Dr. Erik C. Westman receives the prestigious 2021 Mineral Industry Education Award
The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) Accreditation and Curricular Issues Committee has announced that the recipient of the 2021 Mineral Industry Education Award is Dr. Erik C. Westman. Established by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) in 1950, the award is given to recognize distinguished contributions to the advancement of mineral industry education. AIME transitioned administration of this award to SME in 2011.
Dr. Erik C. Westman is recognized for being a pioneer and educator in developing time-lapse, three-dimensional imaging of the underground rock mass due to the mining process, with the goal of improving mining health and safety in the mineral industry. He was acknowledged on SME’s virtual awards video during the Society’s March 1-5, 2021 MINEXCHANGE Annual Conference & Expo.
When asked what his first thought was when he learned he was the recipient of the Mineral Industry Education Award, Westman replied, “I greatly appreciate the work of the selection committee, as well as the support provided to me during the past 20 years as a faculty member of Virginia Tech, the College of Engineering, the Mining and Minerals Engineering department, and certainly by my family. It has been an honor for me to interact with outstanding students throughout my time as a professor. Receiving this award is a significant honor and I’m humbled to join the list of distinguished prior recipients.”
Westman is Professor of Mining and Minerals Engineering Department, Virginia Tech. Westman has had the opportunity to work with a strong team of outstanding students and faculty throughout his academic career. This teamwork has resulted in eight Senior Design National Championships as well as multiple SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition Championships.
Prior to serving as Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering and as Head of the Mining and Minerals Engineering Department, Westman was recognized with the College of Engineering’s Certificate of Teaching Excellence. He has been an SME Krumb Lecturer and has given keynote talks at professional conferences, including the U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium. He especially enjoys seeing the personal and professional successes of former students.
The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) brings together the mining and mineral industry’s brightest and most dedicated professionals. Over 13,000 global members advance their careers with the world-class technical resources, educational programs, networking opportunities and professional development tools from SME. Our members are focused on sharing best practices for safety, environmental stewardship and moving mining forward..