After nearly two-years of intense negotiations, the University of Leoben has succeeded in concluding a far-reaching cooperative agreement with the St. Petersburg State Mining Institute. The aim of the agreement is to train Russian and Austrian engineers in the fields of mineral resources and mining machinery in a common European and Russian study environment. The agreement also intends to support international enterprises dealing with resource engineering with their future investments in Russia and create the personnel resources for successful project developments.
At the signing of the contract, the rector of the St. Petersburg Mining Institute, Vladimir Litvinenko, pointed out in his speech that although Russia is the biggest country on the globe and displays a huge potential of raw materials, there is still a significant lack of internationally qualified engineers who are absolutely crucial for the further development of successful projects in the raw materials sector. Therefore, the rector recognizes the cooperation with the University of Leoben as a strategical step towards the internationalisation of the education at St. Petersburg.
The rector of the University of Leoben, Wolfhard Wegscheider, focused in his address on Leoben’s long experience in international education and exchange: „I see Russia as the key partner in terms of the sustainable supply of raw materials for Europe. The internationalisation in the field of resource engineering at the University of Leoben parallels the contributions and efforts which Leoben makes for the European commission. In May, 2010, a strategy-document was developed for the European Raw Materials Initiative which will serve the commission as a basis for future legislation in the field of raw materials supply“, Wegscheider explained. Moreover, having joined cooperations with leading technical universities in the European Union, North America and Australia, the development of partnerships with Russia, South-East Asia and China is now on the agenda.
The co-signatories of the agreement between the University of Leoben and the St. Petersburg Mining Institute are Sandvik, Strabag SE (mineral group) as well as Binder + Co AG. For these enterprises, Russia plays a critical role in their future business developments.
The cooperation agreement involves not only the exchange of students between the St. Petersburg Mining Institute and the University of Leoben in the fields of mineral resource engineering (mining, tunnel construction, processing), but also the opportunity for Russian students to undertake their internships or write their dissertations at the co-signing companies. In addition, the participating companies commit themselves to providing their expertise to the students in the form of their lab equipment or seminars and lectures.
Today the St. Petersburg Mining Institute, which was founded in 1773 and regarded as one of the oldest mining academies in Europe, is the leading university in the field resource engineering in Russia. Not only Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wrote his thesis entitled „Strategic significance of raw materials for the future development of Russia“ at the institute, but also the current rector, Vladimir Litvinenko, serves as advisor of the Russian government in all matters of resource engineering.
The Mining Institute has its main education and research focus in the areas of mining, oil production and mining machinery, and is thus comparable with the University of Leoben and its technical specialization. Every year, about 1000 engineers are trained in the previously mentioned study and research areas. What is remarkable about the St. Petersburg Mining Institute is its entrepreneurial commitment in projects of raw materials exploration and as the holder of societies for the architectural and infrastructural development of St. Petersburg.
Univ. Prof. Peter Moser
Tel.: +43 664 52 67 929