The Mining University’s Forum-Contest “Topical Issues of Rational Use of Natural Resources” Gathered a Record High Number of Participants This Year
It was 16 years ago when the International Forum-Contest of Young Researchers "Topical Issues of Rational Use of Natural Resources" was held by St. Petersburg Mining University for the first time. This year, due to the coronavirus outbreak the forum moved online, which, however, positively impacted both the number of contestants - up to a record-breaking 800 people - and the number of viewers - up to 2000 people, one and a half times above the last year's figure. The event traditionally taking place at the venue of the Mining University could have been followed on YouTube and ZOOM.
Over the years, the forum has become a platform for academic panel discussions wherein young researchers can introduce themselves to scientific communities. World-leading mining experts, scientists, and top managers of oil & gas companies gather at the event each year to have a look at solutions presented by young specialists. This year's presentations were delivered by contestants representing 49 countries and altogether 357 universities and scientific organisations, of which 62 were Russian educational institutions.
As forum participants noted, mineral extraction will remain a foundation for the world economy for some time to come. Therefore the mining sector will preserve its role in its global sustainable development. Vladimir Litvinenko, Rector of St. Petersburg Mining University, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Science,holds a similar opinion.
"Those transformation processes that are taking place in the energy sector today require careful regulation. They should also be balanced to create favourable conditions for the rational use of hydrocarbons. By adhering to this strategy, we will ensure sustainable growth of the global economy and, which is no less important, pave the way for the consequent adoption of alternative technologies".
International Competence Centre for Mining-Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO was a co-organiser of the conference.
The global shortage of engineers may undermine sustainable economic growth, with the worst situation being observed in South American, African and Asian countries. For this reason, UNESCO representatives were particularly glad to notice young scientists from Colombia, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and some other countries, among the contest participants.
Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng, Senior Programme Specialist for Science and Technology at UNESCO: "We try to contribute to world peace through sharing knowledge and facilitating science development. If we want engineers to be highly-qualified all across the world, we need to involve youth in seeking and elaborating new solutions. These aims are supported by the Mining University and Competence Centre for Mining-Engineering Education - organisers of the event".
As the forum experts claim, presentations were of notably high quality this year, and the majority of presented solutions could be integrated into production systems. In total, 160 participants became laureates of the contest in 17 different categories.