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:

  • Women in Mining (WIM)
  • International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE)
  • National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA)
  • VA Tech International Intercollegiate Mining Competition Team


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 Megan Huber for more information.


2nd Annual Department Spring Golf Tournament

Burkhart is once again hosting its Spring Golf Tournament at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech on Friday 4 April 2014.

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Upcoming Events

The Society has multiple programs and events planned for this year:

  • Camping trip with WIM
  • Football tailgates for every home game

We are also combining with the Women in Mining GEM program and participating in the SME K-12 Outreach Program where we visit schools and teach about mining and minerals. 

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, Megan Huber.

2013-2014 Executive Board

President-Megan Huber
Vice President-Dilly Hughes
Treasurer-Ryan Curtis
Secretary-Aubrey Athey
Faculty Advisor-Greg Adel