" The EMerald programme provided me with much more than a simple specialisation in the field of georesources engineering. The possibilities to create or increase the size of our professional network was really unique and I believe this has impacted my professional career in a very significant manner. The professionals we had the chance to meet showed high interest in our training and were inclined to give us a chance in the industry. The network I had the chance to build during the EMerald programme opened doors which I hadn’t imagined possible to open so early in my career: building projects with the industry, joining very dynamic teams in research institutes or even working in partnership with consultancy companies to bring new possibilities to the raw materials industry.
Since I left the EMerald programme, I have started a thesis in flotation chemistry at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resources Technology (in partnership with industrial partners), an opportunity that I would probably not have been given without the help of the network I built in the programme. I also help in the coordination of the EMerald programme, as I am deeply convinced that the EMerald experience we had the chance to live should remain opened for the future cohorts to come and with the best opportunities that can be offered! ”
Dan Oliric Manaig
" Originally from the Philippines, I started my EMerald journey four years ago when I was 21 – basically, just starting my career as a young metallurgical engineer. In the span of two great years in the programme, I was able to travel to at least 15 countries both in Europe and Africa. Then, two months before graduation, I already had an offer to do a PhD research at the University of British Columbia in Canada.
Before I started the PhD project, I went back to the Philippines to supervise a decommissioning project where my team and I built a neutralization plant for a 4000 m3 acidic pregnant leach solution containing Fe, Ni, and Co. After which, I flew to Canada to commence the PhD project on designing a robust hydrometallurgical extraction of selenium and tellurium from crude copper selenide, a by-product of the Pb-Zn smelting plant of Teck Resources in Trail, British Columbia. On the side, I joined an international MBA competition of the Financial Times in London, where my team and I won second place. Through that I finally had the chance to meet my programme colleagues again, a year after graduation in one of the most vibrant cities in the world!
I can say that the master programme has given me the confidence, through the acquired advanced knowledge and skills in mineral processing and metallurgy, that I can handle such big projects. And beyond those technical developments, in respect to emotional intelligence, the best takeaway from the programme would be the international experience abroad and lifelong friendship with my colleagues – that is something that I will treasure forever. "
" My name is Renato Contessotto. I am 28 years old and I am from Brazil. I was in the first cohort of EMerald (2013-2015). EMerald led to a great learning in mining, ore characterization, processing and geometallurgy. Additionally, I could understand the correlation between geology (ore forming process), process mineralogy studies and the ore characteristics that influence the mineral processing and metallurgical recovery. EMerald master also gave me a great opportunity to improve my knowledge in georesources engineering, to get acquainted with different European languages and cultures and also to study at world references Universities.
Nowadays, I am working at the Technological Characterization Laboratory at university of São paulo doing my PhD related to Multivariate Statistcs Analysis and the definition of ore types. "
Jara Fraile del Río
" I am Jara Fraile del Río, 28, a Spanish geologist and geological engineer who finished the EMerald master programme in 2015 (so yes, I belong to the first cohort!). I have been working in AECOM since January 2016 as an environmental consultant and geologist. My current position involves both fieldwork and office work, including subsoil and groundwater quality investigations (geomodelling, chemical distribution studies, statistical analysis,...), human health risk assessments and remediation action plans.
You may think that my job has no relation with the master content and you will be almost right. Actually, the reason why I am currently working in the AECOM Enviromental Department was my master thesis (3D Hydrogeological Model of Aitik Mine). However, during the programme I gained, not only technical knowledge that I can apply everyday, but also a multidisciplinary way of thinking and an improvement of my problem solving skills. Two characteristics that are basic for working in the consultancy world.
When I finished my master studies I never thought of working in anything else than mining, but finally I end up in Environmental Consultancy and I discovered that I really liked it. So I think I am a good example of the different doors that the EMerald Master programme opens! "
I am Marjorie Joassin, a native from Liège in Belgium. I was part of the second cohort of EMerald (2014-2016) and was 23 years old when I graduated (yes, I was the youngest of the cohort). Initially I obtained my bachelor degree in civil engineering with a major option in mining and geology and I wanted to follow my studies to obtain the master degree to be a mining and geological civil engineer in Liège. I heard about the EMerald programme very late, as I had only three days left to apply. Luckily, my application was successful and I am now a member of the EMerald family.
