On the 3rd and 4th of November, the Defense of Monographs Cycle for the conclusion of the Specialization Course in Geotechnical Engineering took place in the CREA Auditorium, in Belém, in partnership with the Federal University of Pará (UFPA, in portuguese). This was the first time that UFPA held a postgraduate course together with a company in the aluminum chain. At the conclusion of this first class, which started in May 2021, 16 students presented their monographs during the two days, with research topics in the areas of monitoring of tailings storage structures, risk analysis, improvements in operational processes and disposal management of tailings, geophysical methods applied to mining, quality control of tailings dams, rheology of mining tailings, among others.
The monographs were evaluated by examining boards formed by UFPA professors and company professionals with expertise in the area, raising the quality and level of the monographs in their final version. The specialization class was composed of graduates from the Civil Engineering, Mining Engineering, Geology and Geophysics courses. Classes covered the latest trends in this area and students were trained to work with excellence in projects, operation and safety in the maintenance of dams and other tailings and solid residue disposal systems.
“When we pointed out the need for this course, in 2019, we started discussions and meetings with UFPA to format the curriculum. There were several meetings and workshops in which Hydro presented its demands and the university what it could offer, and so we reached a good end for everyone. The formation of a team with a high level of knowledge and aligned with the needs of the market contributes to the development of the local workforce. The legacy we want to leave is the practice of good engineering, which brings sustainability and conscious development to the state”, says Paschoal Cataldi, executive manager of Hydro's residue areas.
According to professor Dr. Maria Amélia Enriquéz, from the Directorate of International Agreements and Strategic Affairs of the Pro-Rectory of International Relations (PROINTER/UFPA), the university has 12 campuses that reach 72 municipalities in the state, representing 40% of the local population. In the case of this course, the faculty was formed by engineering professors from UFPA, Belém and Tucuruí campuses, and collaborating professors from other federal universities such as UnB, UFRR, UFBA. “We have a consolidated partnership with Hydro, through several research and extension projects, infrastructure support, internships and now the specialization course. Initiatives like this allow us to leverage opportunities by offering resources to finance these researches, exchanging experiences, exchanging professors and students, generating innovations and mutual benefits,” said director Amélia.
The coordinator of the Specialization course, doctor teacher Fernanda Gouveia, who has already held the chair of coordination of the Professional Master's Degree in Dam Engineering and Environmental Management at UFPA-Tucuruí for two terms, expresses "the great satisfaction in seeing the successful completion of the course, with the direct results of producing monographs containing topics of high relevance to the sector, which include innovations and improvements; the production of scientific articles that will be published in renowned journals in the field of Geotechnical Engineering and, the delivery to the regional market and to Hydro itself, of qualified professionals, able to meet the challenges of the current scenario, marked by new requirements, new milestones regulatory framework and new quality standards. In addition, the partnership made it possible to acquire new equipment for the Civil Engineering laboratory at UFPA, which will be widely used in soil teaching and research activities, contributing to the excellence of undergraduate and graduate Engineering courses, UFPA It is the first time that the university has established a professional qualification partnership with a mining company, investing in human resources. All other projects celebrated in partnership with several companies in the region are aimed at research and extension”.
Upon completion of the specialization course, engineers, geologists and geophysicists will be able to gain new job opportunities in operations that require the title of Specialist in Geotechnics. They will be able to develop improvement projects seeking implementation in the units. “In my monograph on bauxite tailings drying, we showed that today there are several necessary improvements to the drying process that are on the radar of this industry. We came to contribute with another proposal, which we hope will be useful for the market”, points out the student Ismayla Carneiro.
“Among the many fruits of this partnership with UFPA, we celebrated a major milestone, as part of Hydro's commitment to empower 500,000 people through education by 2030. Geotechnics is an important field to ensure our safe operations, with the willingness of residue, and for the industry in general”, highlights Marcelo Montini, senior chemical consultant at Hydro.