Episode 143: How Do You Get Materials from the Earth?

Meet the Expert: Alexis Lua, industrial engineer

Alexis LuaBorn in Mexico City where her love for rock formations, exploring caves and cenotes with her dad led to a passion for mineral exploration. Alexis’ curiosity drew her to study Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University. Soon after she moved to France cementing her mining foundation, developing raw material extraction and handling systems for a specialized Engineering firm.
Alexis pursued her love for adventure and moved to Germany where she learned everything about mine development, raw material processing and export. After five years living abroad, travelling the World for work (and one additional husband later),
Alexis returned to Texas to focus on limestone, gypsum and calcium carbonate mining.

During her mining years Alexis seldom met another fellow female engineer. She made it her mission to empower other women to pursuit a career in the field: “mining is not just for boys, the mining World opened my eyes to unknown adventures and gave me the possibility to travel and explore the most beautiful and remote places on Earth”.

Alexis’ background in minerals made it possible to pivot and pursuit a career in nano-technology, where she now works as a Global Director of Strategic Accounts. Her involvement as a media company co-founder provided her experience to help organizations improve their marketing initiatives and brand messaging. A skillset she can give back with to non-profit organizations focusing on STEM education and female empowerment. Helping to expand their outreach and attract funding.


Alexis next to a giant dump truck for mining

Alexis in front of a giant mining dump truck

Fun photo of Alexis with dinosaur "chasing" her.   Atacama Flats with Alexis sitting in clouds

Alexis at the Atacama Desert




     Watch this cool video about how some of these giant mining machines work! 



Challenge: Go outside and pick up some rocks. Take a good look at them. What kinds of materials do you think they would make that would be useful to you?

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Outdoor School Rocks, Fossils, and Shells book



Highlighted book for this episode! 

Outdoor School: Rock, Fossil, and Shell Hunting: The Definitive Interactive Nature Guide 
by Jennifer Swanson (Author), John D. Dawson (Illustrator)







Book List: 

My Book of Rocks and Minerals: Things to Find, Collect, and Treasure by Devin Dennie

Geology for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide to Rocks, Minerals, and the Earth Beneath Our Feet by Meghan Vestal

America at Work: Mining by Ann Love (Author), Jane Drake (Author), Pat Cupples (Illustrator)

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