PCMIA Funds the Future

Stephen McCann Memorial Educational Excellence Award

This award was established by the Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America (PCMIA) in 1986 and was designated as the Educational Excellence Award.

Background

This award was established by the Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America (PCMIA) in 1986 and was designated as the Educational Excellence Award.

However, with the passing away of Stephen McCann, who dedicated his life to the students in the field of mining, in 1991 this award was renamed the Stephen McCann Memorial Educational Excellence Award. The award consists of an inscribed commemorative clock that is presented at the annual luncheon of the PCMIA which is normally held in late October.

NOMINATION MATERIALS

The nomination write-up for this award is limited to the following constraints. The write-up must be submitted on 8.5 x 11 inch paper size, margins shall all be 1-inch, spacing shall be single or double-spaced, the font used shall be Times New Roman, 12 point, and the total number of pages shall be no more than 4 single-sided pages (excluding the cover sheet). The cover sheet shall include only the following: Name of Nominee, Current Position or Title, Business Address, Home Address, Email Address, Office Telephone Number, Name or Person Submitting Nomination, Address, Email Address, Office Telephone Number, and date the nomination was submitted.

Any nomination exceeding the overall page limit may not be evaluated by the PCMIA Awards Committee. The nomination materials should also include a high resolution (approximately 1 MB or greater) color electronic photograph of the nominee. This photograph will be used for publicity purposes.

Please submit only one set of nomination materials. It is not necessary to make additional copies.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION

September 30

Submit nominations via the regular mail to: Lisa Krepps, Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America, Post Office Box 233, Hunker, PA 15639.

Or electronically to: Lisa Krepps at Krepps.Lisa@dol.gov

For questions or more information, please contact Awards Committee Chairperson Michael A. Trevits at 412-874-6556 or mat412@verizon.net

CRITERIA ON WHICH AWARD IS GRANTED

The selection of a successful recipient is based on the candidate’s overall career impact on educational services provided to the mining industry. Judgment includes consideration of contributions, results achieved, and the nominee’s commitment of quality mining education. The nominee may be an individual or an educational, private or governmental organization.

The nomination must include a description of the nominee’s impact on (a) mining engineering students; (b) the mining school or mining department; and/or (c) the mining industry and personnel within that industry.

Individual – If the nominee is an individual, the person must be or have been an instructor, teacher, or professor of mining engineering curricula, or a person responsible for providing educational services to the mining industry.

Organization – If the nominee is an organization, it must be one that provides or has established a commendable, well-known reputation for its educational contributions to the mining industry or mining student.

AWARDS PROCESS

The PCMIA Awards Committee solicits nominations for this award at the beginning of each calendar year. Nominations for the award may be made through September 30th of any given year and are considered active for three years from the submission date.

Upon review of all active submissions for the award, the PCMIA Awards Committee will recommend a nominee to the PCMIA Board of Directors for approval. Upon approval, the successful nominee will be notified by early October. The award is presented at the annual luncheon of the PCMIA which is normally held in late October of each year.It is tradition that the recipient attends the PCMIA luncheon to receive the award.

2018 Winner

Erik Westman, Ph.D

Professor, Department Head, Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

Erik Westman

The Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America (PCMIA) annually recognizes an individual for his/her exemplary contributions to minerals education.  The candidate’s contributions do not have to be in the year of recognition, but the achievements worthy of recognition need to be timely and, if not in the past year, the achievements would be of a continuous nature culminating with the past year.  Minerals related education worthy of recognition can be in an academic environment, industrial environment, or in other special situations, but must be related to education for or about the minerals industry.  

2018 Award Winner

Dr. Erik Westman’s commitment to mining engineering education has likely been influenced by his diverse experiences in the corporate, government and academic sectors.

