February 2008

Recognizing academic excellence

Meet CIM Foundation scholarship recipients

By A. Nichiporuk

A mining engineer in the making

A passion for science and technology led Jonathan Gilbert, the winner of the Caterpillar and its Canadian Dealers Scholarship, to pursue his studies in engineering. He said: “I’ve been asked a hundred times ‘why mining engineering?’ Well, for me, the idea of working on a project from the planning stage to the operation stage, where you have to retrieve millions of tonnes of minerals located kilometres underground, fascinates me.”

Through the co-op program at Université Laval, Gilbert’s had three diversified work terms. He carried out project evaluations and learned all the steps in the development of a mining project at Agnico-Eagle; then he honed his skills at a surface mine at QIT-Fer et Titane’s Havre-St-Pierre mine; finally he participated in excavation cost estimation and blasting activities in limestone quarries for Inter-Cité Construction.

Over the next few years, Gilbert plans on acquiring as much experience as possible. He said, “I have numerous ambitious projects in mind for my career. I’m interested in so many aspects of the industry — supervision, project management, planning and ground control. I am convinced that these different aspects of industry complement each other and that all of these experiences will lead to a very successful career.”

Make way for an up-and-coming geologist

Andrea Langerud, this year’s Scotiabank and Scotia Capital Markets Scholarship winner, always loved camping, quadding, hiking and fishing. When it came time to choose a career path, she knew what she was looking for. “I definitely wanted a career that allowed me to explore the outdoors and be adventurous. The minerals industry allows me to spend the majority of my time doing things that I enjoy,” said Langerud.

Family and friends working in the oil and gas industry sparked her interest in oil exploration. After studying at NAIT, she had made up her mind. “I decided that mineral exploration provided more dynamic, physical and exciting career choices than oil and gas, so I went in that direction.”

A variety of field work has given her a real taste of what exploration work is all about. “As a technologist with Aurora Geosciences, I worked all over northern Canada and Alaska. It exposed me to base metal and diamond projects, all from the grassroots stage to pre-production stage.” She continued, “I spent last summer working for Northern Freegold Resources Ltd. at an exploration project in the Yukon. I gained some great experience, particularly in core logging, mapping and prospecting. I have also worked as a student geologist for the Alberta Geological Survey and as an environmental technologist for Stantec Consulting.”

After graduating from the University of Alberta, Langerud would like to work for an exploration or mining company. However, running a small consulting firm or managing a junior mining company is something she can definitely see herself doing.

A little advice she offers to new students: “Get into good shape and keep a big list of contacts.”

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