Aaron Noble, associate professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Mining and Minerals Engineer, has been selected as a 2018-19 Henry Krumb Lecturer by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME).

The Henry Krumb Lecture Series was established in 1966 as a way to bring recognized experts and speakers to local SME chapter sections to provide members with an appreciation and understanding of the current methods and technologies. Lecturers reflect a diverse pool of presenters from both industry and academia.

For the 2018 series, Noble will be presenting on his work in the design and evaluation of an acid leaching-solvent extraction process to extract rare-earth elements (REEs) from acid mine drainage precipitates. During the past three years, researches at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University have identified acid mine drainage and the associated treatment precipitates as attractive sources of rare-earth elements, particularly heavy and critical REEs.

Noble, who is also the associate director for the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies (CAST), holds B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mining and minerals engineering from Virginia Tech. His instruction and research are in the general areas of mineral processing, process economics and mine pollution control. Since 2014 he has acquired a personal share of research funding exceeding $3 million, with specific topics including industrial waste recycling, critical material recovery, and extraterrestrial mining operations.