GMES Mining Engineering Program Successful at the Annual SME Conference & Expo
After a two-year pandemic hiatus for in-person meetings, the mining engineering faculty and students came back stronger than ever to the 2022 Annual Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration Conference & Expo. Held in Salt Lake City, from February 27, through March 2, 2022, GMES faculty and students had a great time presenting their research, receiving awards, and connecting with alumni.
We thank the Richard Saccany Mining Program Fund, the Robert Hendricks Mining Endowment Fund, and all our friends who contributed to the Mining and Material Processing Engineering Fund. These financial contributions made it possible to support the travel for a large group of students to obtain first-hand exposure to the most recent advances in mining engineering research and practice, network with industry professionals, and explore future career paths.
Associate Professor and a Witte Family Faculty Fellow, Snehamoy Chatterjee, delivered two oral presentations:
- Development of Machine Learning Models for Identifying Mining Injury Risk Factors Using Leading Indicators (co-authored by Pooja M, Aref Majdara, Hugh Miller, and Rennie Kaunda
- PixelMPS: A Python Toolbox for Multiple-Point Geostatistics (co-authored by Karthik Menon, Poorva Kadroli, and Adel Asadi)
Dr. Chatterjee’s MS student, David Porter, delivered an oral presentation:
- Utilization of Geostatistical Methods to Estimate Localized Cemented Rock Fill Strength in Underground Mass Placements
Dr. Chatterjee’s MS student, Dharmasai Eshwar Reddy Sirigiri, presented a poster:
- An Entropy-based Risk Index (ERI) of Mining Health and Safety using Unsupervised Machine Learning Algorithms
Dr. Nathan Manser, a Professor of Practice in mining engineering, and Emily Street, a senior in mining engineering, were recognized for their achievements.
Dr. Nathan Manser received the Robert W. Piekarz award that recognizes exceptional service to the Industrial Minerals and Aggregates Division for work related to managing technical session content for the annual conference.
Emily Street received two academic awards: the SMEF/MMSA Presidential Scholarship, which recognizes excellent academic performance in a minerals engineering-related field. The Gerald V. Henderson Memorial Scholarship supports students who express a special interest in career paths that align with industrial minerals and aggregates industries. Emily was also invited to present a talk related to her internship experience with Lafarge-Holcim during the Industrial Minerals and Aggregates Division luncheon.
As part of the week-long activities at SME, the GMES department hosted an alumni engagement event at Gracie’s Gastropub on Sunday night. About 45 people attended and participated in the two-hour social event. Alumni, hailing from several MTU departments and coming from classes in the mid-1980s through our most recent graduates, were in attendance and truly demonstrated the vast network, especially in the geoscience and minerals industries. Also in attendance were a few members of the Industrial Advisory Board for Mining Engineering at MTU who came to rekindle some meaningful connections with students and alumni alike. Overall, everyone had a great time, and plans for the event next February in Denver are already underway!
The MTU Student Chapter of SME participated in the Komatsu Student Night at the conference, a 1920’s themed event with over 300 attendees from schools worldwide. The highlight of the evening was a quiz-bowl competition between the schools based on materials handling calculations, where students from MTU placed second in the event.
Other SME Activities
The MTU Director of Mine Safety, Matt Portfleet, joined by mine safety trainers Marisa Roerig and Ron Gradowski, also attended the conference. Marisa and Matt both enrolled in and took the Certified Mine Safety Professional (CMSP) exam after partaking in a 3-day CMSP review course. They both passed!