Published On: 11/23/2015

SME supports Congressional bill to fund mining schools

Mining School Enhancement Act introduced in the House

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is pleased to offer support to H.R. 3734, the Mining School Enhancement Act. Introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV) on October 9, 2015, the legislation addresses the absence of a viable pipeline necessary to replenish current faculty vacancies in U.S. mining schools.

“The challenges that threaten the sustainability of U.S. mining schools and the looming workforce shortage are of utmost importance to the entire mining industry,” stated SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy. “We encourage our colleagues to ask for Congressional support of this bill from their respective local elected officials.”

The reduction in the number of mining and mineral engineering programs in U.S. mining schools in the last few decades has resulted in a decline in the number of both faculty and mining engineering graduates. The future of the global mining and minerals community depends on the industry’s ability to avert this emerging threat.

To help mitigate this threat, SME and the SME Foundation launched a two-fold initiative: The Ph.D. Fellowship and Career Development Grant Program. The program disburses grants annually to qualified Ph.D. candidates seeking an academic career, and provides experienced faculty members with the resources needed to achieve tenure. $380,000 in grants was awarded to the first recipients this fall academic semester. Grants range from $60,000 to $100,000 per recipient annually, with a potential for 18 grants to be issued in a given year.

For more information on the grant program, please visit www.smenet.org/students/grants-scholarships.

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 membership represents all professionals serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide mining and underground construction community through information exchange and professional development. SME's staff is located in Englewood, Colorado.

For more information contact John Hayden, Deputy Executive Director - Public Affairs and Government Relations, at (303) 948-4250 or hayden@smenet.org.