UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering (MERE) welcomed 10 Year 11 and 12 students who opted to tackle a mining-related challenge as part of the UNSW Young Women in Engineering Pathway program.

The program aims to equip students with valuable skills through participation in an engineering challenge set by Engineering schools in UNSW. Guided by lead academics and UNSW Women in Engineering student ambassadors, the participants collaborate with like-minded peers in small groups to tackle the challenge. At the end of the program, each group pitch their findings and solutions.

Dr Yu Jing, the MERE lead academic, provided the challenge focusing on critical minerals used in Electric Vehicles. Students were tasked with identifying necessary minerals, their sources, primary producers, and main mining technologies. They also researched future demand in alignment with the 2050 net zero emission target.

“The students thoroughly enjoyed the program, and for many, it changed their perceptions of mining engineering,” said Dr Jing.

“Some had misconceptions that mining is dirty, dangerous, and not focused on the future. However, after completing the challenge, touring our facilities, and hearing from our Head of School, they realised that mining has huge potential for the future, especially in cleaner energy. They also noted the field offers bright career prospects and uses advanced and automated technologies.”

“The Young Women in Engineering Pathway Program has opened my eyes to the possibility of pursuing Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering and I thoroughly enjoyed how it allowed Year 11 and 12 students to project their innovative thinking and creativity,” said Rachel Li, one of the participants.

“From this experience, I’ve learnt how to hone my teamwork skills, communicate with other aspiring engineers and most importantly, it has reassured me that engineering is the area I would like to pursue. Especially while investigating the School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, an area which I was not too familiar with, I was happily surprised with how much I enjoyed researching the minerals and resources industry,” she said.

View the final video of Group 20 here.