SME announces recipients of 2016 mining academic grants

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) and the SME Foundation are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Ph.D. Fellowship and Academic Career Development Grants. The program initiative focuses on rebuilding the U.S. mining school faculty pipeline to address the decline of viable tenure-track candidates at universities offering degrees in mining engineering, mineral processing or extractive metallurgy.

β€œThe challenges associated with faculty scarcity extend from the ability of students with industry experience to successfully complete a Ph.D. degree, to newly employed faculty who are facing the difficult process of achieving tenure,” stated SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy. β€œTo address these challenges, SME and the SME Foundation are proud to award Ph.D. Fellowship and Career Development Grants to ensure the future viability of U.S. mining schools.”

The program allocates to each recipient:

    • Academic Career Development Grant – $100,000 per year for a maximum of three years: provides assistant or associate professors with the support towards achieving tenure and promotion.
    • Ph.D. Fellowship Grant – $60,000 per year for a maximum of four years: provides support to students with industry experience and a desire to pursue an academic career with the means to acquire a doctoral degree.

Recipients of the 2016 mining academic grants are:

Freeport-McMoRan Career Development Grant:
Dr. Andrea J. Brickey
Associate Professor, Mining Engineering & Management, South Dakota School of Mines
Dr. Charles K. Kocsis
Associate Professor, Mining & Metallurgical Engineering, University of Nevada-Reno

Robert S. Shoemaker Ph.D. Fellowship Grant:
Gail L. Heath – Mining Engineering, University of Arizona

Ph.D. Fellowship Grants funded from other sources:
Richard M. LaDouceur – Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, Montana Tech
Penny L. Padgett – Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky

The 2017 grant application period is December 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. For more information on the SME mining academic grant programs, please visit


SME is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 members represent all professions serving the mining, minerals and underground construction industries in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide minerals community through information exchange and professional development.

SME exists to be the premier resource and advocate for the mining community.Β  For further details, see


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