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Photo: Katarina Karlsson
Estimated network for PhD students in mining research. Pande Nishant Prasad, PhD in Process Metallurgy, Tobias Kampmann, Researcher in Ore Geology at Luleå University of Technology, Albin Wessling, PhD in Solid Mechanics at Luleå University of Technology, Parisa Semsari, PhD in Mineral Processing and Glacialle Tiu, PhD in Ore Geology at Luleå University of Technology Photo: Katarina Karlsson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Popular network for doctoral students in mining research

Published: 19 March 2020

MINERS, a network for PhD students in research related to mining, metal production and exploration in Sweden currently has 35 members. The initiative for the interdisciplinary network came two years ago from the strategic innovation program SIP STRIM, with Luleå University of Technology as coordinator, and the interest is great.

– The idea is to bring together PhD students from various disciplines in Sweden, whose research projects have a connection with the mining industry, Tobias Kampmann says, researcher in Ore Geology at Luleå University of Technology.

The SIP STRIM network, MINERS, is designed to establish contacts between PhD students and researchers active in mining, metal production and exploration-related research, as well as with the mining and exploration-related industry in Sweden. The network is available to all Swedish universities. The members who are PhD students in various disciplines and universities will have the opportunity to share experiences about the doctoral life, as well as to exchange ideas and knowledge about available analytical labs and the future labor market in Sweden. The PhD student network is part of the strategic innovation program SIP STRIM with funding from Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency.

May meet employers in the mining industry

– As a doctoral student, you can sometimes feel isolated in your own research project and do not always have time to think about the future. The network gives you the opportunity to get to know other PhD students and future employers in the entire mining sector and you get tips on future work as a mining expert, after your PhD studies, Tobias Kampmann says.

PhD students in the network are active in geology, environmental geochemistry, mining and geotechnical engineering, mineral processing, metallurgy, industrial material science, signals and systems, human and work sciences, political science, industrial marketing, as well as management and business administration. They come from Luleå University of Technology, Stockholm University, Chalmers, Linköping University and Stockholm School of Economics, and meet regularly in workshops and other activities.

– For me, this network means that I get to meet people working in the same area (mining) but in other disciplines. This interdisciplinary networking gives me the opportunity to get other perspectives on my research, both from academia and industry, Albin Wessling says, a PhD student in Solid Mechanics at Luleå University of Technology.

Several workshops with industry and academy

During the two years the network has existed, workshops have been held on, among other things, challenges in the mining industry, development of the labor market and gender equality issues. The network has visited various mining companies in Sweden and manufacturers of mining machinery, got in touch with different authorities, including the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, and obtained information on academic and non-academic career opportunities. SIP STRIM has covered all costs for accommodation and travel for doctoral students at all workshops.

– The network is a good platform for PhD students working at different levels in the metal extraction process chain to develop a holistic understanding of the mining industry. In addition to students working with the core mining technologies, this network has engaged people from diverse backgrounds such as social sciences, law and legislation. One of the participants in this network illustrated his case study research on social protests and movements in relation to metal extraction in Sweden. Exposure to other domains such as mining digitalization, regulations in mine licensing and political science perspectives have been very inspiring for me, Pande Nishant Prasad says, PhD student in Process Metallurgy.

Tobias Kampmann believes, that the key in the network is that PhD students who have competency in mining-related research can meet employers, such as industry and other companies, who need their skills but who have difficulty recruiting the right people. In the network, they meet these talented PhD students who, after completing their education, can contribute to the required competency in the mining industry.

Facts: The strategic innovation program SIP STRIM (Strategic innovation program for the Swedish mining and metal mining industry) is part of Vinnova's, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas' investment in strategic innovation areas (SIP).