Department of Mining & Minerals Engineering

Burkhart Mining Society

The Burkhart Mining Society is Virginia Tech’s student chapter of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME). Named after the first department head, Otto Cornelius Burkhart, the student organization is one of the oldest on the Virgnia Tech campus. 

It is the mission of this society to fulfill the Virginia Tech motto, “Ut Prosim” or “That I may serve.”  Through attendance of regional and national mining conferences, visits to various mining operations and equipment manufacturers, and participation in local service events, our society strives to create well-rounded mining engineers ready for the working world.


In addition to serving as the university's student chapter of SME, Burkhart helps support additional mining-related student chapters and clubs:

  • International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE)
  • National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA)
  • VA Tech International Intercollegiate Mining Competition Team
  • Student Mine Design Team (SME/NSSGA Sponsored Competition)


Thanks to support from alumni and corporate sponsors, the 2012-2013 Academic Year was a successful one for the Burkhart Mining Society. Highlights of the year include:

  • Burkhart Mining Society earned 2nd place in the SME New Membership challenge, The chapter registered over 130 members, maintaining its positions as one of the larges SME student chapers in the nation.
  • Burkhart sponsored two NSSGA student-design teams, which qualified for the final round during the SME Annual Meeting in Denver. Team "Jagstone," consisting of Jim Hoffman, Andrew Russell, Robert Winterfield, Thayer McGregor, Gabe Awad-Letteri,and junior Meredith Scaggs placed third out of the six finalists.

Sponsoring Burkhart

The Burkhart Mining Society relies heavily on the support of alumni, industry sponsors and friends. If you would like to help sponsor some of the many Burkhart activities and events, contact Society President Dillon Hughes for more information. Or learn more about our students and how to help our organization by visiting Burkhart's student-run website.


New Website!

Learn more about the Burkhart Mining Society, its members, upcoming events or how to help by visiting the official student-run Burkhart Mining Society website.

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Interested in Joining Burkhart?

Students interested in joining the student chapter of SME should fill out a membership application form and contact Burkhart Mining Society President Dillon Hughes,

2014-2015 Executive Board

President - Dillon Hughes
Vice President - Aubrey Athey
Treasurer - Ryan Curtis
Secretary - Randy Bernard
Faculty Advisor - Greg Adel

Upcoming Burkhart Events

Fall 2014

  • TBA