Educators for the Next Generation

Educators are teaching and nurturing the next generation, be sure to join us to learn more from your peers from across the United States and the globe.


 

2019 Educator's Forum

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm | Colorado Convention Center 601-603

This is focused on new graduates seeking professional employment in the mining, minerals, and materials industries. As you will see from the attached program, we have a set of industry representative to describe what they see as successful processes to gain professional employment.

Innovation and Education: Keys to Sustainable Mineral Processing Technology Development
Aaron Noble, Virginia Tech

Abstract:
The mining industry has historically been one of the largest producers of industrial waste in the world.  As mineral commodity development further extends into developing countries and environmentally sensitive regions, the challenges associated with waste reduction, reutilization, and recycling will become increasingly significant for future mineral extraction projects.   Mining wastes often contain trace amounts of valuable materials; however, these potential resources are not in a suitable form or concentration to be directly processed by conventional technologies.  As a result, new separation technologies must be developed to extend the current limits imposed by particle size, feed concentration, and overall process amenability.  Since these challenges are multifaceted and transdisciplinary, innovation and education are instrumental to long-term sustainable solutions. This presentation will provide an overview of the author?s teaching and research with a particular focus on the influence of the SME Academic Career Development Grant in supporting innovation and education in mineral processing technology development.

Author Biography:
Dr. Aaron Noble is an Associate Professor in the Mining and Minerals Engineering Department at Virginia Tech and the Associate Director for the Center for Advance Separation Technologies (CAST).  His instruction and research are in the general areas of mineral processing, process economics, and mine pollution control.  Since 2014, he has acquired a personal share of research funding totaling over $3 million, with specific topics including industrial waste recycling, critical material and rare earth element processing, and extraterrestrial mining operations.  Noble has a BS, MS, and a PhD all from Virginia Tech and all in Mining and Minerals Engineering. He is an inaugural recipient of the SME Academic Career Development Grant (2015), and other professional honors and awards include the SME/C&E Division J.W. Woomer Award (2019), the SME/MPD Outstanding Young Engineer Award, in memory of Subhash Chander (2018), the SME/AIME Rossiter W. Raymond Award (2017), the Henry Krumb Lecturer (2016, 2019), and the SME Stefanko Best Paper Award (2014).

Advances in Underground Production Schedule Optimization
Andrea Brickey, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Mining Engineering and Management Department

Abstract:
For more than fifty years, mining engineers have been using exact optimization techniques to maximize the value of surface mining operations, but it has only been in the last few decades that similar tools have been developed for underground mines.  With advances in computation and novel algorithms, there has been a notable increase in research and successful implementation of new tools for optimizing a complex underground mine.  This presentation will provide a brief overview of optimization techniques being applied to underground mines, specifically related to production scheduling, and the resulting impact on various underground mining operations.

Author Biography:
Dr. Andrea Brickey is an associate professor at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  She received her BS in mining engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1999.  Upon graduation, she worked in the mining industry for 15 years before returning to her alma mater. Her industry work focused primarily on mining planning and design at numerous operations and projects located in Africa and North and South America, mining copper, gold, silver, nickel, phosphate and coal.  She has a post-graduate diploma in Management Practices from the University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business and a Ph.D. in Mining and Earth Systems Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Coal Mine Gob Gas Transport Behavior and Its Interaction with Mine Ventilation System
Shimin Liu, Penn State University

Abstract:
Longwall mining is a very production-efficient coal mining technology with advantages including high recovery, safe working environment, operator-friendly roof management, easy mine management and highly-developed mechanization. The caved zone, termed as gob, has high porosity and permeability resulting in the mass of gas storage which is primarily derived from the weak and fractured adjacent coalbeds and formations. Gob gas emission characterization is one of the challenging tasks due to the difficulty in direct measurement of the gob rock material since gob is an inaccessible region and the gas flow behavior is complex due to the variable overburden stress conditions. In fact, the gas flow behavior significantly influences the gob gas-outing and spontaneous combustion which are two major safety issues for longwall coal mines. Thus, the characterization of gob compaction behavior with dynamic loading and its induced porosity/permeability variation is very important for gas distribution prediction, gas drainage, gas control and spontaneous combustion prevention. A mechanics-based broken rock compaction model was proposed to describe the loose rock mass flow behavior. The modeled results were validated. The overburden stress profile estimated from FLAC3D basing on the input parameters of roof rock properties is applied to our physical model to obtain the porosity distribution in the gob. By coupling the porosity data with CFD models, the gas distribution under various mining conditions will be analyzed to demonstrate that the coupled model has a practical potential for future fields application. In addition, a scaled mining ventilation model has been designed and fabricated based on similarity methods for model validation and calibration. This scale model will also be used to study "what-if" conditions for different mining scenarios.

