Mining Engineering

Members of the Penn State Mine Rescue Team in uniform

Research Areas

Penn State's Mining Engineering program is among the most extensive and diverse in the world, and its faculty members are recognized internationally for their research contributions. The type of research conducted is limited only by the capability of the faculty and the relevance of the program. Some of our recent and current research interests are:

  • Analysis of mine safety and health performances and influencing factors
  • Application of acoustic emission/microseismic techniques
  • Design of innovative mining systems
  • Environmental control
  • Geomechanics
  • Goal programming analysis of Hydrogen Economy impact on the coal industry
  • In-seam seismic system for void detection
  • Intelligent mine materials handling systems
  • Mechanical excavation and rock fragmentation
  • Mine health and safety
  • Mine management
  • Mine planning and reclamation
  • Mine safety technology and training improvements for underground coal mines
  • Mine ventilation
  • Mining and sustainability
  • Optimization of drilling and blasting
  • Reducing seismic vibration from blasting
  • Risk assessment and management for mine health and safety
  • Surface mine design and production scheduling
  • Tunneling and underground construction
  • Underground mining
  • Use of materials flow analysis for informing public policy of mining
  • Virtual reality-based training of roof bolters

Significant research results are integrated into courses that the faculty teaches. This diverse program presents an unusual opportunity for graduate students to become broadly acquainted with the research frontiers in mining engineering and related fields even if they specialize in a specific area.

Mining Engineering Facilities

We have outstanding facilities for mining engineering research. Among these facilities are:

  • A ventilation laboratory, including automatic gas and dust analyzers, and a network of underground tunnels that is connected to an array of operating mine fans
  • Rock mechanics laboratories
  • Mine electrical laboratories, with instrumentation for remote sensing and control
  • Laboratories for studying dust and particles
  • Coal preparation and mineral processing facilities
  • Extensive student computer facilities with state-of-the-art software including SURPAC (mine design), TALPAC (loader/shovel - truck simulation), DragSim (dragline simulation), DelPat (drilling and blasting), FLYPS (pump selection), XPAC (production scheduling), and Belt Analyst (belt conveyor design).
  • A laboratory to study equipment and maintenance engineering