Industry First for University of Derby Minerals Course

Robin Gillespie is Hanson UK’s Area Operations Manager for the North of England. He received his Bachelor of Science in Minerals Management at a degree ceremony at the University of Derby.

“I enrolled on the inaugural BSc course in 2013 but dropped out after six months due to time pressure to focus on my work. I restarted the course in 2015, combining my studies with my role as Unit Manager at Shap quarry in Cumbria. It was a lot of hard work and required considerable commitment. I was fortunate to have incredible support from both Hanson and the staff at the University of Derby, but I am so proud to be the first first.”
Robin Gillespie, University of Derby graduate

The BSc (Hons) Minerals Management is a part-time degree designed specifically for the mineral products industry to prepare its leaders and managers for the future. The blended learning course involves online modules, as well as field projects. Robin’s work-based project looked at the benefits of using electronic delay versus pyrotechnical detonations for quarry blasting. The 63 page report earned him an impressive 86 per cent mark and played a major part in securing the top grade.

Robin Gillespie graduation photo with Vice Chancellor Kath Mitchell

Robin explains: “Lifelong learning is so important for our industry and formal academic qualifications can help you develop both personally and professionally. Without it I wouldn’t have unlocked the potential cost savings identified in my report. Those findings have already been introduced at Shap and recommended for implementation at HeidelbergCement quarries around the world, with potential annual savings of £750,000.”

Mark Osbaldeston heads up the Centre for Mineral Products at the University of Derby. He adds: “I’m personally delighted for Robin that he received a well deserved first class honours degree. His application and enthusiasm for the course was exceptional.”

James Thorne, Chief Executive Officer, IQ, says: “What a fantastic achievement by Robin and all of this year’s cohort. His success marks a significant milestone in the continual progression of the mineral extractives programmes at the University of Derby. IQ’s partnership with the University of Derby is helping raise standards of professionalism throughout the industry, as more and more individuals and operators recognise the profound benefit of academic qualifications from higher apprenticeships through to honours degrees.”

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