Mining and Minerals Engineering
Head: K. Luxbacher
University Distinguished Professor and Nicholas T. Camicia Professor: R.H. Yoon
Charles T. Holland Professor: K.D. Luxbacher
Stonie Barker Professor: Michael Karmis
Professor: E.C. Westman
Associate Professors: C. Cheng, A. Noble, M. G. Karfakis, N. Ripepi, and E.A. Sarver
Assistant Professors: B. Nojabaei, and W. Zhang
Adjunct Professor: J.A. Herbst
The Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering offers an engineering program containing aspects of mineral science, engineering, and technology that is professionally related to the minerals industry. Graduates of this program find domestic and international employment opportunities with hardrock, coal, industrial minerals, and construction aggregates producers, as well as with government agencies and equipment vendors.
The mission of the department is to produce high quality, rigorously trained mining engineers, whose background and education reflect the current level of technology and thought of the profession, and who can enter directly into engineering practice or, alternatively, graduate school for further study. Specifically, the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering seeks, as its educational objectives, to prepare alumni within a few years of graduation to possess:
- the intellectual ability to critically assess and tackle any engineering problem they may encounter;
- the communication skills to communicate technical information to a variety of audiences including technically trained supervisors and subordinates as well as non-technical members of the work force and the general public;
- the leadership and team building skills to lead projects and function as entry-level managers as well as work productively as members of a team;
- an understanding of the practical aspects of the mining industry and an appreciation for mining as a business; and
- an awareness of societal issues and how these issues affect their role as future professional engineers working for the general benefit of society.
The mining engineering curriculum utilizes the basic and engineering sciences to develop the various areas of activity of the mining engineer: mineral exploration, evaluation, development, extraction, mineral processing, conservation, protection of the environment, and mineral economics. Course work in these areas provides a unique background for engineering and management positions in industry and government, as well as for continuation of specialized graduate studies.
Intrinsic to the curriculum is the development of a meaningful, major engineering design experience that builds upon the fundamental concepts of mathematics, basic sciences, the humanities and social sciences, engineering topics, and communication skills. This design experience is stressed within the major and grows with the development and progression of the student. Ethical, social, safety, economic, and environmental considerations are emphasized in the design experience throughout many courses, including the capstone senior design course. Finally, the major engineering design experience is a focal point of the mining engineering curriculum and is consistent with the objectives and goals of the program.
The program has an emphasis on the application of computers to mining and minerals processing operations. Furthermore, it exposes students to laboratory courses which focus on conducting experiments, understanding the principles involved in each experiment, and analyzing and interpreting experimental data. Information on the mission, goals, and curriculum of the program is continuously updated on the departmental website.
The Cooperative Education Program, as well as opportunities for financial support in the form of scholarships, loans, awards, and summer employment, are available to undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate programs are available leading to the M.S., M. Eng., and Ph.D.
The B.S. degree program in Mining Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.
The graduation requirements in effect during the academic year of admission to Virginia Tech apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year you started at Virginia Tech. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as "Checksheets." The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion. The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program.
Please visit the University Registrar's website at https://www.registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/checksheets.html for degree requirements.
1024: LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE IN THE MINERAL INDUSTRIES Leadership and service principles. Awareness of self and others through personality typing. Strategic planning. Importance of energy and mineral industries to developed and developing countries as well as associated consequences. Mineral extraction and purification processes and calculations. Conflict resolution. Challenges and opportunities available in the energy and mineral industries. May include guest speakers and field trips. (1H,1C)
1984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
2114: ENERGY AND RAW MATERIALS: GEOPOLITICS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Supply and demand of energy resources and raw materials. Domestic and global trends. Development of energy and mineral resources. Electricity generation, efficiency, and distribution. Energy and raw materials infrastructure Disparities in resource-producing vs. resource-consuming regions. Environmental considerations and engineering management. Land use and reclamation. Greenhouse gas management. Policy, regulations, and incentives. Geopolitical considerations. Conservation and efficiency. Sustainable development. This course is available to undergraduate students of all ranks and all majors. (3H,3C)
