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UA Mining Engineering Internships Open Doors to Professional Success

Brian Njenga conducting a field inspection at the Tenke Fungurume mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The mining industry spans the globe, as do alumni of the University of Arizona mining and geological engineering program. Many got their feet wet working as interns for Arizona-based mining companies like Freeport-McMoRan.  

Andrew DeSantola and Brian Njenga, friends from the Class of 2014, are two who transformed their internships into full-time jobs as mine engineers working on international projects.

Lundin to Present 11th Annual Lacy Lecture

Portrait of Lukas H. LundinOn Friday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m., internationally renowned business leader and philanthropist Lukas H. Lundin will present the 11th annual W.C. Lacy Distinguished Lecture.

His address, "What It Takes to Build a World-Class Mine: Three Case Studies," serves as the signature event for the University of Arizona department of mining and geological engineering Homecoming celebration.

No RSVP is required for the event, which will be held in the auditorium of the Center for Creative Photography. Guests are welcome, and an informal reception will follow the lecture on the patio of the Harvill Building.

MSHA Funds MGE Mining Safety Game

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has awarded the University of Arizona more than $180,000 to support the continued development of a virtual reality game that hones safety and self-escape skills in underground mine emergencies.

This "serious game," Harry's Hard Choices, was first conceptualized by MGE's Mary Poulton and Ros Hill.

Environmental Efforts Bring University Fellow to MGE

Portrait of Junmo Ahn; photo by John de DiosFirst-year doctoral student Junmo Ahn intends to improve sustainability efforts in the mining industry, thanks in part to support from the UA Graduate College's University Fellows program. As part of the program's 2016-2017 cohort, he will study how biotechnology can reduce the environmental effects of mining waste while also extracting valuable resources.

Ahn holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Konkuk University and a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Seoul National University.

Photo by John de Dios

Caterpillar Executives Immersed in Mining at UA

The first cohort of 12 Caterpillar employees to begin coursework under a new partnership with UA Online includes an engineering technical lead, product support supervisor and large mining truck marketing manager; photo courtesy of Caterpillar
As a bulldozer bearing the "Cat" logo prepped the grounds for a new exhibit on the UA Mall, Caterpillar Inc. executives gathered inside Old Main with University of Arizona faculty and staff to inaugurate Mining 360, an online graduate certificate program for high-level company employees.

In this first student cohort, 12 Caterpillar employees are looking to better understand the mining industry and better serve their customers. Seven faculty members in mining and geological engineering are participating, with MGE's Victor Tenorio serving as lead instructor.

The partnership is one of three new programs at the UA to expand educational access to employees of locally focused corporations.

Ochoa Appointed Chief Operating Officer of McEwen Mining

Xavier Ochoa, who received his bachelor's degree in mining engineering from the University of Arizona in 1991, has been named the chief operating officer of McEwen Mining Inc.

Ochoa has held senior executive positions at a number of multinational mining companies, including Glencore Xstrata. Most recently, he served as mine general manager at Goldcorp's Cerro Negro operation, where he led an operating team of 1,600 people. 

He is also a member of the MGE Industry Leadership Board.

Mining Law Summit Coming to the University of Arizona

UA Mining Law Summit 2016 logoOn Friday, Sept. 16, the UA Global Mining Law Program and James E. Rogers College of Law will host the Mining Law Summit 2016

The conference, intended for mining industry leaders, public policy makers and thought leaders, will explore collaborative solutions for mined land remediation. 

Speakers include MGE faculty members Gail Heath and Mary Poulton and former adjunct professor John Lacy. Ryan Flynn, secretary of the environment for the state of New Mexico, will deliver the keynote.

Please register for the event online. Attendance is free for all MGE students.

New MGE Certificate Helps Bring Caterpillar HQ to Tucson

A welder works on the top floor of the building Caterpillar is now using in downtown Tucson. Photo by A.E. Araiza/Arizona Daily Star.Among the factors that brought Caterpillar's surface mining and technology headquarters to Tucson were the Old Pueblo's great school districts and long history with the mining industry. 

According to Tom Bluth, vice president of Caterpillar Inc., the University of Arizona's mining and geological engineering department was also "a big plus."

MGE's new certificate in global mining will welcome its first cohort of Caterpillar employees in September.

The HQ move will bring 600 employees to the region, creating an estimated economic impact of $600 million.

Photo courtesy of A.E. Araiza/Arizona Daily Star

Alumnus Named to Oroplata Board

Michael T. Mason, who received his bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1966, has been named to the board of directors of Oroplata Resources Inc. 

He brings more than 50 years of experience in mine development, strategic planning, metals marketing, risk management and project financing to the organization, which aims to develop lithium brine deposits in Nevada and throughout the American Southwest.

White Retires from Modular Mining Systems

James White; photo courtesy of Modular Mining Systems Mining-tech pioneer James White, who taught in the UA College of Mines from 1971 to 1981, has retired from Modular Mining Systems, the Tucson-based company that he co-founded in 1979.

The traffic management algorithm he developed for their Dispatch computerized fleet control system "changed the way mines operate in real time."  

White received a 2003 Medal of Merit from the Mining Foundation of the Southwest and served as the organization's president from 2011 to 2013. He was inducted into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame in 2015.

Photo courtesy of Modular Mining Systems 

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