This programme was everything I could dream of: it provided me the Liège master degree I was looking for initially, but I also got two additional degrees from Nancy and Luleå. Moreover, it allowed me to broaden my knowledges in geology, ore characterisation and mineral processing, also in recycling. These fields of study gave me the opportunity to fully understand the concept of geometallurgy which is the future in the industry. The EMerald programme also allowed me to travel across Europe and to discover French and Swedish cultures. Nevertheless, the most important personal income of the EMerald programme was to meet people from all over the world, to learn and to exchange our different cultures, to develop our soft skills as a group and to build durable friendships.
My master thesis was based on the study of a new techniques for mineral identification by infrared spectroscopy. It was written in association with Epslog, a company based in Liège, Paris and Perth (Australia). This company is specialised in delivering expert services in rock strength testing and well-log data interpretation in the oil and gas industry. Guess what? The day of my master thesis presentation, I did not know my grade yet but I already knew the job was mine. I am thus now part of the Epslog team as an R&D project engineer specialised in rock spectroscopy. I am, as Jara Fraile del Rio (first cohort), an example of the different doors that the EMerald master opens. Always trust in you and in your dreams!
Lucas Beirao Do Valle
"My name is Lucas Beirao do Valle. I took part on the first cohort of Emerald Erasmus Mundus between 2013 and 2015. As a metallurgical engineer and from Brazil, my background was oriented to iron and steelmaking, when I did my thesis on pelletizing. On that time, I had the first contact with the concept of geometallurgy, but very briefly. When I applied to the programme I was very skeptical about my chances of being accepted, but now 2 years after my graduation I can assure you that it was a life changing experience:
• I have learnt a new subject that was very complementary to my previous background that opened my eyes to new horizons and ideas;
• I have travelled all around Europe and met very interesting people from all around the world;
• I improved my English and learnt a new language, French;
• I built my network that allowed me to get my job in a metallurgical research center: CRM Group. I found the company thanks to my internship and master thesis done in partnership with Lhoist, which opened the door to CRM and today I hold a position as Project Leader.
Even though today I do not work directly with geometallurgy, EMerald gave me very useful personal and technical skills to tackle my everyday challenges.
I hope to meet you around in Liege."
Along with the exceptional learning experience, the EMerald programme fosters a diverse networking environment leading to various career opportunities after graduation!
With a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Philippines and more than two years field experience as a process engineer in a gold-silver refinery plant, it was not an easy decision to leave my industrial career and jump back into the academe. However, the diversified scope of the EMerald programme easily caught my interest. The programme offers the bridge between geology and mineral processing with its specialisation in geometallurgy, while promoting the concept of circular economy. I was hesitant at first whether my background in geology was sufficient for taking the programme. Thanks to the supportive consortium of EMerald, learning has been exciting! In fact, it encouraged me to further challenge myself and dwell deeper into the academe, aspiring to pursue a PhD degree.
Three months before graduating from this programme, I already had several offers for a PhD position among which three caught my interest the most: biometallurgy at Aix-Marseille Université – CNRS (France); mineral processing technology at Aalto University (Finland); and cement chemistry at KU Leuven (Belgium). Such a surprising variety! This only goes to demonstrate the well-rounded skills that we obtained from the EMerald programme.
I am now based in Lyon, France working as a research engineer for Imerys Aluminates (formerly Kerneos Research and Technology Centre) supported by a grant from Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) for a joint PhD in Materials Engineering between KU Leuven and Université de Lorraine. I look back with gratefulness to the EMerald programme for opening many doors for my career!
Camilo Mena Silva
"My name is Camilo Mena Silva and I am part of the first EMerald cohort, between 2013 and 2015. I am a metallurgical engineer (from Universidad de Concepción), so my background focuses on mineral processing mainly for copper production. I must admit that I first heard of the concept of geometallurgy back in my country, while I was doing my thesis to become metallurgical engineer, and it was something that truly intrigued me. Though it was not until I joined EMerald that I had a better idea of the concept, and liked it even more.
