Materials for living

Modern society depends on all sorts of chemicals and compounds for its electronics, and those can be found in only one place: under our feet. Mining engineers are responsible for getting metals, minerals and coal out of the dirt and turning them into usable forms to help keep society functioning.

A long tradition

The study of mining at UK dates back as far as 1866. The program continues to be strongly supported by industry leaders and is bolstered by its close location to the Central Appalachian and Illinois Basin Coal Fields.

The fine art of blowing things up

Mining engineers search for pockets of raw materials using seismic, satellite or other technical data. They then remove it from the earth using tunneling, blasting or other methods. Specialized equipment — designed by mining engineers — is used to transfer mined minerals to a processing center, where impurities can be removed and refined and usable materials prepared for manufacturers. Throughout, mining engineers work to minimize costs and environmental impact while maximizing worker safety and efficiency.

For more than just materials

The same technology used in developing mines is also used to create subway systems and railway tunnels. The Chunnel under the English Channel was created using mining engineering techniques.

UK mining engineering assistant professor Dr. Braden Lusk is one of the hosts of “The Detonators,” a weekly Discovery Channel program that explores how demolition experts use precision explosions to implode buildings.

Undergraduate Curriculum