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Student Organizations

Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc. (SME) is a national professional society with the objectives of fostering standards of professionalism, promoting technologic information exchange, providing opportunities for comradeship and recognizing professional service and accomplishment. In order to insure the future of mining engineering as a professional discipline, SME sponsors numerous student chapters at colleges and universities that offer mining engineering, mineral processing or geology in their curricula.

The basic purpose of SME’s student chapters is to get students involved in their professional society early in order to:

  • encourage involvement in the society’s activities
  • assist and encourage students’ growth as professionals
  • encourage their continued involvement (and membership) as they move from the campus to jobs in industry or academia

The Norwood Student Chapter of SME at the University of Kentucky is named for Charles J. Norwood, the first head of the State of Kentucky’s mine safety agency, who later went on to be the head of the College of Mining at UK. Mr. Norwood was inspector of mines from 1884 to 1893, chief inspector of mines from 1893 to 1896 and again from 1902 to 1919. All mining engineering students at the University of Kentucky are invited and encouraged to be part of this organization.

The student organization meets regularly for technical presentations by industry personnel and informal sessions geared toward planning and information exchange. Several field trips are scheduled each year. These include trips to surface and underground mines in Kentucky and neighboring states and attendance at regional SME meetings. Each year a few students are selected to represent the student chapter at the SME annual meeting. There are also numerous social events such as picnics and an annual mining banquet that provide opportunities for students and faculty to know each other better.

Advisor – Lexington: Jack Groppo - john.groppo@uky.edu 859.257.2833

International Society of Explosive Engineers 

The International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) is the world’s largest professional association for explosives engineers. ISEE has a presence in over 90 countries, bringing nearly 4,000 professionals in the explosives industry together across the globe. Some of the main goals of ISEE are:

  • To forums and media through which principles and techniques of explosives engineering may be reported, discussed, and published.
  • To promote career development and encourage explosives engineering instruction in the appropriate education curricula.
  • To serve society as a body of specialists and encourage community service where the skills of those who work with explosives can best be applied.
  • To educate policymakers about our industry and identify, monitor, report, and respond to public policy issues affecting the explosives industry.
  • To promote the professional development, competence, and qualifications of explosives engineers, practitioners, and those entering the field.
  • To establish and strengthen working relationships with related national and international associations, government agencies, academic institutions, and allied societies having common or related objectives.
  • To promote a favorable public perception of explosives engineers and the contributions that they make to society.
  • To promote standardization of terminology, methods, and regulations in explosives engineering.

The student chapter of ISEE at the University of Kentucky helps establish a connection with professionals in the explosives industry. It supports the professional development of its members through outreach, annual conferences, social events, and guest speakers to our meetings within the industry. Participation with ISEE will leave students with worldwide industry connections, communication skills, and a community to belong to during and after college. Any STEM major is welcome to join our group!

Advisor - Lexington: Jhon Silva Castro – jhon.silva@uky.edu 859.257.1173

Mu Nu Gama 

Mu Nu Gamma is an honor society devoted solely to the mining engineering profession. It recognizes mining engineering students that have completed at least 60 semester hours with a minimum of 9 hours designated with a mining prefix; the students must also have a minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and rank in the top 35 percent of their class.

Advisor - Lexington: Rick Honaker – rick.honaker@uky.edu 859.257.1108

Mucking Team 

The University of Kentucky Mining Competition Team, also known as the Muckin’ Wildcats, is an organization in which students compete in 7 events rooted in old school mining techniques. The events are swede saw, jack leg, gold panning, surveying, track stand, mucking, and hand-steel. The organization is centered on an annual competition, when University teams from all around the world travel to one location in order to compete against each other in a friendly bout of speed, skill, and strength, but many students also use the club as just an opportunity for fun! The Muckin’ Wildcats also pride themselves on creating a truly inclusive team atmosphere for all members, whether during practice, while competing, or just around campus. Beyond the fun to be had and connections to be made, many of our current and former students have highlighted how participating in mucking has given them a concrete example of work ethic to share with companies during interviews.

Advisor - Lexington: Josh Calnan – joshcalnan @uky.edu, 859- 257-8032

RescUKats – Collegiate Mine Rescue Team

RescUKats is a collegiate mine rescue team that competes with other top universities in mock mine rescue scenarios under real-life working conditions and professional equipment. Students will apply risk management and teamwork in a timed competitive environment. Students will network and engage with students from other universities and industry professionals at practices as well as competitions.

Advisor: Steven Schafrik – steven.schafrik@uky.edu, 859-257-5387

Trainer: Danny Knott (Madisonville) - DKNOTT0001@kctcs.edu

Women in Mining

Women in Mining (WIM) is a national organization striving to:

  • Educate members in technical, economic, regulatory and other aspects of mineral resource and related industries through informative and educational programs.
  • Institute and promote such educational, scientific, legislative, and other programs as will foster public awareness of the economic and technical interrelationship of mineral production with our national economy and the public good.
  • Advance the interests of, attract and retain diverse minorities in the mining and related industries by providing opportunities for networking and professional development.
  • Preserve the heritage and maintain the history of mining and mining people.

Our Women in Mining student chapter exists to help minorities in the department get established and feel supported both in our department and in the industry at large. To accomplish this, our chapter hosts informal social events for members, outreach events with community organizations, networking opportunities with industry leaders, and professional opportunities including an annual conference. Through participation in WIM members leave the university experience with expanded industry connections, speaking and leadership experience from various events, and feeling connected to a national organization that can continue to support them as they grow their careers.

Advisor - Lexington: Lesley Brenner – 859.257.4596