Mining provides the mineral and energy resources for society, including coal, metallic ores, bauxite, phosphates, and salt, as well as such basic products as gravel, limestone, and stone that are essential to the nation's highways, power plants, bridges, and building foundations. Wherever productive mineral deposits are found - in remote outposts or close to metropolitan areas - the special skills of mining and mineral processing engineers are needed.
Aspects of geological, chemical, civil, mechanical, electrical and industrial engineering, together with business and management skills are integrated in the challenge of extracting minerals from the ground and refining them for use. Mining engineers are involved in all stages of the industrial cycle:
- exploring for new deposits and deciding if they can be mined and processed economically
- designing and constructing mines above or below ground
- managing highly complex operations
- training, managing, and ensuring the safety of personnel
- processing and marketing the raw materials
- addressing environmental pollution and waste management issues
- and designing and managing mine reclamation projects
Today, the challenges of mining are greater than ever before. New high-tech methods are being designed to make tomorrow's mines more productive, safer, and economically successful. Mining engineers are seeking ways to extract essential raw materials without causing undue disturbance to the environment, as well as to prevent pollution and reclaim land mined in the past. They are finding new solutions for some of the nation's waste disposal problems by mining for space deep in the Earth.
Penn State's mining engineering program is known and respected around the world, especially for its expertise in all phases of coal mining.
*The Mining Engineering B.S. program in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME) at Penn State is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.