Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health announces $10 Million in research grant awards

September 30, 2013

The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health has announced approximately $10 million in research grant awards toward fulfilling its vision of enabling miners to be free of work-related injury and disease in the near future.

In January, the Foundation issued a call for concept papers that resulted in 160 submissions. Following an initial phase of review, a number of the concept papers were selected for development into full research proposals. Sixteen of the full research proposals (listed below) were then approved for funding by the foundation’s board of directors who each individually represent years of research expertise in mine safety and health. Final budgets are now being discussed with the award recipients. Throughout the process, submissions were thoroughly examined by independent review teams consisting of a diverse group of professionals from the health sciences and engineering communities. The review teams evaluated the submissions across multiple criteria to ensure applicability of the proposed solutions and the rigor of the research approaches.

“The Foundation has been most pleased with the depth of research and innovation evident in the proposals and the potential impact on safety and health needs in the mining industry,” said Dr. Michael Karmis, president of the foundation.

Grant agreement recipients by focus area


Colorado School of Mines
Numerical Modeling Methodologies for Assessing Burst Potential in Coal Mines

Colorado School of Mines
Development of a New Rock Dust Sampling Instrument

University of Kentucky
The Application of Flooded Bed Dust Scrubbers to Longwall Mining Systems

University of Utah
Control of Spontaneous Combustion Using Pressure Balancing Techniques

Virginia Tech
Operational Sensitivity of Through-the-Earth Communication

West Virginia University Foundation
Integrated Surface Mining Safety System


Northeastern University
Whole Body Vibration Exposure and Injury Prevention of Heavy Equipment Operators in Open Pit Coal Mines

University of California, Berkeley
Ischemic Heart Disease and Lung Cancer Mortality in Relation to Respirable Particulate Matter and Diesel Exhaust in Non-Metal Miners

University of Illinois at Chicago
Clarifying Distribution, Trends, and Determinants of Adverse Health in United State Miners: Exploration and Integration of Existing Data Systems and Clinical Materials

University of Pittsburgh
Connecting Dust Characteristics and Worker Health in Underground Coal Mining

Safety and health management

United Steelworkers
Characteristics of, and Barriers to Effective Hazardous Identification and Control Programs in U.S. Metal and Non-Metal Mines

University of Arizona
Implementation of Risk Management Programs: Identification of Best Practices to Reduce Injuries and Maximize Economic Benefits

University of Connecticut Health Center
The Mining Health Workplace Program (MHWP)

Virginia Tech
Improved Safety through Application of Risk Management in US Underground Coal Mines: A RISKGATE Approach


University of Arizona
Effective Mining Safety Training – Design, Implementation and Evaluation

West Virginia University Foundation
Enhanced Mobile Equipment Experiential Learning and Safety Technology Demonstration



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