Author Biography:
Shimin Liu received his B.S. in Environmental Engineering and M.S. in Mineral Processing Engineering from China University of Mining & Technology Beijing in 2005 and 2007, respectively.  In 2012, he obtained his Ph.D. in Engineering Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  He then joined Penn State as an Assistant Professor. His expertise is in gas storage and transport mechanism in coalbed methane reservoirs and carbon sequestration in geological formations, especially in the areas of laboratory characterization of gas-coal interaction, analytical modeling of gas transportation under in situ conditions for carbonaceous rocks, volumetric behaviors of coal with gas adsorption/desorption, CO2 sequestration in coal seams and enhanced gas production.  Consequently, he is keenly interested in porous rock imaging with neutron scattering, micro-CT, TEM and SEM technologies.

SME Career Development Grant for Development of New Automation Technologies for Surface Mining Operations
Javad Sattarvand, University of Nevada, Reno

Abstract:
In general, the grant is being used to investigate different areas of optimization/automation in the mining industry to develop enhanced planning and intelligent operational tools. Targeted fields of research are mine planning, mining robotics, virtual reality, mobile crowd sourcing and drone applications.  Specifically, research is being conducted in stochastic optimization, loading automation, health and safety training, mobile phone infrastructure for proximity warning, blasting enhancement methodologies, and ventilation monitoring.  The latter is done by cost-sharing some funds with the Alpha Foundation on a grant with a colleague, Dr. Danko.  All together, these projects currently fund seven students with a broad diversity.

Author Biography:
Dr. Sattarvand obtained his B.Sc. in Mining Engineering from Qazvin International University, Iran, in 1997, his M.Sc. in Mining Engineering from Tehran Poly-Technic University, Iran, in 2000, and his Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from RWTH Aachen University, Germany in 2009.  Javad immediately became an Assistant Professor of Mining Engineering at Sahand University of Technology in Iran.  In 2014, he was promoted to Associate Professor.  He remain there until 2015 when he accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in Mining Engineering at the Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno, where he is today.

Direct Gold Leaching from Sulfide Concentrate and Whole Ore
Jaeheon Lee, University of Arizona

Abstract:
Copper concentrate mainly consisting of chalcopyrite with high gold content was investigated for direct gold leaching prior to sulfide oxidation process such as POX (Pressure Oxidation) or smelting. The gold recovery from the conventional cyanidation was 18%, 32%, and 32% using 1,000 ppm, 3,000 ppm, and 5,000 ppm NaCN, respectively for 24 hour bottle roll leaching. The proprietary solution system using thiourea as a main lixiviant showed increased gold recovery up to 92% in 24 hour leaching test. Direct gold extraction from copper sulfide concentrate can be implemented prior to ship the concentrate to smelting plant. The other significant advantage of the process is that it can produce a cleaner concentrate if it contains arsenic which is one of the worst penalty elements. Solution analysis confirmed that the thiourea system can dissolve arsenic from the copper concentrate without losing much of copper in the solution.

Author Biography:
Jaeheon Lee is an associate professor in the department of Mining and Geological Engineering at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. He obtained his BS and MS in Metallurgical Engineering from Korea University in Seoul, Korea. He earns his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona. He worked as a metallurgist for Newmont Mining and Barrick Gold on various new projects, corporate R&D, and operating support. His research interests are ore characterization, alternative processes for precious and base metals, biohydrometallurgy, and tailings management.