2504: INTRODUCTION TO MINING ENGINEERING Introduction to the complete field of mining and minerals engineering, including phases of mine development, discreet mining methods and mineral processing operations. Consideration in unconventional oil and gas development. Emphasis on basic engineering problem solving skills, and considerations for worker health and safety, economics, and environmental and social issues. (3H,3C)
2524: ELEMENTS OF MINE DESIGN Basic concepts used in the modeling and design of mining systems including basic statistical concepts, sampling, geological and geostatistical modeling of ore bodies, ore reserve estimation, and selection of basic mine development methods. Pre: 2504, GEOS 1004. (2H,3L,3C)
2534: MINE SURVEYING AND MAPPING Specialized principles of field surveying and mapping as applied to the delineation of mineral deposits and the design and monitoring of surface and underground mining operations. Introduction to modern surveying instruments, field techniques, and computational procedures. Basic digital mine mapping to include standard mine symbols and representation of surface and underground mine workings. Partially duplicates ENGE 2824. Pre: MATH 1226. (2H,3L,3C)
2544: LEADERSHIP FOR RESPONSIBLE MINING Principles of leadership for the global resource industries including identification of project impacts and risks, stakeholder analysis and conflict management. Emphasis on engineering ethics and effective communications. Sustainable development of mineral and energy resources, with focus on emerging technical, economic, environmental and social issues in the US and abroad. Pre: 2504, ENGL 1106. (2H,2C)
2564: RESOURCE EXPLORATION AND DESIGN Basic methods and concepts in exploration and modeling of ore bodies. Resource exploration planning. Exploration technologies for potential mine sites. Design of mining systems. Computational modeling of ore bodies and mine systems. Environmental, regulatory, ethical, and social considerations in mine system design. Pre: 2504, GEOS 1004. (2H,3L,3C)
2714: INTRODUCTION TO PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS ENGINEERING Introduction to basics of petroleum and natural gas engineering. Concepts of conventional and unconventional fossil fuel energy; basics of rock mechanics and reservoir fluid properties. Concepts of drilling and completion engineering. Concepts of hydraulic fracturing; basic knowledge of formation evaluation and various rock types. Basics of geophysical monitoring methods; basics of different oil and gas reservoirs; basics of production engineering and fundamentals of recovery mechanisms, discussion of petroleum and natural gas social and policy issues. (3H,3C)
2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
2984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
2994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course.
3544: MINERAL PROCESSING LABORATORY Laboratory investigations of the unit operations and principles of mineral processing including ore preparation (size reduction, mineral liberation, and classification) and mineral recovery (froth flotation, electrostatic separation, magnetic separation, and solid-liquid separation). Pre: 3534. Co: 3554. (3L,1C)
3564: UNDERGROUND MINE DESIGN Design fundamentals of mining systems and stope development for tabular and massive underground mineral deposits. Equipment selection and application, permitting, cost analysis and production simulation. Pre: 2564, 3604. (3H,3C)
3574: SURFACE MINE AND QUARRY DESIGN Surface mining methods, and their selection; mine planning and design; excavation, haulage and ancillary systems; equipment selection and maintenance; impoundment and piles design; mine closure/reclamation. Pre: 2564, 3674. (3H,3C)
3584: VENTILATION ENGINEERING Subsurface ventilation systems. Ventilation planning and design, laws of airflow, airway resistance. Ventilation surveys, network analysis, ventilation economics. Ventilation software. Fan types, impeller theory, fan laws and testing. Mine ventilation thermodynamics. Pre: 2504. (2H,3L,3C)
3604: MINING GEOMECHANICS Properties and behavior of geologic materials and masses and their classifications and ratings. Design principles of structures founded on and in rocks and basic aspects of ground control in mining. Laboratory techniques used in the determination of geologic materials properties and behavior. Determination of rock index properties, strengths, failure criterion and mechanical behavior. Pre: 2504, GEOS 1004, ESM 2204. (2H,3L,3C)
3624: MINERAL RESOURCE PROJECT MANAGEMENT Applied and theoretical concepts in the valuation and management of mining and energy extraction projects. Project engineering, resource management, scheduling, and tracking. Estimation of capital costs, operating costs, and revenues for underground and surface mines, mineral beneficiation plants, and oil and gas ventures. Commodity sales contracts and price projections. Cash flow analysis, revenue-generating and service producing alternative selection, taxes/deductions. Quantitative risk analysis including stochastic simulation. Environmental, ethical, and legal considerations in project management. Pre: 2504, 2564. (3H,3C)
3634: FUNDAMENTALS OF MINERAL PROCESSING Principles of mineral processing with an emphasis on metallurgical data evaluation, unit operations, and flowsheet configurations. Metallurgical accounting, slurry calculations, grade-recovery relationships, chemical aspects of mineral processing, and particle size analysis. Unit operations including rushing, grinding, size separation, gravity separation, magnetic and electrostatic separation, froth dewatering. Laboratory investigations of the unit operations and principles of mineral processing. Pre: 2504, GEOS 1004, CHEM 1035. (2H,3L,3C)
3644: APPLICATIONS IN MINERAL PROCESSING Applied concepts in the design and operation of mineral processing plants. Flowsheet engineering, unit selection, unit sizing, water/mass flow balancing, simulation, process control, and cost estimation. Environmental, economic, and legal considerations in process plant design. Pre: 3634. (2H,2C)
