South Dakota Tech News
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Phone: (605) 394-6082/2554 • Fax: (605) 394-6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2003
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
New Major Designed To Meet Industry Needs
On December 9, South Dakota Tech President, Dr. Charles Ruch, announced that the South Dakota Board of Regents had just approved the creation of a new major at Tech — Mining Engineering and Management. The new Mining Engineering and Management degree will replace the existing Mining Engineering degree that is being phased out by June of 2005.
“The mining industry requires a special type of engineer, one that merges the principles of the mechanical, metallurgical, geological, electrical, environmental, and civil engineering fields, with sound business judgment,” Ruch said. “Mining Engineering is a combination of these various disciplines, and this new program is one that provides the foundation not only in the various engineering disciplines, but also in the business and management aspects of the industry.”
Graduates of this new program will be prepared to serve as mine engineers and then managers for any and all of the various mineral extraction companies operating in South Dakota, the nation, and the world. More than 130 mines operate in South Dakota, and all need engineers who can combine technical knowledge of mining with management ability.
“This new program will better position us to serve their needs. The United States is more dependent on mineral reserves now than ever before in its history, and that dependency will continue to grow in the future. A vibrant system of mining education is fundamental to the health of the industry,” Ruch said.
Dr. Chuck Kliche, Program Director of the current Mining Engineering program stated, “The approval of this new program by the South Dakota Board of Regents was the culmination of almost 3 years effort by the School Administration, the Mining Engineering faculty, and the Mining Engineering Industrial Advisory Board.” Tech’s Mining Engineering Industrial Advisory Board membership includes highly-placed Mining Engineering alumni from the coal mining and the hardrock mining industries, the explosives industry, mining equipment manufacturing and sales, and the quarry mining industry.
“Three years ago, it looked as though we were going to lose the Mining Engineering degree program at Tech,” Kilche said. “Declining enrollment in the program was the major culprit. Our Industrial Advisory Board presented a proposal that was accepted by then-President Dr. Richard Gowen, to raise funds needed to support the design, implementation, and maintenance of the new program”.
Tech then hired Dr. John Wilson to help develop the curriculum for the new major. Dr. Wilson has a strong background in many facets of the mining industry, including 10 years as chair and professor of a mining engineering program at a leading university in the United States. The new curriculum is the result of extensive consultation with the mining industry.
Tech is now conducting a search to obtain two new key positions for the new Mining Engineering and Management baccalaureate program. A portion of the funds raised from industry will be used to hire a new Program Director with significant mining and mine management experience, and to hire a recruiter to market the new program to prospective students.
The program’s coursework will include mining engineering principles, management, financial analysis, human resources and contract negotiations. The new program has been designed to satisfy accreditation requirements for both Mining Engineering and Engineering Management disciplines.
“By establishing the program in this way, Tech graduates from this program will possess a unique, strong management emphasis along with a strong mining engineering education that will set them apart from their peers,” Ruch said. “The broader educational program will enable the graduates to better serve the needs of the mining industry of today and the future.”
Tech will begin offering the new major, Mining Engineering and Management, in the fall 2004 semester, but recruiting will begin now.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.