Department of Mining & Minerals Engineering

Research

Virginia Tech's Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering is one of the largest minerals-related programs in North America, enjoying a strong international reputation for its academic, research and public service programs. With 12 tenure track as well as additional research and instructional faculty, over 35 graduate students, and expenditures in excess of $6M per year, our research program is stronger than ever with a broad focus on issues critical to the modern resource industries.

The Department is housed within a nationally ranked College of Engineering and is home to two acclaimed research centers: the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research and the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies.

Our Research Centers and Laboratories offer students and faculty access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Numerous government and industry sponsors currently support a broad range of research efforts focusing on areas such as:

Mining, Environment and Society

  • Sustainable development of mineral and energy resources
  • Treatment of mine-influenced waters
  • Characterizations of fugitive dusts

Occupational Health and Safety

  • Improved environmental monitoring and control
  • Wireless communication methods for underground minesrgy resources

Geoenergy Engineering

  • Unconventional oil and gas production
  • Enhanced recovery techniques
  • Reservoir flow and transport modeling
  • Geophysical monitoring of reservoir processes

Mine Ventilation

  • Novel tracer gas sensing
  • Mine fire modeling
  • Gas and particulate responses to mine ventilation

Mineral and Coal Processing

  • Engineering development of advanced solid-solid and solid-liquid separation processes
  • Design, modeling, simulation and optimization of separation processes
  • Development of recycling technologies for recovery/reuse of secondary materials

Enhanced Natural Gas Recovery

  • Coalbed methane and shale gas recovery
  • Mechanisms of carbon sequestration in geologic strata

Geomechanical Applications

  • Geomechanical numerical modeling
  • Ground control design and surface deformations

 

Research Centers and Laboratories

 

 

  • Process Instrumentation and Control Laboratory
  • Rock Mechanics Laboratory
  • Rock Fragmentation Laboratory
  • Subsurface Environmental Engineering Laboratory
  • Surface Analysis Laboratory
  • Underground Fires and Explosions Laboratory