3674: EXPLOSIVES AND ROCK FRAGMENTATION Rock fragmentation for excavation; drilling fragmentation, rock drilling systems; blasting fragmentation, types and properties of commercial explosives and accessories, system of initiation, design of blasting rounds, applications in mining and construction, structural damage criteria, overbreak control, safe practice and regulations; fragmentation by excavation machines; excavation system selection and design. Pre: 2504, GEOS 1004, ESM 2204. (3H,3C)
3714: PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS RESERVOIR ENGINEERING Introduction to oil and gas reservoirs; basics of reservoir rock and fluid properties; fundamentals of different petroleum reservoirs; determination of oil and gas in place; material balance equation; prediction of transient pressure distribution; prediction of saturation distribution; basics of recovery mechanisms; single and multiphase flows in petroleum reservoirs; and prediction of recovery factor and production rate. Pre: 2714. (3H,3C)
3724: FORMATION EVALUATION AND ENGINEERING Well log measurements and interpretation; standard logging suites used in industry; core sampling methods and laboratory analysis; relationship of well data to seismic and other geophysical data; relationship of well-derived reservoir properties to reservoir estimation calculations, well completions strategies, and development strategies. Pre: 2714. (3H,3C)
3984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4504: MATERIALS HANDLING AND POWER SYSTEMS Principles of materials handling, fluid power and electrical power systems for surface and underground mining operations. Engineering analysis and design of secondary haulage operations (belt conveyors, hoists, trucks, railways), fluid power systems (hydraulics, pumps, piping networks, compressors, pneumatic equipment). Electrical systems (electrical machinery, distribution networks, controls), and other ancillary systems required to support mining operations. Assessment of equipment reliability and development of preventive maintenance programs. Pre: ESM 3024. Co: ECE 3054. (3H,3C)
4614: HEALTH AND SAFETY SYSTEMS Investigation of health and safety management systems. Study of mine legislation; data analysis of accidents; hazard identification; risk management; training programs; emergency response plans. Pre: 3564 or 3574. (3H,3C)
4635-4636: MINING ENGINEERING CAPSTONE 4635: Serves as the capstone design course sequence for Mining and Minerals Engineering. Undertake a comprehensive design project and feasibility study that integrates courses taken throughout their curriculum, in consideration of public and occupational health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors and constraints. Includes exploration of professional and ethical obligations of engineers and impacts of projects on communities, project management, communication, and working in teams. 4636: Serves as the capstone design course sequence for Mining and Minerals Engineering. Undertake a comprehensive design project and feasibility study that integrates courses taken throughout their curriculum, in consideration of public and occupational health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors and constraints. Includes exploration of professional and ethical obligations of engineers and impacts of projects on communities, project management, communication, and working in teams. Culminates in the preparation of a technical report that describes the commercial development, extraction and closure of a mineral deposit under global reporting standards, and provides detailed operational layouts, production calculations, and engineering cost analyses. Pre: 2544, (3564 or 3574), 3624 for 4635; 4635 for 4636. (2H,2C)
4644: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT FOR MINING AND GEOENERGY Environmental impacts of mines and geoenergy resource development projects, including water, land and air pollution. Statutory and regulatory environmental requirements, with an emphasis on permitting, monitoring and compliance. Best practices for environmental management systems. Pre: 3564, 3574. (2H,2C)
4654: MINE POWER SYSTEMS AND AUTOMATION Fundamentals of electrical theory. Circuit elements, calculations and network analysis. Components and design of mine power systems. Motors, cables, load flow analyses, transmission and distribution. Electrical safety. U.S. mine-specific regulation, intrinsic safety and permissibility. Applications in mine systems automation via programmable logic control. Basic ladder logic routines. Pre: MATH 2214. (3H,3C)
4664: RESOURCE ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP SEMINAR Invited speakers and subject experts, assigned readings, facilitated activities and discussions, personality and values assessment, learning taxonomy and learning styles, diversity in the workplace, implications of personal differences for workplace and leadership dynamics, strategies and best practices for effective leadership, oral and written communication for diverse audiences. Pre: Senior Standing. (1H,1C)
4714: WELL DRILLING AND COMPLETION ENGINEERING Introduction to drilling and completion design; functions of drilling fluids; wellbore hydraulics and drilling bits; principles of well control; casing design; design of cementing jobs; directional drilling in conventional and unconventional formations, completions. Pre: 2714. (3H,3C)
4724: PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION ENGINEERING Extraction of reservoir fluids; oil and gas thermodynamic properties; phase behavior of petroleum fluids; analysis of surface production facilities; fluid separation; processing of reservoirs fluids; fluid disposal in an environmentally acceptable manner; surface transportation systems; separator design; design of artificial lift systems. Pre: 2714. (3H,3C)
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.