Welcome to the Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Kentucky.
We are one of only 12 ABET-accredited mining engineering programs in the nation and have the distinction of being among the oldest programs and one of the newest all at the same time. The program was initially founded as the School of Civil and Mining Engineering in 1866. However, after a period of reorganization in which mining engineering became a transition program within the Department of Civil Engineering, the current Department of Mining Engineering was reestablished in 1982. Since that time we have grown to be one of the top U.S. mining engineering programs in terms of both size and quality.
The Department of Mining Engineering offers a traditional Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering, a non-thesis Master of Mining Engineering degree, a research-oriented Master of Science degree in Mining Engineering, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mining Engineering. At the graduate level, students are able to specialize in one of the extractive sub-disciplines of mining engineering or in mineral processing. These programs are offered by seven full-time faculty members, one adjunct professor, and one research assistant professor who have been recruited from the world's finest mining engineering programs. Due to small class sizes, students receive a great deal of individual attention. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, the faculty members serve the broader land-grant mission of the University of Kentucky through research and service that is beneficial to the mining industry and society as a whole.
Students in our programs benefit from excellent facilities, a generous scholarship program, and an active student professional organization. The Department of Mining Engineering occupies over 25,000 square feet in the Mining and Mineral Resources Building. Included in this space are classrooms, offices, a student lounge, and numerous laboratories dedicated to rock mechanics, mine ventilation, mine electrical systems, mineral processing, coal testing, environmental systems, computation, and mine design. The Kentucky Mining Engineering Scholarship Program provides merit-based scholarships to all students who satisfy the criteria. Funding for this scholarship program comes from a combination of state, corporate, and individual sources. The Norwood Student Chapter of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) serves as a focal point of activity for mining engineering students and helps to familiarize them with the mining engineering profession through guest speakers, visits to mining operations, attendance at professional meetings, and social events with practicing engineers.
The University of Kentucky Mining Engineering Foundation was established in 1983 as a continuing partnership between the University and the mining industry. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide the support necessary to enable the Department of Mining Engineering to be one of the finest mining engineering programs in the nation. Toward this end, the Foundation has established a permanent endowment, a gift account known as the Development Fund, and the Graduate Research Fellowship Fund for the support of mining engineering graduate students conducting research beneficial to the mining industry. The Board of Directors of the Foundation meets twice each year and functions as an industrial advisory board for the Department. Alumni of the program are encouraged to join the Foundation as individual members. This is a very practical way of supporting the Department and staying connected to its mission.
As Chair of Mining Engineering, I would like to speak personally to prospective students. Many of you may think, as I did when I was younger, that mining is a remnant of the Industrial Revolution that will soon disappear altogether. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Mining, along with agriculture, is a basic industry that provides the feedstock for all other industries. Think for a minute where we would be without the products of the mining industry – no computers, no televisions, no automobiles, no roads, no concrete structures, almost no cosmetics, less food due to a lack of fertilizer, and not much electricity either. When referring to raw materials, there are really only two options; either they must be grown or they must be extracted from the earth. Since mining is essential to modern society and since the mining industry is increasingly more dependent on advanced technology, mining engineers are in great demand and will continue to be so for my lifetime and yours. A mining engineering education opens the door to many exciting career opportunities such as planning and designing new mines, managing mineral extraction and processing operations, providing technical assistance to governmental agencies that oversee the mining industry, practicing mineral law, researching new mining and mineral processing technologies, and even educating the next generation of mining engineers.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me or any of my colleagues here at the Department of Mining Engineering.