Iron Senergy Continues to Support WVU’s Department of Mining Engineering
The West Virginia University Office of the Provost, through the WVU “Transformation Initiative”, has provided a Preliminary Recommendation directing the merger of the Department of Mining Engineering with the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering. Iron Senergy opposes the substance and timing of this proposed merger and is concerned with the negative outcomes to the mining industry by not retaining the specific identity and existing faculty of the Department of Mining Engineering.
Iron Senergy and other mining companies are actively hiring mining engineers in multiple positions and roles with ever-growing needs for knowledgeable and experienced graduates, many of whom have come from WVU. Twenty (20) companies representing operators in aggregates, coal, cement, metal/non-metal, governmental agencies, as well as engineering and environmental consulting firms, are currently scheduled to recruit from the Department this Fall, which has historically resulted in 100% job placement for graduates and multiple competitive offers for high-paying, well-benefitted jobs. According to the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, only fourteen (14) academic institutions in the United States offer accredited degrees in mining engineering, with only four (4) located East of the Mississippi River (a reduction from twenty-five (25) total programs in 1982). The mining industry recognizes WVU’s Department of Mining Engineering as instrumental in not only providing graduates for the industry’s workforce, but also in providing vital research and academic expertise utilized on a local, state, national and international level.
It is estimated that more than half of the current mining workforce in the United States will retire over the next decade, creating a widening gap the industry will need to overcome. Industry has been working with the Chair of WVU’s Department of Mining Engineering to increase student interest in mining engineering and has supported the Department through internships, facility tours, mentor programs, funding and research opportunities. The mining industry has also provided millions of dollars in endowments and scholarships to the Department over the years and stands ready to continue to financially support the Department as it exists today so long as it operates independently and in a manner that can promote its resources and benefits to the university, the mining industry and the economy.
Iron Senergy is sending a letter to Governor Justice and calls on him and other political leaders to advise President Gee and the WVU Board of Governors to oppose any changes to WVU’s Department of Mining Engineering and to immediately engage with industry representatives. Iron Senergy stands ready to meet with WVU and support the Department financially under the right circumstances. We are confident that other members of the mining industry will do the same. However, all attempts by the Chair and industry leaders to engage with WVU on this issue have been immediately denied. Only input from West Virginia’s leaders will make a difference
About Iron Senergy:
Founded in 2020, Iron Senergy is a veteran-owned and operated independent energy company committed to the highest operational standards in the production of coal and energy. With offices in Waynesburg, PA and Louisville, KY, our company is built on a foundation of safety, quality, technology, innovation and integrity. Our longwall mining operation located at the Cumberland Coal Mine in Pennsylvania is anchored by a team of some of the hardest working miners in the industry. Our team has extensive experience operating in the coal and energy industry with our leadership having over 100 years of combined experience.
Katarina Gump, PE
Chief Engineer of Surface Operations
Executive Assistant and Community Coordinator