Young Leaders Program

Become a Part of the Young Leaders Program

Whether you are just starting out or have a few years under your belt, you are positioned to lead the mining industry and SME is ready to help you get there. Professionals who are 35 years or younger, demonstrate great leaderships skills, and currently working in the mining industry are welcome to join us and connect and grow with SME.

Attendees must register to purchase tickets for the 2019 SME Annual Conference & Expo and 121st National Western Mining Conference social functions.


Young Leaders Field Trip

(Signup Required)

Saturday, Feb. 23 | 6:00am - 5:00pm | Cripple Creek and Victor

Get hands on experience with some of the biggest mining projects in the nation. Learn about innovative technologies, strategic operations and much more. For this year, we will be visiting Newmont’s Cripple Creek and Victor operations. We’ll leave from the Hyatt at 6:30 am on Saturday February 23rd.


Young Leaders Social

(By invitation)

Saturday, Feb. 23 | 6:30pm - 9:00pm | Henry’s Tavern, 500 16th Street Mall Unit 184B

All current members of the SME Young Leaders are invited to come relax and kick off the conference. Come meet your fellow Young Leaders away from the conference atmosphere. There will be food, drinks and good company! We’ll be at the upper room at Henry’s Tavern.


Young Leaders Committee Meeting

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Hyatt Regency - Capitol 4

Are you a leader in both your career and your community? If so then you might be SME Young Leader material! As a Young Leader you will be able to plan and create programs and events to help further develop your career and leadership skills with other young professionals. If you are interested in making a change, join us for our annual committee meeting and learn about our many leadership opportunities.


Young Leaders Booth Kickoff

Sunday, Feb. 24 | 4:00pm - 6:00pm | Expo Hall Resource Center

The YLC will have a booth in the expo hall Resource Center. Join YLC members and SME leaders to celebrate the unveiling of the booth. We will also be looking for volunteers to staff the booth throughout the conference.


Young Leaders Professional Development Luncheon*

Monday, Feb. 25 | 11:00 am - 1:00 pm | $20 | Convention Center 607

Receive guidance and feedback from one of our industry experts as they share career experience and impressions of the current state of the industry with other young professionals. This year’s speaker will be Michael C. Murphy, Chief Engineer, Surface and Mining Technology, Caterpillar Inc.

Sponsored by Civil & Environmental Consultants and Geotemps

Speaker Abstract & Bio


SME Young Leaders Rising Professional’s Social & 4k by 40 Kickoff  Event

Monday, Feb. 25 | 9:00 pm-Midnight | Lucky Strike, 500 16th Street Mall, Ste. 340

Join SME Young Leaders and members of the SME Foundation Leadership for an  evening of bowling, shuffleboard, billiards and networking. Heavy hors  d'oeuvres will be served along with the Miners Mule, the 4k by 40  signature drink, sponsored by Tito’s Vodka.

Title Sponsor: Arcadis, Drink Sponsor: Titos Vodka

R.S.V.P.    $4k by 40 Challenge


Young Leaders Professional Development Sessions

Monday, Feb. 25 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm | Convention Center 612

My First Five Years of Experience in Industry/Academia

This session will feature presentations from junior and mid-level industry professionals about their first five years of work experience. Young professionals always face various challenges when they first join the industry. Different perspectives will be shared by young professionals who are in the early stages of their careers.  This technical session will cover a broad range of topics concerning how to better prepare young professionals to meet the various challenges of the mining industry.

Speakers Include:
Heather Lammers, PhD Student, Colorado School of Mines
Ali Naeimipour, Sr. Staff Engineer, McMillen Jacobs Associates
Benjamin Teschner, PhD Student, Colorado School of Mines
Vasu Gangrade, Research Fellow, NIOSH
Raghav Dube, Sr. Process Metallurgist, Outotec

Tuesday, Feb. 26 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm | Convention Center 605

Panel Discussion: Things I Wish I Had Known in School and at the Beginning of My Career

This session will feature a panel discussion by senior-level professionals. They will share what they wish they had known when they were in school and at the beginning of their careers. Based on panelists’ long-term experiences, they will discuss things that have or would have made a tremendous positive impact on their careers and life today. Questions and discussions are welcomed and invited among panelists and attendees.

Panelists include:
Michelle Ash, Chairman GMG
Steven Gardner, President/CEO of ECSI, LLC, 2015 SME President;
Keith Hainer, President, Spearfish Engineering, Consulting & Development PLLC
Heather Trexler, Project Manager, Tetra Tech, 2016 Chair of Pittsburgh Section of Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, 2018 SME Coal and Energy Division Program Chair.
Dr. Thomas Novak, Department Chair of Mining Engineering at the University of Kentucky, Alliance Coal Academic Chair


Young Leaders Student Mentor Sessions

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

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

Wednesday, Feb. 27 | 9:00am - Noon | Convention Center Four Seasons

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
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
Ricky Shipe, Mining Engineering and Civil Engineering, West Virginia University
Jeremy Diehlmann, Mining Engineering, West Virginia University
T. Greene, Mining Engineering, West Virginia University


*Event  requires additional ticket for entry. Multiple tickets for each event may  be purchased.