Waterloo Science leads $1.65 million sustainable mineral extraction training program

Friday, July 4, 2014

Resource extraction and mining are cornerstones of the Canadian economy, but current extraction techniques come at a severe environmental price. Limiting environmental impacts is a priority for companies as they look to a new generation of professionals for ways to manage waste and water quality while maximizing efficiency.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) announced today that it is awarding the University of Waterloo – along with five other Canadian universities and institutes – $1.65 million to establish TERRE CREATE (Training toward Environmentally Responsible Resource Extraction) through NSERC’s Collaborative, Research and Training Experience grant program.

David BlowesLed by Professor David Blowes from Waterloo’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences a team of thirty-two Canadian researchers in the TERRE CREATE program combine two of NSERC’s priority areas: natural resources and environmental science and technology.

TERRE CREATE is a unique program that will propel Canada and Canadian students to the forefront of sustainable resource extraction and mining on an international level,” said Blowes.

The program will offer an unprecedented range of classroom, research and workshop opportunities for exceptional environmental science students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as post-doctoral researchers.

Students will also benefit from industry research partnerships, internships and work placements aimed at delivering classroom knowledge straight to the field. Soft skill training, mentorship, multidisciplinary workshops, conferences, and field-site collaborative research projects are also designed to accelerate professional skill development and prepare students for employment upon graduation.

In addition to Waterloo, the program’s co-applicants include University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Saskatchewan, and University of New Brunswick, Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Institut de Recherche en Mines et en Environnement (IRME), and the Canadian Circumpolar Institute (Alberta).

Collaborators include Shell Canada, AMEC, Canadian Light Source Inc., Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., Detour Gold Ltd., the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, the École Polytechnique, and the Universities of Queensland and Luleǻ Technical Universities. Collaborating Waterloo faculty members come from the departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Biology, Chemical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Students can apply to TERRE CREATE starting Fall 2014.