Impacts of Novel Research and Distance Education on the Mining Industry
Catherine Johnson, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Abstract:
Dr. Catherine Johnson has been an Assistant Professor of Mining Engineering at Missouri S&T since January 2015 and was a 2017 recipient of the Freeport McMoRan career development grant. Prior to starting at Missouri S&T, Catherine completed her PhD at the University of Kentucky and her Masters and Bachelor?s degrees at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. Catherine teaches two undergraduate classes on the Principles of Mining Engineering, and Mining Industry Economics and two graduate level classes on Explosives safety and handling, and Scientific Instrumentation of High Explosives.  Her research is focused on fragmentation prediction, environmental considerations of blasting and dust explosion prevention and suppression. Additional funding has been sourced from the Alpha Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Army Research Office, Department of Defense, and Consolidated Nuclear Security.  Dr. Johnson will discuss her path through the first 4 years of a tenure-track faculty position and how the funding from the SME career grant enabled the student support and equipment purchases necessary to secure the additional external funding and journal publications required for achieving tenure.

Author Biography:
Dr. Catherine Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Mining and Explosives Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology.  Her research interests are varied and include environmental considerations of blasting, fragmentation prediction, blast induced traumatic brain injury, and explosibility of dusts.  She has taught a variety of courses for undergraduates and graduate students including but not limited to Principles of Mining Engineering, Mining Industry Economics, Principles of Explosives Engineering, Scientific Instrumentation of High Explosives and Explosives Handling and Safety.

SME Career Development Program
Dr. Charles Kocsis

Abstract:
While in the SME Career Development Program from 2016 to 2018, Dr. Kocsis used the grant to fully fund and graduate 1 PhD student and 3 MS students evaluating thermal environments of underground mines, mine cooling and ventilation control systems for them, and ultimately managing them for policy purposes and safety and health reasons.  Charles also used the grant to match other projects and thereby partially fund 1 PhD and 2 MS students who evaluated renewable energy sources for those cooling and ventilation control systems, examined the mitigation of DMP in underground mines, and developed a hazard prevention system to increase underground survivability in case of emergencies.  Through these efforts, Dr. Kocsis and his students published 10 peer-reviewed journal papers and 3 peer-reviewed conference papers.  He will discuss these successes in detail and additionally demonstrate some of the impacts his graduates are having on the mining industry.

Author Biography:
Dr. Charles Kocsis obtained his B.S. in Mining Engineering from University of Petrosani, Romania in 1987, his M.S. in Mineral Resources Engineering from Laurentian University of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada in 1998, and his Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada in 2009.  From 1988 to 2012, he worked in industry often while pursuing those advanced degrees. In this regard, he worked in Romania as a Project Leader for Mining, Research and Design Inc. and in Ontario, Canada as a Mining Engineer for both H.A. Simons Ltd and Golder Associates Ltd, as well as Senior Research Engineer for CANMET Mining and Mineral Sciences Laboratories.  Charles left CANMET in 2012 to become a faculty member of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).  He was awarded the SME Career Development Grant in 2016 and gave that up in 2018 when he was awarded tenure.

Filling the Pipeline: One Academic?s Route to Personal Career Development through Investment in Others
Emily Sarver, Virginia Tech

Abstract:
Emily Sarver was one of the first two recipients of the SME Freeport-McMoRan Career Development Grant. The Grant was established as part of a larger effort to rebuild the faculty pipeline in mining and minerals engineering, and ensure strong academic programs in these fields for the coming generation. In this presentation, Emily will highlight the various activities in her group at Virginia Tech that were supported by the Grant. These included original research to better characterize respirable coal mine dust, and rob explore the relative surface water impacts of energy resource and other land development in Appalachia; work to build teaching capacity and partnerships; and outreach efforts to key stakeholders.

Author Biography:
Dr. Emily Sarver is Associate Professor of Mining and Minerals Engineering and Adjunct Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.  She received her PhD in 2010, MS in 2005 and BS in 2004, all from Virginia Tech.  She was one of the first two recipients of an SME Career Development Grant.  Her research interests include responsible development of mineral and energy resources and education of responsible resource engineers as well as monitoring, characterization and control of mine-generated environmental contaminants.