Along with geometallurgy, the EMerald programme gave me knowledge on other disciplines that I had a rough idea about, such as geology, mineralogy, recycling, and mining. But besides the academic knowledge acquired during my time in the programme, there are other aspects that made the programme such a great experience for anybody out there considering following it. The fact that you have the possibility to meet different people, learn from new and different ways of thinking and last but not least, yourself.
Learning how to deal with a completely different world is what makes the programme so special. The languages you have the possibility to learn, the cultures you can get to experience and the people you get to know are what I consider the key aspects are here and the bonding that comes along with the programme is really something to cherish.
Anyway, after finishing the programme I still wanted to know more about geometallurgy, so I decided to apply for a PhD position in the field, which coincidently opened around the time when I was finishing my master.
Long story short, I got the position so now I am a PhD candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). My subject is related to the application of the geometallurgical concept to a nepheline syenite deposit in north Norway. To be honest I cannot be more glad of having this job nowadays because I have the possibility of applying in a more direct and practical manner the geometallurgical concept, network and presenting what I am doing allover the world (even having the pleasure of meeting some good EMerald friends on the way) and learning new and exciting things in my free time.
The EMerald programme is truly a unique opportunity for development personally and professionally. "
My name is Antoine, I am a 25-year-old French guy and I have been part of the fourth EMerald cohort (2016-2018). Oh, what a journey! Among the 19 people composing the group, 15 nationalities were represented, as well as various backgrounds and cultures. Studying together around Europe has definitively been a lesson about life. We learned how to work with and survive each other. I would say this international environment is one of the key assets of the master. EMerald offered us a start of a wide network, meeting a lot of enthusiastic professors and professionals, with various specialities, opinions and approaches. That is perfect way to start developing your own!
I graduated from EMerald a year ago and started to work straight away in Kazakhstan. I am employed by Katco, a Kazakh-French join-venture dealing with the Muyunkum world-class uranium deposit. It is actually the world biggest ISR uranium mine and currently accounts for 7% of the world production. ISR you said?
Absolutely, In Situ Recovery/Leaching, which is a fairly new and rare mining technique, consequently not covered in EMerald. This kind of mine is usually hiring hydrogeologists and reservoir engineers rather than mineral processing engineers. However, I got the job and I am doing pretty okay! That is the beauty of the training we had in EMerald: it makes you flexible, ready to face new challenges, new people, and to be (very) frequently out of your comfort zone.
There I am dealing with reactive-transport simulation and planification tools. I sometimes do things that are not so different from the serious geo-metallurgy games we were playing back in Lulea...Only the complexity increases (a bit), and the consequences are slightly more critical than not winning a candy box :). One more proof that EMerald prepares us in the right way for the industry.
I can only recommend this programme, and I encourage all motivated people to give it a chance and seize that great opportunity!
Hi there, I am Lucas and I was part of the 3rd generation of EMerald.
It is hard to write down the experience I had with the program. EMerald provided me with a high-quality education in Geometalurgy and the innovations of the mining industry. More than that, the program granted me a tremendous cultural experience, the chance to work with many different people from all around the globe and to visit amazing places.
Besides culture and education, EMerald is about connections to the mining industry. I have had the opportunity to meet important people in regards to the global mining industry. Being connected and talk with these professionals is extremely important for the steps to come.
Nowadays I work as a researcher/Ph.D. student at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), an institute created to extensively develop the complete production chain of raw materials. My project aims at recovering REE from the tailings of an on-going mining operation in Brazil. It motivates me to be able to contribute to the industry and to my country, by developing a more efficient mineral exploitation project.
I am Shujaat Ali, 28, originally from Pakistan. I graduated from Emerald Cohort-4 in 2018. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate at the JKMRC - Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), University of Queensland, Australia. In my current role, I am working on the industrial project which is focused on developing an instrumented ore breakage characterization device and a testing methodology for the precise quantification of comminution energy. SMI has an international reputation for maintaining its elite standards in the field of mining and mineral processing. I must say, “getting here would not be possible without Emerald”.
