Faculty of Electrical Engineering prepares courses for miners in an international consortium

Cooperation Press Release University

The REMAKER project creates retraining courses in modern mechatronics for 2 target regions - Ida-Virumaa in Estonia and Silesia in Poland. In the next few years, the traditional oil shale and coal mining industry is expected to decline, with the consequent necessary transfer of employment elsewhere.

Scientists from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of West Bohemia (UWB) are participating in the REMAKER international project, whose full name, Requalification of the workforce in the field of fossil fuel extraction for the modern industry, also describes its goal. The project led by Estonia's Tallinn University of Technology brought together scientists from the Polish University of Technology Śląska and the German Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen in addition to UWB. They are working on an online tool to help people employed in the mining industry transition to modern industries, including Industry 4.0.

As part of the REMAKER project, retraining courses in modern mechatronics are being created for two target regions – the Ida-Virumaa region in Estonia and the Silesia region in Poland. In the next few years, they expect a reduction in the traditional mining of oil shale and coal and the associated necessary transition of employed people elsewhere. The requirements of modern industry, including Industry 4.0, are to be met precisely thanks to the prepared courses..

“The main theme of the REMAKER project is mechatronic engineering, an interdisciplinary engineering field focusing on electronic, electrical, and mechanical systems. These fields are strongly interconnected and overlapping and can be considered the main technological pillars of the modern mechatronics-oriented industry of the 21st century. The retraining will include electric drives, automation, robotics, power electronics, and monitoring of the state of industrial systems," explains Lukáš Veg from the RICE research center of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, who is dealing with the REMAKER together with the Vice-Dean for Educational Activities, Roman Pechánek.

At the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, study materials are created for the course in English, specifically for the subject of Industrial Automation. Furthermore, the Faculty helps other partners create other modules focused on power electronics, industrial machines, or robotics and devices. Everything will be ready for use in 2024 when the project ends.

"EU directives and regulations assume that by 2030 greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by at least 55 percent compared to 1990, and the share of renewable sources in final energy consumption will be at least 32 percent. This means that over the next decade, there will be a significant change in the distribution of labor between different industrial sectors due to the need to reduce the production and use of fossil fuels. It is a huge challenge for industries where the extraction, production, and use of fossil fuels were the largest industrial areas with the greatest consumption of resources," says Lukáš Veg.

The mining industry is historically an important part of both regions on which the project is focused. The Ida-Virumaa region is known for the mining and processing oil shale - fuel in power plants that generate energy for the entire country. In addition, oil shale is a source for shale oil production - a fuel for ships and heavy industry. Approximately 80 percent of the world's quantity of this rock is mined and used in Estonia.

"EU policy is predisposing this fossil fuel industry to decline, which means that a large number of workers will lose their traditional jobs and have to be transferred to other industries," continues Lukáš Veg.

The Silesian region in Poland has always been the heart of the local coal industry, on which Polish energy is based for historical reasons as well as because of available natural resources. In 2020, Poland produced 70 % of its energy from coal. "Coal mining will also decrease, which again means many workers who have to find a place in other fields. Estimates included in the draft of the Polish energy policy until 2040 say that the transition capacity of the workforce related to fossil fuels to other industries will create up to 300 thousand jobs," adds Lukáš Veg.


The REMAKER project (KA220-HED-3EF02A02) Retraining of the workforce in the field of fossil fuel extraction for the modern industry is co-financed by the European Union within the Erasmus+ program.


REMAKER team meeting at Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen in Friedberg, Germany.

The REMAKER team meeting at UWB.

The REMAKER team meeting in Poland.

The REMAKER team meeting in Tallinn.

REMAKER team meeting in Poland - visit to former coal mine in Gliwice

Faculty of Electrical Engineering

Kateřina Newton

27. 04. 2023