September 2021 - Summer School "From Dredging to Deep-Sea Mining"
Striving for independence from the import of Critical Raw Materials, the EU has been making considerable investments towards reaching marine mineral resources. Recent EU projects such as Blue Mining, Blue Nodules, MIDAS, VAMOS, as well as numerous national and international programmes on exploration and exploitation of seabed minerals enabled making considerable progress towards the establishment of European deep-sea mining industry, which has a potential of creating a hundreds-billion market and thousands of new jobs. The current knowledge about deep-sea mining and particularly about the impact of mining activities on the marine environment is quite diversified and often contradictory. This is not conducive to the acceptance of seabed mining by society due to the absence of a clear and holistic picture of seabed mining and its possible environmental footprint. The DSM-School project is aiming to become a platform for the elaboration and dissemination of knowledge in deep-sea mining to increase awareness of wider society on marine mineral resources, state-of-the-art mining technologies, recent investigations on the environmental impact of seabed mining activities, as well as economic, political, social and legislative aspects. The project brings together leading universities, research organizations, and industry professionals to reach the wider society by using different communication tools such as a two-week summer school organized in Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, the Internet, and public events. The DSM-School project assumes to be turned into a long-term, self-sustainable and Europe-wide initiative for the dissemination of knowledge and boosting research and innovations.
European Forum Alpbach – Technology Symposium 2021
Montanuniversität Leoben as part of the TU Austria-Universities was responsable for on of the breakoutsession for European Forum Alpach. The topaic was “Plastics? Sustainable!”
Plastics are essential in our daily life, yet their image is very negative. In fact, the majority of plastics are used in valuable products e.g. in medicine, mobility, infrastructure or energy transmission and thus contribute to many SDGs. This BOS deals with various aspects of plastic, including their environmental relevance and usage behaviour. How plastics fit into the Circular Economy Approach will be discussed and ideas on the sustainability increase of plastic products will be presented.
At this year’s online Green Tech Jam, the solution of the challenge “Circular Economy meets Distributed Ledger – a transparent PET bottle product cycle” set by the Montanuniversität Leoben (involved institutes: Resources Innovation Center & Industrial Logistics), which was developed by an interdisciplinary team of students, won the first place. The team “sixpack” was supervised by the Chair of Industrial Logistics during the 24-hour challenge and consisted of three Slovenian students from Graz University of Technology as well as three Montan students. They were able to prevail against 7 other teams, each of which worked on one of 6 different challenges provided by the companies t-matix, BDI, Komptech and AI.engineer as well as the Climate and Energy Fund, and us.
In the Android app developed by the team “sixpack”, QR codes attached to bottles can be scanned and information about the bottles retrieved from the distributed data storage. The path of the bottle – from PET production to the supermarket – is displayed graphically on a map and unconventional energy comparisons with more or less everyday activities (e.g. the duration of headbanging during a concert) are carried out and visualised.
At the interdisciplinary Hackathon under the slogan “Code & Concept for a greener future” organised by the Green Tech Cluster Austria together with the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA) and Graz University of Technology,8 teams of students from different disciplines and different european universities had around 24 hours to work on a problem relating to the topics of climate and the environment and to present a digital solution for it. In total 36 international students participated at this event. The MUL challenge also competed as part of one of two Climathon challenges at the Green Tech Jam. Climathon is a global climate hackathon under the umbrella of EIT Climate-KIC.
Mariaelena joined RIC Leoben in October 2019, as the Education Portfolio Manager. She holds a Master degree in Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. She worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences (NL) for 17 years specialising in the Management discipline, also with a focus on cultural competences through the development and involvement in learning labs. Currently, her focus is on further developing the RIC Education Competence Center and managing the team’s portfolio of EIT and Erasmus projects. One the main responsibilities is to (co)create and maintain partnerships and projects that implement new teaching & learning pathways that foster a trans-disciplinary approach in connecting research, education, business and society for the future of T-shaped raw material engineers.
At a glance
Selective Low Impact Mining Solution
The general objective of the SLIM project is to develop a cost-effective and sustainable selective low-impact mining solution. This solution will be based on non-linear rock mass fragmentation by blasting models, airborne particulate matter, vibration affections and nitrate leaching mitigation actions for exploitation of small mineral deposits (including those with chemically complex ore-forming phases). This will positively affect the relevant mining value chain through a new generation of explosives and an advanced automatic blast design software based on improved rock mass characterisation and fragmentation models for optimum fragmentation and minimum rock damage and far-field vibrations. The development of SLIM will consequently bring an economic cost-effective exploitation of European mineral resources, with a reduced environmental impact and social acceptance. The feasibility technical, environmental and economic aspects of the entire approaches will be integrated to offer a real business solution. The final goal will be to ensure the economic viability of the entire SLIM process.
11/2016 – 10/2020 H2020 – Research and Innovation
Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, 3GSM, Benito Arno E Hijos Sa, Bureau De Recherches Geologiques Et Minieres, VA Erzberg, Investornet-Gate2growth, Luleå University of Technology, Maxamcorp International, Minpol, Minera De Orgiva Sl, Technische Universität Graz, Zabala Innovation Consulting;
Chair of Mining Engineering and Mineral Economics – Nikolaus Sifferlinger, Alexander Tscharf, Finn Ochterlony Chair of Applied Geophysics – Florian Bleibinhaus Total: € 6.979.200 Montanuniversität Leoben: € 869.778