Professor awarded with Honorary Professorship of Russian University

Two Men
Carsten Drebenstedt, Professor of Mining at TU Freiberg, was awarded an honorary professorship of the North Caucasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (State Technical University) in Vladikavkaz at begin of July. Also a contract for closer cooperation was signed.

During his stay at the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in Vladikavkaz, Prof. Drebenstedt was invited to give a lecture on the internationalization of teaching and research in the Senate of the University, and was subsequently awarded his honorary professorship.

Prof. Drebenstedt has been working with associates in Vladikavkaz for about 15 years. The scientists have been particularly interested in processes surrounding the closure of unprofitable ore mines – while at the same time making economic use of the residues of processing and low-grade ores that have accumulated up to this point. The enrichment and concentration of heavy metals (such as lead and zinc) from waste ore heaps and residue basins can, on the one hand, generate revenues and, on the other hand, significantly reduce environmental pollution and the risk of same. Through a combination of activation of the mineral surfaces and leaching, high extraction rates are proven, including e.g. for the extraction of gold or uranium from power plant ashes. The expertise and experience gained in mine remediation in Germany has also met with great interest. A lively exchange has developed (within the framework of international conferences, for example), and has resulted in the joint publication of specialist articles and books.

Prof. Drebenstedt and the rector of the Russian University, Prof. Juri Dmitrak, signed the cooperation agreement on July 5.

Both universities are currently working together on the "MINERAL" project, which is funded by the European Union. Since 2016, MINERAL has ensured that four Russian and two Vietnamese universities have been supported by universities in Germany, Italy and Austria in modernizing and overhauling their master’s and doctoral programs. The range of content of the courses varies from information technologies to classical deposit exploration and on to economics. The MINERAL project is managed by TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

From July 2 to July 6, the project partners met in Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, and discussed how education and training might benefit from improved scientific networks. Agreements are being prepared that range from the exchange of teaching content between the partners to double degree programs.

A new course of study is currently being developed at the North Caucasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in which the expertise that has been accumulated at TU Bergakademie Freiberg on socially and environmentally conscious mining forms a key element. "The agreement between Freiberg and Vladikavkaz opens the way for more binding and intensive cooperation", said Prof. Drebenstedt. "The Caucasus is a region rich in raw materials, but the effects of mining on the environment must be resolved. Meanwhile, there are great challenges to be faced in the battle against natural hazards like glaciers, volcanoes and earthquakes."  


The capital city of Vladikavkaz lies close to the border between the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and Georgia. It has over 300,000 inhabitants and is the primary industrial and cultural centre of the North Caucasus. Vladikavkaz is a multicultural city where members of many nationalities and religions live. The Ossetians form the largest population group in the city, with a share of around 66 percent of the total population. This is followed by ethnic Russians with 23.5 percent, as well as many Armenians and Georgians.

For further information, please visit:

Contact Person: Prof. Carsten Drebenstedt, Tel +49 3731 / 39-3373