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Fig. 1. Awarding the Helmuth-Burckhardt Prize 2015: Dr. Thorsten Diercks (Managing Director of the VRB), Prof. Dr. Christian Niemann-Delius (Institute for Surface Mining at the RWTH Aachen University), Nicole Prochnau, Dr. Joachim Geisler (Chairman of the Board at the VRB), AdB Jasmin Korbmacher, AdB Friedrich Wilhelm Wagner (Head of Dept 6 at the Regional Government of Arnsberg) and AdB Werner Grigo (works in Dept 6 at the Regional Government of Arnsberg) (from left to right). Photo: VRB

Helmuth-Burckhardt-Prize 2015

The Helmuth-Burckhardt Prize awarded by the German Raw Materials and Mining Association (VRB), Berlin, was presented in 2015 to two winners: Jasmin Korbmacher MSc and Nicole Prochnau MSc. The two prize winners both studied Raw Materials Engineering at the RWTH Aachen University, graduating with flying colours.

The umbrella organisation for the German Mining Industry presented the young academics with their prizes in Berlin on 10th September 2015 as part of its general meeting. The Burckhardt Prize has been awarded annually since 1971 in recognition of achieving outstanding exam results either in a Master’s degree in Raw Materials Engineering or in the final state examination. The accolade will give the prize winners the opportunity to take part in a study trip to gain further insights into mining overseas.

Mining enthusiast Jasmin Korbmacher studied local raw materials recovery in Germany using the example of lignite recovery – both in surface mining and underground mining – in the coal, steam and baryte industries. She wrote her Master’s thesis in Germany on “Requirements under specific consideration of the mining operations planning procedure in transition from health and safety at work to environmental protection using the example of the Rhine Valley lignite district.” This subject was to lay the foundations for her future career: Straight after graduating, Jasmin Korbmacher started a traineeship to qualify as a secondary school teacher with the Mining Department of the senior civil service. She sat her second state examination in 2015 and came top of her year. Jasmin Korbmacher is currently working as a mining advisor for the mining authorities of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and works primarily with approval procedures in water resources management for lignite coal mining.

Nicole Prochnau has worked in lignite mining, in salt recovery and in the mining supplies industry. She has also spent a semester studying in Australia at the University of New South Wales, where she wrote her Master’s thesis on a “Comparison of the Conventional Mining Process to the Surface Miner Mining Method at the New Acland Coal Mine”. Nicole Prochnau has been working as a Project Engineer Surface Miner at Wirtgen, a German firm based in Australia, since the beginning of 2015. (VRB/Si.)