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Get to know the Mineral & Metallurgical Processing Division

June 3, 2021

by Margo Ellis, Associate Editor

Continuing our exploration of each of SME’s eight divisions, this edition brings a highlight of the Mineral & Metallurgical Processing Division (MPD). Read up on the MPD Q&A with division chair Garland Davis.

Q: Please describe the MPD.
A: The MPD is SME’s second-largest division with 2,100 members as of Dec. 31, including 1,789 professional and registered members and 311 student members, up 2 percent from the previous year. Our goals are best described in our mission statement, summarized as:

  • Become the leading source of information regarding our art of practice, science and engineering for mineral processing and metallurgy (similar to that of the Society).
  • Provide a forum for open dialog and exchange of ideas in this chosen field.
  • Promote mineral processing/metallurgy to the next generation of engineers by way of scholarships, mentoring and other methods.

Q: In one sentence, what most impresses you about the MPD?
A: What great people: individually and collectively as a group!

Q: What does the MPD offer students and young professionals?
A: Every year, we provide scholarships to 11 deserving undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students at the MINEXCHANGE SME Annual Conference & Expo. We also hold an MPD Student Poster Contest, where students get a valuable opportunity to present their work to industry and academic professionals, mingle with prospective employers and win substantial cash prizes at the same time.

In the new virtual world brought on by the pandemic, we have also conceptualized and organized an MPD Student Video Contest, where students can hone their online presentation skills. We are hosting MPD Virtual Coffee Breaks for person-to-person interaction, and we will also be conducting an engagement survey to see how we can improve or what we can add to keep our members engaged in the industry and in the Society.

Q: What other activities is the MPD involved in?
A: Besides the technical programming that we offer at the MINEXCHANGE SME Annual Conference & Expo, the MPD organizes several international SME conferences. Coming up on the horizon are Hydrometallurgy 2023, IMPC 2024, Extraction 2025, Copper 2025 and World Gold 2025.

MPD members wrote and edited the two-volume “SME Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Handbook,” which proved to be one of SME’s best-selling reference books. We also take on roles in the global community to promote SME and MPD as the leader and best resource for the industry (mission #1).

Q: What does the MPD do for fun and fundraising?
A: The MPD hosts the ever-popular Scotch Nightcap, with our own Bass Metals band on track to perform again in 2022, and we put out the annual MPD Calendar, with thanks to our sponsors. We feature an insightful speaker each year as the anchor to our MPD Lunch at the MINEXCHANGE SME Annual Conference & Expo. As part of mission #2, we promote outreach to other regional/local sections through the Colorado MPD subsection, with its annual conference in Colorado Springs, and the Northern Nevada MPD subsection, with its annual conference in Reno.

Q: What is your vision for the MPD as this year’s MPD Chair?
A: I want to induce active participation by the division membership. I firmly believe that with any organization, joining and paying dues is only part of being a member. You only get out what you put in. Getting and keeping members active in the Society and MPD will continue to reap positive rewards toward achieving our mission statement.
 
Please contact MPD Chair Garland Davis if interested in joining or with questions: garland.davis@mogroup.com.

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