UofA Mining and Geological Engineering slideshow 6 UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering slideshow 5 UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering slideshow 7 UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering slideshow 4 UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering slideshow 1 UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering slideshow 2 UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering UofA Mining and Geological Engineering slideshow 3

Red banner saying "Since 1888"

Startup Licenses Mining Sensor Network Developed by MGE Professors

Mary Poulton, Moe Momayez, Lanny Brown and Mark Baker stand before a screen depicting the Guia logo.Moe Momayez, professor of mining and geological engineering, and Mary Poulton, Distinguished Professor of mining and geological engineering, have developed a sensor network to monitor miner health and safety.

Joining Momayez and Poulton on the team that developed the system were Oro Valley technology entrepreneur Sergio Cardona and senior advisers Mark Baker and Lanny M. Brown. The team worked with UA’s Tech Launch Arizona to define and patent the invention, identify and build the startup team, and license the technology through UA startup GUIA -- pronounced “GI-a” and derived from the Spanish word for “guide.”

The invention is known as the System for Managing Advanced Response Technology, or SMART, Suite 5.0, and features sensors that can detect and report on components of worker health and safety, mine air quality, geolocation asset tracking, communication and ground stabilization detection. At the core of the system is the ability to sense a miner's location and body temperature, predict potential problems and recommend steps to avert health risks.

Momayez said accidents and injuries in the mining and construction industries cost billions of dollars a year, so he and his colleagues used off-the-shelf components to create their technology and help keep workers safe.

"It is the canary in the mine with a lot of bells and whistles," Momayez said.

UA Mining Engineering Team Advances to Phase 2 in SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition

The members of the MGE team heading to Phase 2 of the SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition stand in front of the Mines and Metallurgy building.

Six mining and geological engineering students have completed the Phase 1 problem of the 2017-2018 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration/National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association Student Design Competition.

Garrett Anderson, Christopher Deuel, Sean Klasen, Nathan Kraft, Jorge Loya Lopez and Miguel Pugmire were provided a real-world mining engineering problem and wrote an engineering report summarizing their findings to complete Phase 1.

The competition’s panel of industry judges has advanced the team, and students from five other U.S. universities, to Phase 2, held during the SME Annual Conference, Feb. 23 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The teams will have 48 hours to further evaluate the problem from Phase 1 and prepare a presentation. The panel will evaluate the presentation’s engineering parameters, financial soundness, and environmental and safety considerations, along with the team’s ability to sell their conclusions.

MGE Professor Kemeny Awarded Grant as Part of New Program to Advance International Collaboration

John Kemeny, professor of mining and geological engineering, has been awarded a grant to advance his study "Transnational and Transdisciplinarity Research: Imaging in Mining Geomechanics."

Kemeny and his team will be working with scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur to address problems of engineered structures in rock and soil.

The grant is one of seven awarded for the first time as part of the new International Research and Academic Program Development program, co-sponsored by the office of Research, Discovery and Innovation and the Office of Global Initiatives. The IRAPD awarded the grants with the goal of empowering faculty while providing a global benefit, and the proposals chosen have a high probability for success, strong international partners, and a vision for future sustainability.

"IRPD grants assist faculty in advancing existing international partnerships – coalescing research and academic partnerships into comprehensive programs that begin to address some of the world's most pressing challenges," said Randy Burd, associate vice president of global research alliances. "Given the timing of the first funding round, the 2017 winners are clustered in the research track. In the next round, we look forward to receiving proposals that will build cross-cultural, cutting-edge academic programs for the future."

Isabel Barton Joins Other Geoscientists to Study Subsurface Fluids', Rocks' Effect on Resource Management

Peter Reiners (front) and the paleofluids team study the Mill Canyon splay of the Moab Fault, a potential pathway for paleofluid flow and fluid-rock reaction. (Photo: Amanda Hughes)

MGE's Isabel Barton, research scientist at the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, is joining other UA researchers to study how underground fluids affect subsurface rocks in the Paradox Basin.

With the help of a three-year, $1 million grant from the Keck Foundation, researchers from the UA and the New Mexico Institute of Technology will integrate geologic, geochemical, geochronologic and hydrogeologic observations and develop an integrated, interdisciplinary understanding of subsurface fluid-rock systems.

Figuring out how these fluids interact with subsurface rocks is important not only for understanding critical energy and mineral resources but also for effective management of energy byproducts such as wastewater, carbon dioxide and spent nuclear fuel.

