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New course turns engineers into globe-trotting natural resource entrepreneurs

For immediate release
Friday 14 October 2005

A new course that teaches engineers every aspect of setting up and running their own mining and energy business is announced today at Imperial College London. Students on the Metals and Energy Finance MSc will gain the skills to become minerals, metals and energy entrepreneurs by combining knowledge of engineering with an understanding of the world of finance.

During excursions to active mines and energy operations in destinations as far-flung as Canada and South Africa, students will learn from professionals how projects are evaluated, financed and developed. The course's emphasis on the financial side of natural resource projects makes it the only one of its kind in the UK.


Professor Dennis Buchanan, Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering and Director of the course, explains: "It takes a lot of smart engineering and sophisticated financial modelling to create a successful natural resource enterprise. We'll be looking at engineering problems and the practical issues of starting and running a mineral, metal and energy operation, as well as how you decide if a project is commercially viable."

Students will also investigate keeping natural resource operations as environmentally friendly as possible, exploring alternative energy sources such as fuel cells and systems such as carbon sequestration.

Experts from Imperial's Tanaka Business School, teaching alongside Imperial's engineers, will develop the students' knowledge of quantitative finance and the business world.

Professor Dot Griffiths Opens in new window, Deputy Principal of Tanaka Business School, adds: "At the end of the course, we envisage that these students will have all the skills they need to start their own natural resource business. I am also confident that these graduates will be much in demand to develop new business in major international petroleum and mining groups."

During the course, students will be able to take up secondments offered by a number of organisations including Anglo American plc, who have undertaken to fund at least one dissertation each year, and WestLB and Ernst & Young who are providing scholarships. Imperial expects a mix of recent graduates and people with relevant work experience to make up the intake of around 25 students a year. Most will have a degree in engineering, physical sciences or economics with a substantial mathematical element.

Further details of the Metals and Energy Finance MSc can be found at in Imperial's 2006/07 Postgraduate Prospectus, published online this week, at


For further information please contact:

Laura Gallagher
Press Officer
Communications Division
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6702
Mobile: +44 (0)7803 886 248

Notes to editors:

1. Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.