Supporting the next generation of metallurgical and engineering talent with the STEM METS Career Pathway Program

The mining sector is facing a growing challenge when it comes to attracting the next generation of skilled and talented workers. 

The pandemic exacerbated the shortage, with many companies struggling to find talented workers to fill specialist roles due to travel restrictions and a lack of skilled migrants.

The fact many young people also regard the mining sector as dated and unsustainable, particularly with respect to its lagging digital transformation, is another problem that needs to be addressed if the sector is to thrive into the future. 
At Metallurgical Systems, we are committed to improving the sustainability of the industry, and to creating opportunities for young engineers and metallurgists that will keep them excited and optimistic about the future. One of the main ways we do this is through the Austmine STEM METS Career Pathway Program.

“We are proud to provide opportunities to the next generation of technical professionals and have over the years have hosted several paid internships for some very high-quality candidates,” says John Vagenas, Metallurgical Systems’ Managing Director. 

Gabrielle Burge is one such candidate - a talented chemical engineer who completed an internship at Metallurgical Systems earlier this year, while in her second year of a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales. 

During her time at Metallurgical Systems, Gabrielle was involved in producing some in-depth technical modelling which gave her the chance to leverage what she was learning at university, as well as gain some vital new skills.   

“I helped model a concept design for a plant that recovers battery grade lithium from waste residue generated at another process plant. I constructed flowsheets using client specifications and applied chemical and thermodynamic principles to the modelling of units such as autoclaves and heat exchangers,” says Gabrielle. 

For the Metallurgical Systems team, it’s extremely important to provide interns with the opportunity to use the technology that they would end up using if they were to remain in the industry. 

“Digital transformation is accelerating in the mining sector right now, and we want to showcase this for our interns as much as possible. We encourage our interns to use their own practical thinking and to solve problems in a way that makes them curious and keen to learn more,” John says. 

“I’ve learnt an incredible amount from being surrounded by highly experienced engineers who were always willing to answer questions and provide support,” says Gabrielle. 

“The team really challenged me to improve my engineering mindset and taught me how to approach problems beyond the scope of anything I’d encountered in university projects,” she adds. 

Gabrielle says she was supported and encouraged by Austmine during and after her internship.

“The STEM METS Career Pathway Program provided insightful seminars during my internship that expanded my knowledge of the METS sector and offered valuable career advice,” says Gabrielle. 

If you want to learn more, or are interested in an internship at Metallurgical Systems, please get in touch today