Day: May 22, 2024

Department of GMES Attends the 2024 Annual SME Conference & Expo in Phoenix

A large group of students and faculty from the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES) attended the 2024 Annual Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) Conference & Expo, held in Phoenix, Arizona, from February 25-28. The group included seven BS students, eight MS students, one Ph.D. student, and three faculty members (Chatterjee, Manser, Smirnov). This annual conference provides an excellent opportunity for our students to gain exposure to the latest advances in mining engineering research and practice, network with industry professionals, and explore future career paths. The Department provided full or partial travel support to all student participants thanks to the generosity of the Richard Saccany Mining Program Fund, the Robert Hendricks Mining Endowment Fund, and our friends who have supported the Mining Engineering program.

The students in attendance were Cassie Burch, Aiden Harmon, Lucas Maxon, Ian Repic, Nathan Seidel, Anton Smirnov Grady Williams, Theo Asumah, Alfred Yeboah, Rapheka Targbwe, Maxwell Yeboah, Jhuleyssy L. Sanchez Aguilar, Angela Amoh, Isaac Donkoh, Conor Large, and Abid Danish.

This year, our AggCelerate student team made it to the top six nationally in the final phase of the SME/National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association (NSSGA) Student Design Competition! This annual competition is a demanding two-phase, team-based, problem-solving activity involving a technical design and an oral presentation. The problem highlights the challenges and opportunities associated with operating a sand and gravel quarry, developing an overall design plan, and optimizing the operating methods and economics. Students work on the problem from the perspective of an engineering consulting team responsible for developing the pit and mineral processing plant configuration.

The AggCelerate team at SME: (left to right) Ian Repic, Cassie Burch, Nathan Seidel, Grady Williams, Aiden Harmon, and Lucas Maxon

The interdisciplinary Michigan Tech team included mining engineering majors Aiden Harmon, Lucas Maxon, Ian Repic, Nathan Seidel, Grady Williams, and geological engineering junior Cassie Burch. “Under the expert guidance of Dr. Nathan Manser, Professor of Practice at GMES, the team has demonstrated exceptional skill and knowledge in their field,” said Aleksey Smirnov, Department of GMES Chair, who attended the conference. Although our team did not make it to the podium, the judges complimented the novelty of their design solutions.

On the research side, Associate Professor and a Witte Family Faculty Fellow in mining engineering, Dr. Snehamoy Chatterjee, delivered an oral presentation titled “Developing a Recourse Action to Survive Low Commodity Prices in Open Pit Mine Planning.” This research develops a recourse action strategy under an uncertain environment to revisit the mine production planning when metal prices decline.

Dr. Chatterjee’s Ph.D. student, Abid Danish, presented a talk titled “Enhancing Workplace Safety in the Mining Industry: A Data-Driven Approach through Unstructured Accident Narrative Analysis and Clustering.” He analyzed MSHA accident/injury data narratives using natural language models and unsupervised machine learning algorithms to understand the risks associated with mining accidents.

PhD student, Abid Danish presents his talk.

The GMES department co-sponsored and hosted an alumni engagement event. The two-hour social event was well-attended by alumni from several MTU departments, such as GMES, Chemical Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, and other programs and current MTU faculty and students. The event was a great opportunity for everyone to network and catch up with old friends. Overall, the alumni engagement event was a success, and plans for the next meeting in Denver are already underway. We are grateful to all the alumni who attended and look forward to seeing even more of them at future events. This year, the event was co-sponsored by the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Associate Professor Dr. Chatterjee welcomes guests.
The GMES alumni event.