Networking & Development Opportunities for Students

Students, you are the future of the mining industry and the 2019 SME Annual Conference & Expo and CMA's 121st National Western Mining Conference offers several events for you to connect with other students from around the world and to connect with industry leaders that can get your career off to a great start!

All of the events below are meant for students and are included with your conference registration.


Join us at the 2019 SME Mentor Meeting Place

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm | Colorado Convention Center 705-709

The 2019 Mentor Meeting Place will once again assign mentors/mentees onsite. We will have tables set up identifying the following disciplines: Metallurgical, Mining, Geological, Materials, Coal, Environmental, Health & Safety and Under Ground Construction. Please plan to attend the Mentor Meeting Place on Sunday, February 24th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at the Colorado Convention Center in Rooms 705-709 to find you mentor or mentee.

Mentors: Experienced professionals - There are mentees out there that want your guidance and as an industry we need to mentor the next generation so they are ready to take on mining’s challenges.

Mentees: Make yourselves known through SME so mentors can find you. If you’re open, these mentors will find you. The knowledge and experience they can pass on to you will help you advance in your field.


SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition (Final Presentations)

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 7:00am - 2:00pm | Hyatt Regency Capitol 2-3

The SME/NSSGA Student Design competition is a two-phase, team-based problem involving a technical design and an oral presentation. The technical design takes place during the first semester of the school year on each team's campus. It is designed to simulate an engineering project prepared by an engineering group for a company. Past problems have highlighted the challenges of mine planning, plant design, reserve modeling, and feasibility analysis. The second stage of the competition for the top 6 teams is held Feb. 24-26 at the 2019 SME Annual Conference & Expo and CMA's 121st National Western Mining Conference.

The following six teams were selected to participate in Phase 2:

  1. Missouri University of Science and Technology – Green Gold Consulting
  2. University of Arizona – Cardiac Cats Mining
  3. University of Arizona – Dry Heat Materials
  4. University of Kentucky – Thoroughbred Mining
  5. Virginia Tech – VT Mining Consultants
  6. West Virginia University – Country Roads Mining Consultants

Official Sponsors: Luck Stone Corp., Vulcan Materials
Sponsors: Ceder Mountain Stone, Granite Construction, New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co, CEMEX and NSSGA


SME 2019 Student Member Engagement Breakfast

Sponsored by Freeport McMoRan

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 9:00am - 11:00am | Hyatt Regency, Capital Room 4-7

The Student Engagement Breakfast was created in 2016 to increase student involvement with industry leaders. The breakfast is sponsored annually by mining companies to showcase emerging technology and innovation. This breakfast gives students the unique opportunity to connect with Freeport McMoRan representatives and learn special insight into new technologies used in the mining industry today. All student attendees are invited to the breakfast. Contact Mona Vandervoort at for more information.


SME 2019 Student Forum

Sponsored by Newmont

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm | Colorado Convention Center 605 & 607

The 2019 Student Forum, sponsored by Newmont Mining, will bring even more value to the student members’ experience at the conference and will include include lunch, student chapter achievement announcements.

With a spotlight on digital transformation in mining, Anita Bertisen and Jason Carvey from Newmont’s Operational Technology and Innovation (OT&I) group will co-facilitate the student luncheon presentation. The session also includes a six-station Gallery Walk, hosted by Newmont’s Technical Services team, to provide additional information and offer small group Q & A. Plus, students will have the opportunity to enjoy Newmont’s virtual reality experience, placing you directly at one of our mine sites for an interactive learning journey.


Komatsu & SME 2019 Student & Professor Reception

Monday, Feb. 25 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm | Hyatt Regency Centennial E-H

Komatsu’s Backstage Pass: Your Journey to a Legendary Career
It’s not just an event, it’s a backstage VIP experience brought to you by Komatsu. You’ll feel what it’s like to become a legend as you travel through tour stops, meet innovators from the mining industry and shine on stage in a lip sync battle.


Young Leaders Student Mentor Sessions

Tuesday, February 26 | 3:00pm-6:00 pm | Convention Center 204

Student Mentor Meeting: Student and Young Professional Development - Tips and Tricks

Wednesday, February 27 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm | Convention Center 605

My Internship Experience

Industry students will share their internship experiences.

Speakers Include:
Marie Hetherington, Mining Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
Josh Holl, Mining and Minerals Engineering, Missouri University of Science & Technology
Nestor Santa, Mining Engineering, Universidad Nacional De Colombia
Juanita Parkerson, Mining Engineering, University of Arizona
Jarom Gleed, Mining Engineering, University of Utah
Shannon Seitz, Mining Engineering and Geology, West Virginia University
Keegan Patrick, Mining Engineering and Civil Engineering, West Virginia University
Erica McCauley, Mining Engineering and Geology, West Virginia University
Ricky Shipe, Mining Engineering and Civil Engineering, West Virginia University
Jeremy Diehlmann, Mining Engineering, West Virginia University


SME Graduate Student Research Poster Contest

Sponsored by Caterpillar

Sunday, Feb. 24 – Tuesday, Feb. 26 | Colorado Convention Center Lobby A

The purpose of the Graduate Student Research Poster Contest is to recognize excellence in research in various minerals-related fields by SME. The contest will provide an opportunity for the graduate students to showcase their work in a visible setting and to compete for cash prizes based on the quality of their posters as determined by a team of judges. It is hoped that this will bolster graduate student education and contribute to research in mining and mineral studies. Posters displayed from Sunday, February 24 – Tuesday, February 26.

Winners will be announced at the SME/AIME Awards Dinner on Wednesday, February 27.