giggleswick-quarry-08Edge Hill University has further strengthened its links with industry by sponsoring this year’s Extractive Industries Geology (EIG) conference in St Andrews, Scotland.

The bi-annual event, which was held at Edge Hill in 2012, brings together geo-professionals from across the world to discuss and debate the latest issues and provides a unique scientific and technical shop window for the quarrying and mining industries.

This year’s EIG conference featured a presentation by former Edge Hill geology student, Andrew Smith, who undertook a part-time degree while working for glass manufacturer Pilkingtons (now NSG). His paper, which was based on his final year dissertation, explored the effects of a high iron content in the limestone used for glassmaking, and suggested a new model for blending different materials to ensure NSG continues to make glass of the highest purity.

Senior Lecturer in Geosciences, Gerry Lucas, who has been part of the EIG conference organising committee for ten years, said:

The conference is aimed at people working in the applied geology sector so having a presence there keeps us up to date with the latest issues, innovations and best practice, and makes sure our courses give students the knowledge and skills that employers are looking for.”

Applied geology is growing part of Edge Hill’s Geoscience degrees, so the Department’s close industrial links are increasingly important.

A new degree, Geology and Physical Geography, which begins in September 2014, dedicates the third year to the industrial applications of geology, while students on other programmes can take new modules on quarrying and mineral extraction.

“Our students are starting to reap the benefits of the University’s long-standing association with the EIG conference,” says Gerry.