The Society of Mining Professors has selected Emily Sarver, Virginia Tech associate professor of mining and minerals engineering, as the 2021 recipient of the Tim Shaw Award.

The Tim Shaw Award recognizes rising Society Members who have devoted significant effort to the development of teaching and learning innovations and who have promoted educational excellence while motivation and inspiring students to learn. Sarver will give a presentation on teaching and learning innovations in minerals education during the Society of Mining Professor’s Annual Meeting in Medellin, Colombia, in September 2021.

Emily Sarver joined the department in 2011 where she teaches undergraduate students introduction to mining engineering and mine reclamation and environmental management. At the graduate level, she has been instructing on sustainable development of minerals and energy resources since 2013.

In her graduate course, Sarver has been using teleconferencing tools since long before the pandemic forced widespread adoption. Leading a unique collaboration between Virginia Tech, Colorado School of Mines and Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellín, Colombia, Sarver co-teaches with faculty at the other institutions to reach a diverse group of students studying mining and other resource-related engineering disciplines.

The course blends traditional mining and environmental engineering topics with social science and challenges students to rethink how resources can and should contribute to global sustainable development goals. Aside from the interdisciplinary focus, students consistently credit the course’s collaborative model, which supports open discussions and cross-institutional project work, with increased learning and growth.  

Based on the great success of the sustainable development course, Sarver has recently partnered with faculty at the South Dakota School of Mines to offer a graduate seminar focused on mine health and safety.

Sarver’s research broadly focuses on the monitoring and characterization of mine-generated environmental contaminants, including respirable dust and diesel particulates. She has participated in more than $8M in funded research and is currently PI on multiple projects sponsored by CDC/NIOSH and the Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health.

Sarver has been a member of the Society of Mining Professors since 2012, and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration since 2000. In 2015, Sarver established the Society of Mining Professor’s Mentoring Program, for which she continues to serve as coordinator.

The Society of Mining Professors (SOMP) represents a global academic community committed to making significant contributions to the future of the minerals disciplines. The Society’s main goal is to guarantee the scientific, technical, academic, and professional knowledge required to ensure a sustainable supply of minerals for mankind. The Society facilitates information exchange, research and teaching partnerships, and collaborative activities among its members.

Society of Mining Professors