Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul







School of Technology student makes to finals of France contest

Gabriel Siqueira created project involving France and Brazilian cities to discuss impacts of mining

08/05/2020 - 10h19

Gabriel Siqueira is living at Saint-Étienne / Photo: Personal archive

The School of Technology’s Mechanical Engineering major, Gabriel Rios Souza Siqueira, who enrolled in the academic mobility program in France on the Programa Brafitec has made it to the finals of a contest promoted by the French entity Jeunes Ambassadeurs. Siqueira, together with his advisor in France, have developed a project that seeks to bring together the city Saint-Étienne, in France, where he currently lives, and the cities of Butiá, Arroio dos Ratos and Charqueadas due to the importance and relevance of mining in these cities.   

Gabriel left for France in Aug 2019 and is enrolled in the dual degree program between PUCRS and Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Saint Etienne ENISE. He is expected to stay in France until the middle of this year. The Brafitec Program is an initiative that aims to promote exchanges between French and Brazilian undergraduate students, in the areas of Engineering. These students are awarded a scholarship by the Brazilian Federal Agency for Evaluation and Support of Graduate Education (CAPES). 

France-Brazil Connections in Mining  

Saint Étienne was, between the two world wars, the biggest coal mining powerhouse in France. Its historical importance materializes itself in the iconic Musée de la Mine, which tells the history of mining in the region and the things that were done to ensure that the city continued to develop in other areas after the end of mining activities. 

“Connecting the two regions involves the realization of events and congresses here in Saint Étienne and in Rio Grande do Sul. These events are intended for miners, engineers and local companies from both countries to exchange experiences, debates and discussions in the search for solutions for the negative impacts of mining in the cities after the end of their activities “, the student says. 

Two delegations are expected to be formed: one from Brazil and another from France. Each delegation comprises five representative members who will go to Brazil and France to attend the events. “We want to do it at the Musée de la Mine, in Saint Étienne, and at Museu Estadual do Carvão in Arroio dos Ratos, so that the two delegations have a chance to know the museums and the history of mining in the two regions as well “, Siqueira adds.  


Field trip from the Jeunes Ambassadeurs group at Villard-de-Lans station / Photo: Personal archive

The debates include topics such as the miners’ unemployment after the mines were closed, health problems caused by working in the mines and the transition to new clean energies.  

Now, Siqueira should defend his work in the city of Lyon. The defense will take place when the coronavirus pandemic is controlled. 

Jeunes Ambassadeurs  

The association Jeunes Ambassadeurs (Young Ambassadors) works in 6 cities in the south of France: Lyon, Saint Étienne, Grenoble, Chambéry, Clermont Ferrand and Valence. The entity aims to create an international network of partnerships including students, institutions / companies and the region of France with the regions where exchange students live in their home country.