First SME Congressional Fellowship recipient announced

February 13, 2014

The Board of Directors and the Government and Public Affairs Committee of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) are proud to announce the recipient of the first SME Congressional Fellowship. Joshua Hoffman, Ph.D., P.E., of Lexington, KY, will spend one year in Washington, D.C., working as a mining resource adviser on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee. Hoffman is a professional engineer and has been a member of SME for 10 years. His duties will involve conducting legislative research and oversight work, assisting in congressional hearings and debates, and preparing briefs and writing speeches. The Fellowship term runs from September 2014 to August 2015.

“His understanding of the nexus of public policy and mining issues, along with his teaching and outreach experience, make him an excellent candidate for the SME Congressional Fellowship,” stated 2013 SME President Jessica Kogel. “SME is pleased that Josh will be serving Congress as the mining industry subject matter expert.”

Hoffman obtained his B.S. in mining engineering, with minors in explosives and chemistry from Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly University of Missouri-Rolla). He received his Ph.D. in mining engineering from the University of Kentucky with his dissertation, “A Framework for Understanding the Public’s Perspectives of Mining Applied to the Kentucky Coal Industry.” Hoffman chose this theme for his dissertation because of his commitment to educating the public about the importance of the mining and minerals industry.

“I truly believe this work is important—to the degree that it is vital to the future of the mining industry,” stated Hoffman about his dissertation. “The purpose of this work was to address the issue of the public’s perspective of mining; understand it better; and create paths for improving it.”

Awareness of the ways in which science, engineering and technology affect a broad range of non-scientific issues, as well as sensitivity to political, economic and social factors were guides in choosing the recipient of the SME Fellowship. The assignment will provide a unique opportunity for Hoffman to gain first-hand experience with the federal legislative process and make practical contributions to the effective and timely use of his knowledge of mining, mineral processing and mined product applications as they relate to the environment, natural resources and federal science policy.


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