Kray Luxbacher Appointed Associate Director to VCCER

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Dr. Kray Luxbacher

Kray Luxbacher, Associate Professor of Mining and Minerals Engineering, joins the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research as Associate Director. In this position she will provide leadership under current Director Michael Karmis, coordinating research activities with the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering; providing input into VCCER operations, personnel and resource assignments; and interacting with the center’s advisory board and industrial affiliates.

In her association with the VCCER, she will continue to utilize her expertise to lead and facilitate multi- and trans-disciplinary research groups to encourage sustainable mining and energy practice, such as technologies for improving mine health and safety, developing effective safety cultures, optimizing resource extraction from unconventional reservoirs, mitigating and preventing negative environmental outcomes, and increasing positive community interaction with the resources industries.

Dr. Luxbacher’s primary research interests are in underground mine ventilation, mine health and safety, and unconventional oil and gas reservoir engineering, with involvement in research projects totaling over $4 million.  Additionally, she advises eight graduate students and has published over 30 papers.  Her research sponsors include the National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health, members of the mining industry, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.  She teaches several graduate and undergraduate courses.

Dr. Luxbacher is an active member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), serving on several committees.  She is also a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Society of Mining Professors (Societät der Berbakunde).  She was recognized by the VT College of Engineering in 2011 with the Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Assistant Professor, and more recently, by SME as recipient of the 2012 J.W. Woomer Award recognizing young engineers active in coal and energy.
Dr. Luxbacher received her Ph.D. (2008), M.S. (2005), and B.S. (2002) all in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech.  Prior to pursuing her graduate studies she worked as an industrial engineer and underground production foreman for Consol Energy.  She is a registered professional engineer in Virginia, and has held certification as an underground coal mine foreman.