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Invitation to the SUMEX MOOC – Massive Open Online Course starts on 7 November 2022

Mineral extraction is crucial to Europe’s twin digital and green transition. It is essential that these minerals are not extracted at the expense of the environment and people. In order to have a truly green transition, we also need sustainable management in the extractive sector: Minimising the environmental footprint of an extraction project while at the same time contributing to a local and societal license to operate. This transition to sustainable management is challenging, both for policy and industry.

The SUMEX Massive Open Online Course will address five key challenges that industry and policy face in this transition. The course makes use of scientific concepts and holistic sustainability concepts at the operational level and will outline potential solutions based on practical examples applicable across Europe.

Register Now!

What is in it for you?

  • Design, with other stakeholders, new sustainable management practices
  • Explain the environmental and societal impact of mineral extraction
  • Analyse environmental impact using tools such as the three pillars of sustainability
  • Discover sustainable management best practice in policy and industry

What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…

  • Reflect on the importance of a coherent approach to a sustainability framework in the extractive sector
  • Explain the societal relevance of raw material extraction
  • Investigate the main pillars of sustainable extractive management
  • Apply sustainability frameworks for mineral extraction to different institutional and local contexts
  • Identify and evaluate good practices in the extractive industry in a critical manner
  • Discuss with experts and peers the current state and related challenges of the European extractive sector
  • Explore the SUMEX and other important tools about good practice learning

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for leaders, managers and stakeholders in the mineral extractive industry who want to learn about the challenges, solutions and new developments in sustainability.

It will be especially useful for public administrators and industry practitioners wishing to understand and implement sustainability management at any stage of the mining life cycle, from exploration to post-closure.

This course also benefits those interested in the importance of raw materials for a sustainable future and the challenges connected to them!

The EIT Community – a major strength in Europe

On 23 September 2022, the RIC Leoben team had the pleasure to represent EIT RawMaterials at the EIT OpenDay in Vienna, together with EIT Manufacturing, EIT Health, EIT UrbanMobility and EIT Culture&Creativity.
Every speaker confirmed that the major strength of EIT is collaboration within a large professional network, something that we at RIC Leoben and EIT RawMaterials have been supporting since 2015!

Dipl.-Ing. Robert Obenaus-Emler

Robert Obenaus-Emler leads the activities in the area of research, development and innovation management with a focus on the area of direct research cooperation with industry. The coordination and networking of individual chairs within the University of Leoben is one of the essential tasks in order to be able to deal with corresponding questions from industrial partners with the know-how and expert knowledge of all relevant disciplines of the MUL efficiently, purposefully and in the highest quality. The resulting sustainable network within the university in combination with the contacts to Austrian and international industrial partners resulting from the projects contributes significantly to the further consolidation of the University of Leoben as a pioneering technical-scientific research partner, especially in the field of sustainable use of raw materials and resources. In addition, contacts to national and international research partners are utilized when dealing with complex and multidisciplinary issues.
Currently, the focus is on the sustainable production of hydrogen and carbon, the efficient use of waste and residual materials with a low ecological footprint, the evaluation and development of technologies in the field of CO2 capture, utilization, and storage (Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage – CCUS), the further development of sustainable building materials, and the increased integration of life cycle analyses already in the phase of developing new technical processes on a laboratory scale. This is intended to support the quickest possible and most environmentally compatible implementation towards a commercial scale and to make a significant contribution to reducing the material footprint.
Another focus – in close cooperation with the RIC’s Education Team – is on the involvement and awareness raising of all age groups of the general public in essential technical developments, especially in connection with environmentally relevant topics, in the sense of a Life Long Learning approach.
Robert Obenaus-Emler studied rock metallurgy at the University of Leoben with stays abroad at the Colorado School of Mines (USA) as well as the Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal and McGill University (Canada) and was already active as a student assistant in industry-related research projects during his studies. Afterwards, he managed various industrial projects in the field of thermodynamic simulation as well as flow simulation of large-scale plants, the development of refractory building materials, and the resource-efficient and sustainable use of mineral residues and waste materials.

At a glance


PhD-Programme Health and Safety in Mining

Four leading European mining universities are working closely together with industrial partners in order to develop a PhD-Program with a focus on increasing mine safety, using the most up to date research data and basing their studies on industry-driven, real scenarios and projects.
The project aims to develop a holistic, timely and resilient PhD-Program in Health and Safety in Mining and to train a cadre of qualified professionals who can lead the future of health and safety work in the European mining industry based on a modern view of how an attractive and safe mine should be designed and organised. To achieve this objective SafeMine provides a program for qualified leaders of tomorrow’s safety and health work in mining. In the first stage, covered by this application, we intend to develop and implement a curriculum and management respective administration structure and to finally kick-off the proposed PhD-Program in Health and Safety in Mining.

Duration: 01/2018 – 03/2020

Partner: Montanuniversität Leoben (Chair of Subsurface Engineering), Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, Boliden Mineral, TU Clausthal, Dräger Safety, Luleå University of Technology, RWTH Aachen, Veitsch-Radex;