Mines News

Release Date Friday, June 17, 2016

Brickey Awarded $300,000 Grant in Effort to Rebuild US Mining Faculty

Andrea Brickey, Ph.D., associate professor of mining engineering and management at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

RAPID CITY, S.D. (June 17, 2016) – Andrea Brickey, Ph.D., an associate professor at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, has been awarded the 2016 Freeport-McMoRan Career Development Grant, a$300,000 award focusing on rebuilding the faculty pipeline in U.S. mining schools.

The grant is part of the Academic Career Development initiative of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) and the SME Foundation to boost viable tenure-track candidates in mining engineering, mineral processing or extractive metallurgy.

Brickey’s award is worth $100,000 per year for three years and will primarily fund two graduate students to assist in her research on “Production Schedule Optimization for Underground Mining,” which addresses processes, efficiencies and safety of mining projects. Additionally, the award will fund several undergraduate students and pay for travel for professional development  opportunities, all of which is intended to support tenure and promotion.

“Dr. Brickey has been a tremendous addition to our faculty, and we very much appreciate the support of SME to help develop the next generation of top notch faculty in mining,” said Heather Wilson, president of South Dakota Mines.

Brickey earned her bachelor’s degree from South Dakota Mines in 1999 and worked for 15 years before returning to academia, earning her doctorate from Colorado School of Mines and then joining the SD Mines faculty ranks last fall. Her industry experience has focused primarily on mining operations and consulting projects in Africa and North and South America, mining copper, gold, silver, nickel, phosphate and coal.

As a doctoral student, Brickey was awarded the Seeley W. Mudd Memorial Fellowship, the predecessor to the SME Ph.D. Fellowship Grant also announced this week. Brickey is associate editor for the professional publication Mining Engineering and is a member of the SME Professional Engineer Exam Committee.

“I am grateful to Freeport-McMoRan and SME and deeply honored to receive this grant, which will support students and research at SD Mines. The research focuses on developing a more holistic mine schedule by incorporating additional aspects of the mine’s operation, such as ventilation,” said Brickey.

According to the SME, viable tenure-track faculty candidates are in decline at universities offering degrees in mining engineering, mineral processing or extractive metallurgy. “The challenges associated with faculty scarcity extend from the ability of students with industry experience to successfully complete a Ph.D. degree to newly employed faculty who are facing the difficult process of achieving tenure,” said SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy.


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Fran LeFort, (605) 394-6082, Fran.LeFort@sdsmt.edu