Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Brian G. D. Smarti, What future for the mining engineer, society and humankind?, Proceedings of the 2023 Resource Operators Conference, University of Wollongong - Mining Engineering, February 2024, 9-19.


Society and ultimately humankind are entirely dependent on the outputs of the mining industry for their existence and development. The mining industry cannot, however, operate without the input of properly educated mining engineers. Unfortunately, in a significant number of countries the mining industry is not seen as an attractive employer and hence the number of student applications and mining schools are in decline. The paper examines the position in the UK, where only one of previously seven mining schools survives - Camborne School of Mines.

The ”system” that controls the provision of mining engineering education in UK Universities is described, with the controlling stakeholders that require special attention identified. Examples of the work being done to both counter the negativity of these controlling stakeholders, support the stakeholders with influence and boost positive interest in the industry among potential students are presented.

While it is likely that Camborne School of Mines will continue to provide mining engineering degrees, unless additional steps are taken there will be no Scottish graduates. A scheme to overcome this involving collaboration between a Scottish university and a foreign university mining school is proposed, as part of a proposed international collaboration addressing the decline in graduates.