Dr. Westman earned a B.S. degree in Geophysical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1986 and M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1994. He joined the Mining & Minerals Engineering Program at Virginia Tech as a Research Associate. He defended his Ph.D. degree in 1999 and was immediately hired by the department. While at Virginia Tech, Dr. Westman progressed through several academic positions including Assistant Professor (1999-2005), Associate Professor (2005-2013) and Professor (2014-present). In 2013, Dr. Westman was asked to serve as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering, a position he held for two years. During this time, he worked with more than 7,500 undergraduate students enrolled in Virginia Tech’s engineering programs. Then, in 2015, Dr. Westman returned to the Department of Mining & Minerals Engineering as Interim Department Head (2015-2016). He was eventually offered and accepted the permanent position of Department Head in 2016. As such, Dr. Westman currently oversees twelve full-time faculty members, six administrative/support personnel, approximately 100 undergraduate students and more than 40 graduate students. Since joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, 8 Ph.D. candidates and 20 M.S. students have received advanced degrees under his supervision.

Despite the heavy administrative load demanded by the position of Department Head, Dr. Westman has continued to maintain a large and active research program focused on developing novel methods for geotechnical monitoring. Together with his students, Dr. Westman pioneered the use of passive seismic tomography to image time-lapse stress-induced changes near longwall faces in underground coal mines.

Dr. Westman has established an impressive record as a teacher, advisor and mentor to undergraduate students enrolled in mining engineering. As a result of his dedication to high-quality instruction, he is routinely cited by the Dean’s office as one of the top instructors in the College of Engineering. In 2001, he was voted as Outstanding Faculty Member by the undergraduate student body. He also received a Certificate of Teaching Excellence in 2007 from Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, an honor bestowed to only the top 1% of university instructors.

Dr. Westman has established a strong track record in mining education excellence. He excels in the classroom and is an outstanding researcher and scholar. He values the importance of good teaching and is committed to making the time necessary to take on the most difficult and time-consuming teaching assignments. He truly cares about his students and their academic and professional successes. There is little doubt that his career has positively impacted the educational mission that is so important to the mining industry of the future.

Dr. Westman has demonstrated the ability to be an effective educator, mentor, researcher and scholar and the PCMIA is pleased to present him with the 2018 Stephen McCann Award for Excellence in Education.

Stephen McCann Memorial Educational Excellence Award Historical Listing of the Awardees

2018 | Dr. Erik Westman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2017 | Dr. Yoginder P. Chug Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
2016 | Dr. Sukumar Bandopadhyay University of Alaska Fairbanks
2015 | Dr. Kray Luxbacher Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2014 | Dr. Jamal Rostami Pennsylvania State University
2013 | Dr. Vladislav Kecojevic West Virginia University
2012 | Dr. Joseph Sottile University of Kentucky
2011 | Dr. Mark C. Radomsky Pennsylvania State University
2010 | Dr. Mary M. Poulton University of Arizona
2009 | Dr. Roe-Hoan Yoon Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2008 | Mining Extension Program College of Engineering & Mineral Resources, WVU
2007 | Dr. Thomas Novak Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2006 | Dr. Keith A. Heasley West Virginia University
2005 | Jim E. Kiser, Sr. Murray Energy Corporation
2004 | Dr. Gregory T. Adel Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
2003 | Dr. Ricky Q. Honaker University of Kentucky

2002 | Richard L. Bullock University of Missouri-Rolla
2001 | R. Larry Grayson University of Missouri-Rolla
2000 | John W. Wilson University of Missouri-Rolla (retired)
1999 | Kathleen Berry Canon-McMillan High School
1998 | Dr. Kelvin K. Wu MSHA, Technical Support
1997 | Dr. A. Wahab Khair West Virginia University
1996 | Dr. Andrew M. Wala University of Kentucky
1995 | Dr. Harvey Luttrell Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
1994 | Dr. Jan Mutmansky Pennsylvania State University
1993 | Thomas S. Kessler National Mine Health and Safety Academy
1992 | Dr. Christopher J. Bise Pennsylvania State University
1991 | Dr. G. T. Lineberry University of Kentucky
1990 | Mr. George H. Pudlo Consolidation Coal Company
1989 | Dr. Michael G. Zabetakis University of Pittsburgh
1988 | Dr. Syd S. Peng West Virginia University
1987 | Dr. Michael Karmis Virginia Polytechnic Institute
1986 | Dr. Raja J. Ramani Pennsylvania State University

From 1986 to 1990 the award was designated as the Educational Excellence Award. However, with the passing away of Stephen McCann, who dedicated his life to the students in the field of mining, the award was renamed the Stephen McCann Memorial Educational Excellence Award.

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