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.


Young Leaders Field Trip

Saturday, Feb. 22 | 6:00 am - 5:00 pm | Freeport-McMoRan Bagdad Mine

This tour will include an overlook of the open pit mine, a tour of the concentrator, and a workshop on Servant Leadership.


Saturday, Feb. 22 | 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm | The Arrogant Butcher, 2 E Jefferson Street #150

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.

Young Leaders Committee Meeting

Sunday, Feb. 23 | 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Phoenix D

Are you a leader in both your career and your community? If so then you might be SME Young Leader material! If you are interested in making a difference in the future of the mining industry, join us for our annual committee meeting and find out how you can create programs and events to help further develop your career and leadership skills.


Monday, Feb. 24 | 11:00am - 1:00pm | Phoenix Convention Center North 124AB

Receive guidance and feedback from one of our industry experts. This year’s speaker will be Josh Olmsted, Senior Vice President, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. He will be speaking on going to be talking about Aagile, and how its’ unlocking value and individual motivation across FMI.

Sponsored by: Barr Engineering, Nevada CopperRio Tinto and Pray & Company


Monday, Feb. 24 | 9:00 pm - Midnight | The Park Bar, 3 S 2nd Street #114

Join SME Young Leaders for an evening of LED ping-pong, shuffleboard, and networking. Heavy hors d'oeuvres and drink tickets will be provided. All conference attendees are welcome and encouraged to attend but space is limited!


Sponsored by Arcadis and Rio Tinto

Young Leaders Professional Development Sessions

Monday, Feb. 24 | 2:00pm - 5:00pm | Phoenix Convention Center North 125A

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.

Tuesday, Feb. 25 | 9:00 am - 11:30 pm | Phoenix Convention Center North 125A

Best Practices in Environmental Management: Case Studies

The session features a diverse set of challenges relevant to environmental practice, including biodiversity, regulation and permitting, and sustainability. Presentations will be given by SME members who are early-career professionals.

Tuesday, Feb. 25 | 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Phoenix Convention Center North 125A

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.

Sessions Sponsored by: Rio Tinto


Tuesday, Feb. 25 | 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | Phoenix Convention Center North 231A

Mine Rescue Skill Competition- First Aid

Teams of 2, along with a patient will be presented with a problem similar to that of a professional contest. Metal/non-metal rules will be judged depending on what the team typically trains for.  Protocol for which ever rule set would be followed and scored accordingly.

Tuesday, Feb. 25 | 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | Phoenix Convention Center North 231B

Mine Rescue Skill Competition- Bench

Individuals will attempt to bench and debug an SCBA used by mine rescue team. Manufactures will provide equipment for the contest, as well as potential problems and judges.

Tuesday, Feb. 25 | 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | Phoenix Convention Center North 231C

Mine Rescue Skill Competition- Gas Test

Teams of two will demonstrate their knowledge of gas detection equipment which would be used during a mine emergency.

Tuesday, Feb. 25 | 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | Phoenix Convention Center North 232A

Mine Rescue Skill Competition- Written Exam

A written exam will be administered as a group to test their knowledge on the fundamentals of mine rescue.


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