I have a background in mining engineering. I remember when I started off my professional career in 2014 working as a mining engineer for the cement manufacturing company back in my home country. After 2 years, in 2016, a life-changing event “Emerald” happened to me – I got selected for the prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarship.
As per my personal experience, Emerald is the most well-structured and finest master program in the field of mining and mineral processing. It is tailored perfectly in accordance with industrial needs. The mantra of connecting geology and mineral processing for the enhanced production management, which today is known as geometallurgy distinguishes it from the classical approaches of mining production. It offers students the core understanding of the mining process value chain and developing their expertise within, thereby enabling them to identify the process bottlenecks and seek necessary means of control and/or process improvements. Doubtlessly, the quality of education provided is top-notch and unparalleled. Students are given hands-on work opportunities in the high-tech labs equipped with state-of-the-art apparatus.
It does not only flourishes students professionally but also shapes their personality, communication and presentation skills. Furthermore, it offers them an international diversity. No matter who you are, where are you coming from, Emerald puts everyone together in the form of a family and builds a cross-cultural lifelong friendly relationship. Besides that, it offers you the best traveling experiences ever. In addition to studying at four partner universities located in beautiful countries, the breathtaking landscapes of Europe are just ticket away.
The seminars and industrial visits provided to the students is certainly an opportunity to explore the industrial world, learn the insights and network. Emerald education is so diversified that it makes Emerald graduates stand out in the crowd and makes them feel knowing about almost everything – Trust me it happens!
It is a pride of great marrow that I had been a part of the Emerald master program. The shift from a person I was to what and where I’m today, I owe it significantly to the Emerald.
My name is Laura Hughes, and I was a part of the 3rd EMerald cohort that graduated in 2017. I am from the United States, and completed my Bachelor’s in Geological Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines before beginning EMerald.
The EMerald program gave me the chance to diversify my technical background with knowledge in geometallurgy, mineral processing, recycling, and many other areas. But more than that, it also gave me the chance to live in 3 different European countries, dabble in new languages, and work with people completely different than myself. EMerald thoroughly prepared me to work in a mining environment—as adapting to change, working with a diverse group of people, and integrating knowledge from many technical disciplines are the most important skills I use in my career.
Currently, I am a geologist with Freeport McMoRan in Arizona, USA. I work at the Safford operations, which is a series of open-pit copper mines. I work in ore control, and perform geologic logging and 3D modeling for our operations. I also work on a variety of geometallurgical projects—one of which allowed me to give a presentation in the “Geometallurgy” session at the 2020 “Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration” (SME) conference. I certainly have EMerald to thank for my introduction to geometallurgy, and the many doors it opened in my career!
My name is Dzmitry Pashkevich, I have graduated from EMerald program in 2017. I am extremely grateful to the program for broadening my knowledge and skills in the mineral & metal industry. During these 2 years, I got a chance to visit numerous processing plants across Europe, to learn from the top raw materials experts and Professors representing different schools and continents (EU, Canada, Australia, Russia, etc.), and to conduct an applied-oriented thesis study, incorporating mine-site visit and an internship. EMerald program thesis research allowed me to get in touch with the international European Commission project FAME (Flexible and Mobile Economic processing technologies) Consortium, which eventually resulted in the 2-year employment as a Project Engineer in Raw materials processing at an Engineering company G.E.O.S. in Germany. The connections of the EMerald community allowed me to get in contact with Helmholtz Institute for Resource Technology for a short collaboration, where I have realized that I would like to proceed with my career in Academia.
By having a world-wide recognized triple EMerald master’s degree, I was admitted to a Ph.D. program at the world's top-three University in the sphere of Mining Engineering - McGill University, where I work on flotation recovery improvement project related to a mine in the Eastern part of Canada. EMerald Masters had opened new doors for my future career, put me in touch with numerous mining professionals and young researchers across the globe, as well as brought many good friends into my life.