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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Grant to fund lab equipment

    Mining engineering graduate student David Neyer, left, and geological engineering sophomore  David Wert participate in a lab Tuesday afternoon. This is one of many classes that will benefit from the $100,000 donation to the mining and geological engineering department.
    Mining engineering graduate student David Neyer, left, and geological engineering sophomore David Wert participate in a lab Tuesday afternoon. This is one of many classes that will benefit from the $100,000 donation to the mining and geological engineering department.

    A $100,000 grant donated by Caterpillar to the mining and geological engineering department will be used by officials to cover operating costs.

    After many years of use, the mining and geological engineering department will spend $40,000 to equip and remodel part of its rock mechanics lab, said associate professor John Kemeny.

    Kemeny said it’s been 20 years since the lab has updated its equipment.

    He said the department will get three rock saws, a drill and a grinder that makes rock samples flat, in addition to new tables, shelves and a paint job.

    Tim George, a mining engineering junior, said the lab that will be remodeled is used to test rocks for their supporting strength.

    He said he was glad the department was getting new equipment because one of the rock saws in the lab overheats constantly.

    “”We (will be able to) saw for more than three minutes,”” he said.

    He also said students will be able to get quicker and better results.

    “”(The equipment) works, but it’s not the best scientific equipment,”” he said.

    The company that donated the money manufactures machinery and engines, many of which are for mining, according to Caterpillar’s Web site.

    The grant was acquired through a fundraising campaign conducted by the College of Engineering to increase student scholarship money, fund department operations and increase the number of faculty, said Mary Poulton, head of the department.

    “”This is the largest cash donation that we have received that is directed towards operation support,”” she said.

    Poulton said in addition to the lab equipment, the money will fund things such as field trips, telephones and other educational needs.

    Richard Sivils, a mining engineering junior, is glad the department will fund more trips to mining sites because they benefit the students.

    “”It’s good. It gets us more experience, it gives us more exposure to what mining has,”” he said.

    John Featherston, a mining engineering junior, said the department has an experimental mine in San Xavier, but the field trips supplement what the UA mine cannot provide.

    “”It’s really nice to get out to those working operations,”” he said.

    Poulton said she thinks their department received the donation because the UA mining program stands out.

    She said the UA mining program is one of a few that are within a large comprehensive research university.

    “”We have a very strong mining engineering department, and there is a worldwide shortage of mining engineers,”” she said.

    George said the equipment used in the lab is very expensive because it is high-tech.

    “”Even getting a new blade for a saw is kind of a big deal,”” Kemeny said.

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