EurGeol of the Month: Michael Haschke
“European Geologist of the month” is a section of EFG’s monthly newsletter GeoNews. Each month we ask one of the European Geologist title holders to tell us about his professional experiences and which role the title has played for his career. This month we talked to Dr. Michael Haschke, member of the German association BDG. Michael Haschke is currently Innovation Manager at DMT and in charge of developing new projects and products for the exploration and mining industry.
Name: Dr. Michael Haschke
EurGeol title number: 1116
In which country do you currently work? – Germany
In which field of geology do you work? – Mining Consulting / Innovation / Engineering Geology / Petrology / Hydrogeology / Education / Project Development
What inspired you to become a geologist? – To learn about Earth’s history (I already majored in history for my High School degree), and to travel.
How many fellow students did you have? – About 43 fellow students in the first semester, but many have left geology studies during the first 4 semesters, so that there were only 18 fellow students left for the bachelor degree (Vordiplom).
There are fewer women working in geology than men. What would you say to girls who might be interested in a career in geology? – The same thing I say to the boys: “follow your interest and passion, and keep developing your skills in the field of your choice, and you’ll become a great geologist”.
Which field of geology did you study in particular? – Structural Geology, Rare Earth Element Geochemistry, Mining Geology
In which sector(s) did/do you work? – Mainly Innovation segment (Research & Development); both in academia and the mining industry, and international Mining Consulting.
What do you currently do in your job? Could you describe an average day? – I am currently Innovation Manager at DMT where I am in charge of developing new projects and products for the exploration and mining industry.
My average day starts with email communication and telephone conferences with colleagues from across the world (typically with Australia and Mongolia first thing in the morning because of the time difference), mainly on topics such as follow-up on project ideas and project development, catching up on ongoing projects, organisation of presentations for conferences, workshops or articles. Then I usually meet team members for lunch and feedback from their side, before I start to discuss eventual problems related to latest product developments or other issues. The late afternoon is typically reserved for discussing potential new project partners; this is sensitive and requires time.
What’s your favourite part of your job? – My activities as United Nations Task Force Member in the Expert Group for Resource Classification in Geneva.
Why should young people consider a career in geosciences? – Because it is highly diverse, never boring, almost always challenging, and always relevant to the needs of society.
What kind of personal qualities do you need as a geoscientist? – Very good communication and organization skills, stamina in project management, an interest and talent for handling other cultures as one is likely to meet colleagues from around the world, and always – always – the skill to see the bigger picture.
Could you explain when and why you applied for the European Geologist title? – I am entirely convinced that monetary intensive projects such as exploration and mining projects require international standards for reporting so that investors can rely on these reports. I applied to become a European Geologist in 2013. As European Geologist (and Competent/Qualified Person) one always needs to see and understand the bigger picture; something I was always interested in.
Did you already work abroad? If yes, could you tell us about your experiences abroad? – I have studied and completed an M.Sc. degree in U.S.A. and completed 9 months of geological field work in the Atacama desert in Chile, and several months on projects in the Andes in Argentina. I was a Max-Planck postdoctoral fellow in Tel Aviv, a Lecturer in Cardiff UK, and Associate Professor at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontain, South Africa. During my time abroad I witnessed and appreciated the different cultures and work attitudes, and I have learned at lot about people, priorities and values, but the most existing time always was to set up new projects with colleagues across the world.
What does the European Federation of Geologists represent for you and what do you expect from our association? – For me the EFG represents the host institution for my EurGeol title, and I expect from this association to foster its worldwide recognition and importance.
Would you advise fellow geologists to become a member of a professional association? – Yes, because networking with peers is a key skill in any professional field.
More information on the EurGeol title: http://eurogeologists.eu/eurgeol-title