EduMine: A Look Back from Retirement

simon-houldingWe started EduMine 18 years ago in 1999.

Our mission from the start has been to disseminate technology to the mining community around the world using the Internet as our platform.

There were no LMSs (Learning Management Systems) when we started … we had to develop our own courseware template with a minimum bandwidth requirement to reach remote mining operations with poor Internet connections.

We started EduMine with the support of Andy Robertson and InfoMine in 1999. With retirement a reality, it is appropriate to list some of the changes that have occurred in the mining industry.

  • Online learning was viewed with distrust and suspicion when we started. Today it is accepted as being as good as or better than face-to-face instructor-led learning.
  • Each browser had unique requirements and had to be catered for independently. Today’s browser functionality has been standardized to a large degree.
  • The capacity of the Internet and computing has increased close to 100-fold over the life of EduMine.

And some of the milestones we have achieved …

  • Together with our authors and presenters we have developed more than 200 courses on mining topics in several languages.
  • We developed a royalty-based business model with more than 150 mining specialists to author and present our courses.
  • More than 30,000 students around the world have viewed and studied our courses.
  • Nearly 9,000 students have completed certification in a total of more than 25,000 courses.
  • Our courses are recognized as formal CPD (Continuing Professional Development) by professional mining associations and institutions like CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum) and SME (Society for Mining, Exploration and Metallurgy).
  • We have had strong support throughout from UBC (University of British Columbia). Our courses are now used by mining universities around the world to fill out their curricula.
  • We have also had strong support from industry. In 2015 we received an award from CIM for meritorious contribution to mining.

It has been creative and rewarding. We believed we were doing something worthwhile for the global mining community, and there have been many high points.

Thank you all: authors, presenters, students, professionals and clients for putting your faith in EduMine and for your strong support. You have all contributed to EduMine’s success.

I leave for retirement with every confidence in EduMine and the team, very ably led by Katja Freitag.

Simon Houlding is Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc., responsible for EduMine, the professional development division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry. He is a practicing professional engineer and author.

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