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Celebrating 125 Years and a New Face of Mining

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Celebrating 125 Years and a New Face of Mining

Feb. 21, 2013
Celebrating 125 Years and a New Face of Mining

The School of Mines welcomed its first student in in 1888 as the last brick was laid for the iconic Old Main (shown below in 1890), and a few years later the first few graduating students headed into the world of mining.

Much has changed in the UA mining years that have touched three centuries, but at the core the program’s purpose remains rock solid. We provide advanced education, innovative research, and invaluable service to state, national and global mining industries. We provide the worldwide mining community with an exceptional workforce.

Year of Celebration

Now, 125 years after the first mining student walked up the steps of Old Main, it is with immense pride that I invite you to celebrate the new face of mining. Throughout 2013 the department of mining and geological engineering, or MGE, will be hosting special events for those who have made, and kept, us great: our students, alumni, faculty, industry partners, and friends. The year will be chock-full of events celebrating a legacy rich in excellence: family days, career fairs, a Mining Foundation of the Southwest Annual Hall of Fame Dinner, homecoming extravaganzas, barbecues, the annual golf tournament, special lectures, summer camps for kids, and the ever-popular drilling competition. As well, we will publish a series of articles on topics such as women in mining, technology and automation, urban mining, critical minerals, how the world depends on mining, and environmental policy and social responsibility. So stay tuned, and be sure to check back often for updates.

From Mules to Robotics, Our Purpose Steadfast

The exceptional workforce in training of 1888 was learning how to consider mules for material haulage; today students are learning robotics, automation, and positioning technologies. In 1888 the School of Mines was providing assay and other technical services to a growing industry scattered across 113,000 square miles of hostile territory; today the mining and geological engineering department is transferring technology and knowledge worldwide via lectures streamed online, startup companies, licensing agreements, and short courses.

Using an extensive mineral collection they created themselves, School of Mines faculty traveled the territory and nation 125 years ago by horse and carriage to teach the public about the region’s mineral wealth. That mineral collection is now one of the largest university collections in the United States, and today MGE education outreach programs touch more than 6,500 students and teachers every year.

Collaborative Approach Part of Legacy

More than 1,000 alumni from 80 companies in 27 countries are involved in the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources professional programs. The Lowell Institute, with 120-plus faculty, staff and students in 23 disciplines across 10 UA colleges, is tackling, and solving, the world’s most pressing issues for sustainable development of mineral resources. Plus, MGE runs the only integrated operations center laboratory for mining in the world, and we are creating mine simulators for operations and safety and a bilingual gaming simulator for emergency response.

Students at the Heart of UA Mining Programs

Students are, and always have been, at the heart of UA mining and geological engineering programs. MGE has remained small enough to accommodate the family environment that students and faculty value; yet the department has diversified over the years to meet the changing needs of the industry. Each year more and more female mining and geological engineers and students with minority backgrounds are among the graduates.

All MGE students meet stringent admissions standards, are certified in underground mine safety, and have good job offers before they ever collect their diplomas. They work with developing technologies, study abroad, and get hands-on experience at the University’s San Xavier Underground Mining Laboratory, one of only a few student-managed mines in the world.

MGE students have performed at Carnegie Hall, played competitive sports, served in our armed forces, become fluent in Mandarin, just for fun, and are never afraid to get their hands dirty. They are the changing face of mining.

Welcome to the 125th anniversary celebrations!