A team from Missouri University of Science and Technology recently finished second in a mine rescue competition that was held at S&T’s Experimental Mine.
The event featured 13 teams, most of which represented companies. In addition to the squad that finished second, another S&T team placed 12th against the industry professionals.
The second-place finish is quite an accomplishment, according to Jim Taylor, supervisor of the Experimental Mine. “I have been here 19 years and this is the best one of our teams has placed,” Taylor says.
Missouri S&T is one of the only universities in the nation that instructs mining engineering students in hands-on mine rescue techniques. When they go on to work in the mining industry, they take what they’ve learned with them.
During these competitions, teams are evaluated on how they handle a simulated disaster situation underground. The events are set up and judged by representatives of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The teams are rated on how well they follow the basic rules and regulations of the underground rescue problem, and they are graded on written exams. Mine rescue competitions also feature tests involving first aid and maintaining self-contained breathing gear.
Members of Missouri S&T’s 2011 second-place team included:
— Josh Cole, a senior in mining engineering from St. Louis
— Eric Hoffman, a graduate student in mining engineering from St. Louis
— Nate Hoffman, an S&T mining engineering graduate and a current MBA student from St. Louis
— Xavier Naeger, a senior in mining engineering from Ste. Genevieve, Mo.
— Cody Rogers (captain), a senior in mining engineering from Lebanon, Mo.
— Casey Slaughter, a graduate student in mining engineering from Carthage, Mo.
— Ryan Sinclair, a senior in mining engineering from Hannibal, Mo.
— Eric Wesel, a sophomore in mining engineering from Marietta, Ohio.