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Virginia Tech Sets Record
February 13, 2009

Two teams from Virginia Tech’s Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering in the College of Engineering have reached the finals in the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) / National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association (NSSGA) Student Design Competition to be held during SME’s 2009 Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Denver, Colorado in February. This is the second consecutive year that Virginia Tech has placed two teams in the finals, making it the first school to do so in the history of the competition.

The competition was developed and is sponsored by the SME and NSSGA to give mining engineering students an opportunity to conduct and demonstrate real-world engineering skills and recognize them for their abilities. Since its inception in 2005, the student design competition has grown from four to over 15 participating teams.

The competition is an academic event in which student teams must solve a quarry design problem based on actual data from an aggregate company. The first round of the competition begins in the first academic semester and requires teams to solve a quarry design problem and submit their solution as a formal written report. Submitted reports are judged by a group of industry professionals who choose the top six teams to participate in the final round held at the SME’s annual meeting. At the meeting, finalists are presented with an additional design problem, typically related to the first, and attempt to solve it within two days. This solution is then presented orally to the judges and a larger audience at the SME meeting. Competing teams will make their final presentations on Sunday, February 22nd at the SME Annual Meeting in Denver.

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