Research

Faculty members have wide-ranging expertise and are active in research in a wide range of specialties within mining engineering, including mine systems, rock mechanics and ground control, mineral/coal processing, and mine health and safety. The faculty members consult with industry and governments around the world, and are committed to mentoring students who are interested in pursuing careers in mineral sciences.

The Department of Mining Engineering offers students and faculty state-of-the-art laboratories for teaching and for research in a wide range of research specialties within mining engineering. These include:

Research Areas

Rock Mechanics and Ground Control

The mining engineering program at WVU has had a significant contribution in the development of this unique field known as Ground Control. Two faculty members, Drs. Keith Heasley and Brijes Mishra are extensively involved in the advancement of Ground Control.

Dr. Heasley has a 5 year (2011-2016), $1.1 M dollar research project on building capacity and enhancing the LaModel program for mine design. Specific tasks in this project include:

  1. Developing a calibration technique for shallow cover mines
  2. Implementing a local mine stiffness calculation for determining bump potential in mine design
  3. Developing an on-line user's manual and training course.
  4. Implementing a faster multiple-seam calculation algorithm
  5. Implementing the Analysis of Roof Bolts Systems (ARBS) program into the AutoCAD-based Stability Mapping Program.

This project is also expected to produce 2 M.S. and 5 Ph.D. graduates.

Total vertical stress at the Huff Creek Mine is calculated by LaModel.

An image depicting stress at the Huff Creek Mine

Dr. Mishra has a 5 year (2011-2016), $730,000 grant from National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for generating geomechanical and time-dependent properties of coal measures rocks. The project tasks include:

  1. Generation of post-failure properties for coal and coal measures rock
  2. Performing uniaxial and triaxial creep tests of coal measures rocks
  3. Investigating the property behavior in mine wide models developed in FLAC3D and 3DEC.

An image showing Triaxial Post Failure

Research Labs

  1. Rock Mechanics Laboratory
  2. High Pressure and High Temperature Triaxial Laboratory
  3. Coal and Mineral Processing Laboratory
  4. Mine Ventilation Laboratory