Mining Engineering

The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. —Herbert Spencer

Mining Engineering—MS, PhD

Fast Facts

  • Research funding averages nearly $3 million per year.
  • The nation's only geoscience/engineering master's program partnered with the US Peace Corps offering a Peace Corps Master's International program in Natural Hazard Mitigation.
  • We offer a rare international perspective on geoscience through our INVOGE (International Geological Master's in Volcanology & Geotechniques) program, which offers broad-based training in volcanology and geotechniques as well as a year spent studying abroad in France or Italy.
  • Researchers in our Subsurface Visualization Lab help companies extract oil from abandoned or nearly abandoned fields, enhancing US energy independence.

Graduate Programs in Mining Engineering

Departmental research activities span from fundamental and precise laboratory studies of rocks and minerals to field studies in remote and rugged locations to high-performance computing of climate and natural hazards using remotely sensed data. Faculty members are involved in domestic and international field studies including:

  • Characterizing the hydrology of melting glaciers in Alaska, Svalbard, and Nepal;
  • Groundwater in Ecuador;
  • Landslide and Flood hazards in El Salvador;
  • Volcanic seismicity in Guatemala and Chile;
  • Atmospheric pollutants traveling across the globe and observed in remote locations like Greenland and the Azores;
  • Volcanic degassing in Indonesia, Costa Rica, and the People's Republic of the Congo;
  • Magnetic susceptibility and paleointensity of rock formations in Australia, India and Brazil; and more.

Moreover, the field activities are coupled with advanced satellite and ground-based remote sensing work such as studying optical properties for water quality studies in Lake Superior and the Bering Sea. High-performance computers are used to study atmospheric-terrestrial interactions in the face of climate change and impacts of anthropogenic activities on climate. Department laboratories are equipped and operated to support the field and modeling studies including seismic petrophysics, rock and mineral preparation and visualization, environmental magnetism, aquatic optics and remote sensing, and geo-hazard and geo-resource characterization. In addition, some of our faculty members are conducting research from the Great Lakes Research Center.

Mining is experiencing a resurgence in Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula. New technologies and higher prices for metals are prompting international mining companies to explore for and develop prospects that were previously technologically and economically infeasible. Future graduate studies in mining engineering will focus on advancing new technologies and safe and environmentally responsible mining practices.