Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Progress by Year

Progress by Year
Students attending the 2013 PCMIA/SME meeting, October 2013: Luke Mignogna, John Van Ness, Gabriel Frank, Patrick Himes, and Blaise Bucha. NOTE: Michael Keener is taking the picture.

Fall 2013 and Beyond – The two major research projects became a major focus of the mining engineering program, requiring four graduate research assistantships (Michael Keener, Luke Mignogna, Pat Himes, and Jessica Saleh) and four undergraduate researchers (Blaise Bucha, Justin Couglin, Gabriel Frank, and John VanNess).  In response to growing interest by undergraduate students and decreased participation in the post-baccalaureate online learning courses, the program will focus on the undergraduate and graduate mining engineering education and research.  

Fall 2012 to Spring 2013 –  The course entitled “Mine Management and Evaluation” (ENGR 1639/2639) was taught locally for the first time by Dr. Dan Alexander.  The ARIES research project enters its second year.  A second major contract with the PA DEP was begun.  The mining engineering program was given ~$180,000 for two years of effort.  Michael Keener and Luke Mignogna received graduate research assistantships to work on these two projects.  Eight undergraduates received mining engineering certificates.  

Fall 2011 to Spring 2012 – The interest in the mining engineering program continues to grow.  In addition, a new research project was funded as part of the Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science (ARIES) program.  Anthony Iannacchione, Jason Monnell, and Vicky Deng worked  jointly on this project.  The eighth mining engineering course offered is entitled “Mineral Industry Risk Management” (ENGR1633/2633).  The Pitt Student Chapter of SME  re-formed and their first technical meeting was held attracting ~ 50 professionals and students.  

Fall 2010 to Spring 2011 - The contract with the PA Department of Environmental Protection became a central focus of the mining engineering program.  The effort was was shared by three departments, two from the College of Arts and Sciences (biology and geology).  In total, three faculty members, six graduate students and three undergraduates conducted field and laboratory work.  The program’s first MS graduate student, Megan Witkowski, successfully defended her Thesis.  In addition, a new course entitled “Mine Evaluation and Management” (ENGR 1639/2639) was offered to Pitt students through the University of Arizona.  

Fall 2009 to Spring 2010 - In 2009, five important events occurred; 1) the provost approved undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate mining engineering certificates, 2) the first mining engineering distance learning course was offered, 3) the mining engineering certificate program was approved by the state of Pennsylvania for one year’s relief in the time needed to sit for the Mine Certificate Tests, 4) a major research project with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) was initiated with the mining program taking a lead role (total contract value ~$300,000), and 5) a new course was jointly offered with the University of British Columbia entitled “Sustainable Mine Development: Economics, Society and Environment” (ENGR 1632/2632).  

Fall 2008 to Spring 2009 - Increased interest in the mining engineering program and donations from a number of companies and individuals allowed the school to hire Anthony Iannacchione as a full-time faculty and director of the mining engineering program.  Dr. Iannacchione has extensive mining research experience at the US Bureau of Mines and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.  Two new mining engineering courses were offered “Strata Control Engineering” (ENGR 1637/2637) and “Environmental Control in Mining” (ENGR 1634/2634).  

Fall 2007 to Spring 2008 – The “Underground Coal Mining” course was offered twice and the enrollment rose to 23.  A second mining engineering course was offered entitled “Mine Ventilation Engineering”, ENGR 1635/2635.  Four students enrolled in this course.  

Spring 2007 – In the spring of 2007, the University of Pittsburgh offered its first mining engineering course in more than 20 years.  “Underground Coal Mining” (ENGR 1630/2630) was taught by a senior mining engineer, Dr. Daniel Su, and a senior vice-president, Jim McCaffrey, both from CONSOL Energy.  This first class had seven students.