On Wednesday we had our second university visit. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid is heavily focused on mining. That is why they have not one but two different master’s programs for mining and minerals: Mining Operation and Metallurgy and Mineral Processing. Other master’s programs are Energy Engineering, Geological Engineering and Energetic Resources, Fuels and Explosives Engineering. They are the 9th best university to offer education in mining in Europe and 35th in the world ranking.
The building itself was very different compared to the universities we have been accustomed to. It was built in 1835 and the first hall we entered is a museum. There were over 400 different rock and mineral samples in the museum. They reminded some of us about our freshmen year when we had the infamous rock-smelling-course (also known as geology and geomechanics). Other than rocks, there were bones and fossils of now extinct species dating from trilobites in the Pangea era to cave bears from ice age. They also arrange tours and events for all people interested in mining, minerals and ancient history.
The next room we visited had core samples from Finland. All the samples were from rural Finland. They had some copper, nickel, gold and even some bits of titanium in them. It was amazing to see that a university in Spain takes and uses samples from Finland in their research.
On our way to rock and mineral laboratory, there was an actual mining tower that has been used. Its height was a bit over 10 meters and a good addition to the university’s inner yard. In the lab, a professor told us about their projects and inventions. For example, they do analytical characterizing of metals. The method they use for that is automatic reflection analysis. They have invented a new way to scan samples. The optical sensor scans the line segment between two defined points. That way they get a rough analysis of all metals inside the sample.
Before the presentation about the university and copper refining, we were offered coffee and tea in the university’s cafeteria to keep us awake, alert and happy. They gave us a broad overview of their university and common fields of study they offer. The classroom, in which we had the presentation, was funded by a mineral company called Atlantic Copper which was well represented.
In the evening we had a special opportunity to go see a Real Madrid’s football game at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. This opportunity was offered to us by Rejlers who were kind enough to provide our tickets and snacks for the game. For many of us this was the first time watching live football. We were all very excited about this game because we Finns rarely see football on this level in this grand of a stadium. We had quite a view from our seats. The game itself had many twists and turns that kept it interesting from start to finish. In the end, Real Madrid beat Osasuna 2-0. After the game we were (not surprisingly) not the only ones that tried to get to the metro. Surprisingly enough it still went rather smoothly as they had special arrangements made because of the game. We managed to stay together and found our way back to the hostel safe and sound.