National School of Mines of Medellín

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National School of Mines of Medellín

Founded in 1887, the National School of Mines is Colombia's second oldest engineering school. Although originally designed to train mining engineers, by the mid-1940s it trained mainly civil engineers known for their practical bent and versatility. More important, it became a seedbed of entrepreneurs and industrialists who, in the first half of the twentieth century, helped make Medellín the undisputed cradle of modern Colombian manufacturing industry. The School also forged a technocratic elite. Through the 1960s its graduates played key roles in departmental and national government, routinely serving as superintendents of the Antioquia Railway and Empresas Publicas de Medellín; as cabinet ministers; and as directors of powerful producer organizations such as the National Federation of Coffee Growers and the National Association of Industrialists. To supply the country with its own professionals for the energy (especially oil) industry, moreover, the School developed the nation's first program in geological and petroleum engineering. It has continued to develop specialties to meet the country's increasingly complex technical and administrative challenges, in the late 1970s, for example, founding a Coal Research Center. Now part of Colombia's National University, it maintains a reputation for excellence.

See alsoMining: Modern; Petroleum Industry.


Mayor Mora, Alberto. Etica, Trabajo, y Productividad en Antioquia: Una interpretación sociológica sobre la influencia de la Escuela Nacional de Minas en la vida, costumbres e industrialización regionales. Bogotá: Ediciones Tercer Mundo, 1984.

Murray, Pamela S. Dreams of Development: Colombia's National School of Mines and its Engineers, 1887–1970. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1997.

                                     Pamela Murray

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National School of Mines of Medellín

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National School of Mines of Medellín