Spring 2019 PEG

The Watch


-photo by Joelle Chille Cale

THE FUTURE OF GEOSCIENCE High schooler Hamdi Ali performs her research at the University of Alberta, leading to presentations of what may be a better way to remove diamonds from kimberlite.


An Edmonton high school student has discovered what could be a better way to remove diamonds from kimberlite rock, suggesting a way to increase mining yeilds. Seventeen-year-old Hamdi Ali recently participated in a University of Alberta program offered through Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science, and Technology (WISEST), an organization that focuses on creating pathways to science success for women and other underrepresented groups.

During her time at a U of A geology lab, Hamdi worked with a mentor on a research project that revealed that the standard industry technique of extracting diamonds from rock—mechanical vibrating plates—may actually destroy many of the diamonds. She came up with a safer strategy: using high- voltage pulses of electricity to break down kimberlite and reveal the diamonds within. Since completing her research, Ali has been asked to present to a number of companies in the industry.

56 | PEG SPRING 2019


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