Speaker Spotlight: Prof Fubao Zhou

9 August 2019

As we build up to Mine Vent 2019, we will be interviewing our keynote speakers on some key topics within the ventilation industry.

We recently asked Professor Fubao Zhou for his views on mine ventilation education in China. Fubao Zhou is the Professor of Safety Science & Engineering and Director of the Talent Office at China University of Mining and Technology. He has been Vice-President of the 11th International Mine Ventilation Congress in 2018 and Deputy Director of China Mine Ventilation Professional Committee from 2013. His research interests span over a variety of topics in mine ventilation, industrial dust prevention, CBM prevention & utilization, utilization of underground coal fires, and related occupational health issues. He is the author and co-author of more than 150 papers. He is the recipient of several national and international research awards and is the members of editorial board of several International Journals. He has consulted for large and small collieries as well as served on numerous group companies. Currently, research programs led by Professor Zhou include National Key Technologies R&D Program in the field of key technologies for intelligent decision-making and emergency control of mine ventilation during mine disaster, National 111 project etc.

What are the trends in undergraduate mining engineer enrolment in China?

Generally speaking, the undergraduate enrolments of a mining engineer are mainly affected by the development status and prospects of the coal industry in China. The details are given as follows.

  1.  The rise of new engineering majors influence the enrolment scale of mining engineers. In recent years, with the rise of new engineering fields such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics, for the so-called “hard” and “unpopular” traditional engineering majors such as mining engineering, candidates are not willing to apply for examinations, and the number of applicants is small. The scale of university enrollment is reduced and undergraduate enrollment is facing a severe challenge. Meanwhile, after the end of the “Golden Decade” of the coal industry in 2013, the development of the coal industry was unstable. In 2018, coal accounted for 59% of China’s energy consumption structure. Although it is still plays a very important part role, it still shows a downward trend with the development of clean energy.
  2. New trends in the development of mine intelligence bring new vitality to enrollments. The transformation of intelligent mining in coal mines is an important guide to improving students’ understanding of traditional mining engineering. In recent years, many universities such as China University of Mining and Technology have set up intelligent mining classes to focus on cultivating a group of high-end technical talents to meet the needs of talents in the new direction of mine intelligence development.
  3. With the change of China’s energy policy, the trends of enrolments of mining engineers is towards occupational health and safety, green and clean utilisation, environmental protection and ecological restoration etc.


How much mine ventilation is taught to undergraduates and in what year of their course?

Undergraduate students of safety engineering and mining engineering mainly study professional courses such as mine ventilation in the second and third years in China. “Fluid mechanics”, “engineering thermodynamics”, “air conditioning and ventilation” and “mine gas, fire, coal dust prevention and control” are taught to undergraduates by university teachers.


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