a unique international programme that trains engineers who are ready to meet future challenges.

What kind of teacher do you want to be? 

My teaching philosophy is to focus on student learning. I should not be satisfied only bringing out the knowledge but should pay much attention to what is getting in. Creating a proper environment that help in delivering the course outcomes (ILO`s, intended learning outcomes) helps a lot in improving the education process. Project-oriented learning which is the way of learning we stick to in the Mineral resource engineering programme, ensures that the students will acquire deep knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems.

What is the most fun about teaching?

As a researcher and teacher, it is of great importance that whatever knowledge and findings we achieve is communicated to future engineers. Today’s students and tomorrow’s engineers will be able to further integrate the knowledge and findings in their professional life. That is what I believe is the best reward.

What do you want the student to take with them from your courses?

What I would like the students to get from my course in specific and the entire education in general can be summarized in the following points;

  • Basic knowledge of technical methods and tools, as well as a general knowledge in the field of mineral resources, including the path from exploration, via extraction, beneficiation, recycling and landfill, as well as management of its environmental effects.
  • The ability to effectively use industry standard analysis and measuring equipment to perform experimental and scientific work.
  • The ability to integrate knowledge and skills from different subject areas linked to the mineral resource technology area.
  • The ability to work together and the ability to lead responsibly.
  • Acquiring experience of leading, planning, implementing and reporting on projects.

In which courses do the students in Sustainable Mineral Extraction have you as a teacher?

My plan is to meet the students in the early beginning where I will try to show them the whole picture of the program. During that day, I will try to put them in the context, show them the roadmap to become the engineer they want to be after graduation.

At the moment I am not in charge of any of the courses (compulsory courses) in the bachelor program, my main role in connection to this program is as its program director. 

I have been focusing on research most of the time since the beginning of my academic career, however, I have been active in teaching with a focus on integrating state-of-the-art research into education. Here is a list of the courses I have been contributing to/been in charge of:

Course name  

Place 

Rule 

Level 

Thermal Analysis 

LTU, Sweden 

Teacher and Examiner 

Doctorate students 

Casting Theory  

LTU, Sweden 

Teacher 

Master students 

Project design course in process metallurgy 

LTU, Sweden 

Teacher and examiner 

Master students 

Research ethics, Gender equality, IPR and Career planning 

LTU, Sweden 

Teacher and examiner 

Doctorate students 

Transition toward fossil free steel 

Oulu University, Finland 

Teacher 

Bachelor students 

Recycling of spent lithium-ion batteries 

Oulu, LTU and Uppsala universities 

Teacher 

Bachelor students 

Ladle and steel metallurgy 

LTU, Sweden 

Teacher 

Master students 

Gas-solid reactions 

KTH, Sweden 

Teacher assistant 

Doctorate students 

 

Hesham Ahmed

Hesham Ahmed, Associate Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 491309
Organisation: Process Metallurgy, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering