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March 16, 2014
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Up Mines, down Harvard

As a Mines graduate (professional engineer, Sterling Silver Diploma), I hope valley students will consider going to the Colorado School of Mines.

Recently the BBC News Magazine ran comments by a variety of notables.

This one caught my eye: “Dr. Pippa Malmgren, Principalis Asset Management: 73 is the periodic table number for an element few people have ever heard of, tantalum. We’re incredibly dependent on this rare earth metal. It’s essential for all telecommunications, and lots of defence equipment — and your mobile phone won’t work without it.

“Tantalum serves as a reminder that in the world economy lots of the most important things that we need are actually very limited in their supply. You assume that if you need something like tantalum you just get it. Well, guess what? We don’t have enough engineers, including mining engineers, and we probably won’t for some years to come until we fix and redress this balance.

“For the last 25 years if you had any maths skills you went into finance because that career paid the most. It means we’ve also got a global shortage of engineers right now. This year is really interesting because it’s the first year that the graduates of the Colorado School of Mines, America’s best engineering school, will be paid more than Harvard Business School graduates thus enticing young people with maths skills to go back into the real economy, which is a great thing.”

And in case valley students wonder who goes to Mines: Well, some very talented and hard working young men and women like one of one of the country’s most promising race car drivers, Sabre Cook, who won her first Kart World Championship in 2007 at age 13. In 2012, Cook was the S2 semi-pro national champion, before bumping up to S1 in 2013 with the best kart racers around. See a video at

John Valersky


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The VailDaily Updated Mar 24, 2014 12:10PM Published Mar 23, 2014 11:12PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.