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Meet Bo Yuan: Mining Engineering Student

Guest author Bo Yuan (photo, above) is an engineering student at the University of British Columbia. He created this post for senior instructor Annette Berndt’s technical writing class.

Like many high school students, I was a little confused about what I should pursue as a career.  Frankly, I went into the Faculty of Applied Science without any clear idea of what an engineer does. A group of senior mining engineering students pointed me into the right direction. They told me: “If you like to play with big machines and to blow up stuff legally, then go into mining engineering.”

Here are photos of a giant “monster,” a Bucket Wheel Excavator used in open pit mines:

Well, explosions and blowing stuff up definitely sounds very exciting, but I joined mining engineering  because I was attracted to their camaraderie, their spirit of unity, and the future of having huge responsibilities.

Yes, big machines come with big responsibility. The cost of a single replacement tire for a haul truck is $50,000.  Engineers have the ability to change our world, so they must take responsibility for what our world is changing into.

You probably have not realized how important mining is to our world.  Laptops, cars, medicines, and even bread all contain elements that have to be mined.  As a result, mining raw materials is essential for our society to work.

What if natural resources start to run out? This is when mining becomes even more interesting. Some pioneers have already started working on Space Mining. We might be just in time to become the first generation of space miners!

Learn about asteroid mining:

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