In the mines of northern Sweden


Alexander von Schéele

After graduating from the German School in Stockholm, Alex decided to study electrical engineering at RWTH. However, it was clear to him in the first semester that he didn't find this degree programme particularly exciting. He wanted to study something more practical and happened to find out about the bachelor's degree programme in geo-resource management. He completed his Bachelor's degree in February 2021 and then started the Master's degree in Applied Geosciences with a specialisation in Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR).

During his Master's studies, he realised that he wanted to work in the mining industry and therefore chose his courses to match his career aspirations. During his studies, he worked a lot with the Leapfrog Geo software; this is in high demand in the mining and exploration industry. And as a graduate with knowledge of Leapfrog Geo, you are in high demand yourself! RWTH -Aachen is one of only a few universities in the world that offers courses in it.

He graduated in February 2021 and then started working at Björkdalsgruvan, a gold mine outside Skelleftå in northern Sweden. Here he mainly mapped drill cores from exploratory drilling in the immediate vicinity of the mine. After just under one and a half years at Björkalsgruvan, he moved to Kaunis Iron, even further north in Sweden. At the iron ore mine outside Pajala, 100 km north of the Arctic Circle, he now works as a mine geologist in production. He is responsible for ensuring that everything runs smoothly geologically in the mine. A varied and exciting job, he says. He compares his job to that of a bartender: from the given ingredients- ores of different qualities and from different sources- he has to mix them into an ore cocktail in such a way that the processing plant gets a consistently good ore quality in order to be able to produce a high-quality iron concentrate from it.

His life in Sweden is very different from that in Aachen. He likes the fact that he has free weekends where he doesn't have to do anything for university or work, or is even allowed to. Because of his shift work, he works 7 days in a row and then has weekends for 7 days in a row. In his free time, he spends a lot of time on the road with friends' huskies, or just hanging out in Sweden or Germany with family and friends.

Since the Barbara celebration in the 3rd semester, Alex was active in the student council until the end of his studies. At the beginning, he was involved in the first year's work, and then he chaired the student council for two years.

Alex remembers his studies in Aachen fondly; especially in the Master's programme, he met many friends who also had the same interests as he did. Together, for example, they founded the SEG Student Chapter at RWTH Aachen University in 2019, the second German chapter of the Society of Exploration Geologists alongside the Student Chapter in Freiberg.

Alex would like to tell other geo-students not to stress too much about their grades and the standard period of study. So far, no one has been interested in his grades and they are not really relevant for the profession. It is not important what is written on the transcript of records , it is much more important what you can really do. He recommends taking advantage of a few of the many opportunities at the university in addition to studying: -clubs, extra courses or sports. The university is a great opportunity to try out different things and learn other languages. And, of course, to enjoy your time at university!