UA Licenses Mining Safety Game to Engage Trainees

Recently retired University of Arizona mining and geological engineering professor Mary Poulton and UA researchers have come up with a game-like interactive training program for miners that promises to keep trainees engaged and thinking.

"We know from teaching that sitting there, staring at a screen, listening, is not a way to engage people," Poulton said in an interview with Tech Launch Arizona. "It doesn't make people more safety conscious and it doesn't lead to better safety behaviors at the job site."

The University of Arizona has licensed the interactive training program to startup Desert Saber. Check out the local coverage of this story in the Arizona Daily Star.

Mary Poulton to Retire

Mary Poulton, center, with mining engineering students at the annual rock-drilling contest outside Old Main on the UA campus.Following a 30-year career in public service, Mary Poulton, University Distinguished Professor in Geosciences, Mining Engineering, Law and Public Health, and director of the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, is retiring from academia.

At a special luncheon in her honor, words of support and congratulations poured in from Arizona's governor, U.S. senators and the state House of Representatives and Senate. Arizona State Mine Inspector Joe Hart also presented Poulton with a certificate of excellence.

After earning bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in geological engineering from the UA, Poulton joined the MGE faculty and later broke new ground when she became its department head in 2000.

Under her leadership, enrollment quadrupled and she spearheaded efforts to bring more women and minorities into mining education and the mining profession. She also helped celebrate the Arizona School of Mine's 125th anniversary in 2013.

Poulton will start a new chapter in her career this summer in a new role at the Spokane Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

MGE Faculty Selected as SME Krumb Lecturers

From left to right: Sean Dessurealt, Moe Momayez and Ihor KunaszThree current and former faculty members of the UA Department of Mining and Geological Engineering were chosen by the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, or SME, as 2017-2018 Henry Krumb Lecturers.

The 10 honorees were selected from among those who presented technical papers at the SME Annual Conference & Expo, and were announced during SME's National Western Mining Conference in February.

MGE's Krumb Lecturers are:

  • Sean Dessurealt, associate professor, "Using Tablets, Internet of Thing Beacons, and Big Data Analytics for Safety and Productivity in Small Mines and Quarries"
  • Moe Momayez, associate professor, "Distributed Air Properties Sensors for Underground Mine"
  • Ihor Kunasz, former adjunct professor, "The Lithium Paradigm"

Kraft Wins Annual Drilling Competition

MGE student, Nathan Kraft, leans on the jackleg drill after starting a hole. (Arizona Daily Star)MGE student Nathan Kraft bored his way to first place in the 2017 MGE rock-drilling competition on the University of Arizona campus outside Old Main.

Kraft beat out seven other students by drilling the deepest hole in a 20-ton rock in two minutes. His triumph came not with a trophy but a traditional toss into the Old Main fountain.

The Arizona Daily Star photographed the event, including Kraft's victory dunk, and video of the competition is available courtesy of KGUN9.

Photo: Nathan Kraft leans on the jackleg drill after getting a hole started. Courtesy of Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star

TLA Startup of the Year Boosted by MGE Contributions

The MetOxs team accepts their I-Squared awardOn April 18, Tech Launch Arizona held its fourth annual I-Squared Expo & Awards, highlighting University of Arizona researchers whose inventions impact the quality of life of people in Tucson, across Arizona and throughout the world.

This year's event showcased eight UA startups, including MetOxs Solutions, which was honored as 2017 Startup of the Year.

MetOxs specializes in providing technology for more sustainable mining and energy production. Included in their portfolio are Hexopanel and Acrete, two products developed by MGE faculty.

Associate professor Moe Momayez developed the Hexopanel to slow water evaporation from mining tailings ponds and reservoirs while simultaneously generating solar energy. Acrete, invented by associate professor Jinhong Zhang, is a fly ash-based substitute for concrete for use in construction.

The MetOxs inventor team receives their I-Squared Award. From right to left: David Allen, Jinhong Zhang, Dominic Gervasio, Abe Jalbout, Moe Momayez and Kimberly Espy.

Getting Rocky at MGE Drilling Competition

A UA student uses a jackleg drill to bore holes in a giant rock outside Old Main during the 2014 competition.

On Friday, April 21, UA mining and geological engineering students will test their drill skills at an annual rock-drilling competition outside Old Main.

Each student has two minutes and a 130-pound jackleg drill to bore as deep a hole as possible in the 20-ton rock, and the lucky winner gets hosed down by their teammates or thrown into the Old Main fountain.

Curious? Watch the 2014 competitors in action.

The competition runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to the public.


University of Arizona College of Engineering