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Honor an industry colleague or team with your nomination for an SME award. Award recipients represent the highest level of professionalism and expertise in the mining and minerals industry. Awards are given for individual and group achievements.

Let your colleagues know how you are getting involved! 

Select an award to learn more and start the online nomination process.

Applications open April 1st and will close June 1st.

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SME Awards

Cindy Moore Courageous Impact Award

The Cindy Moore Courageous Impact Award was established in 2022 in honor of Cindy Moore through a generous donation from Hecla Mining. The award was established to recognize the outstanding achievements and lasting impact of women in mining or the mine service industry.

The annual award will be given to a woman in the mining or the mine service industry that: (1) has shown leadership, mentorship, and enthusiasm for the industry and (2) is making or has made a lasting impact on the industry.


SME Fellow Award

A candidate for SME Fellow Award must have been a full member of SME for at least 15 years. A candidate must have demonstrated significant and sustained contributions to the minerals industry and to SME. There must be some contributions to both the industry and SME, though significant and sustained contributions can be to either one.

Robert M. Dreyer Award

The Robert M. Dreyer Award in Applied Economic Geology (Dreyer Award) was established in 2000 from a generous bequest from Dr. Dreyer’s estate. The Dreyer Award recognizes outstanding achievements in applied economic geology. The outstanding achievements so recognized must have been accomplished through commercial exploration or development of metalliferous and/or nonmetalliferous mineral deposits.

John Fritz Medal

The John Fritz Medal is presented each year for scientific or industrial achievement in any field of pure or applied science. It was established in 1902 as a memorial to the great engineer whose name it bears.

Robert E. Murray Innovation Award

The Robert E. Murray Innovation Award was established in 2017 to recognize individuals or organizations who advance the mining industry through the implementation of technical innovation. Its primary focus is to award operations or organizations that are changing the mining industry through the inclusion or adaptation of cutting edge technologies and innovative processes.

Ivan B. Rahn Education Award

The mining and minerals industry has been and remains supportive of mining and mineral engineering education. There is a clear recognition that neither can exist without the other. Ivan B. Rahn, when Manager-Manpower Services, CONSOL, was a major part of this relationship. Significantly, and substantially different from his industrial colleagues, Mr. Rahn recognized that industry could have a say in the development of educational quality and, hence, the quality of graduates available for hire by industry. In pursuit of quality, he alone amongst his colleagues, attended every major SME meeting where education was on the agenda, provided input and insight into the educational needs of industry, did statistical analyses of mining and mineral engineering enrollments and graduation rates, supported the accreditation activities of ABET, and provided the social environment in which faculty could come together as a community. Indeed, there were some younger faculty members who came to believe that CONSOL’s support for education and the social reception for engineering educators was a permanent fixture. Mr. Rahn’s well-deserved retirement at the beginning of 1996 was accompanied by a rude realization that so much of what had come to be expected was entirely dependent upon him. The creation of the award and the naming of it for him were in clear recognition of his contributions to quality engineering education in the fields for which SME has responsibility: geological, mineral, mineral processing, and mining engineering. Making him the first recipient of the award was a most fitting gesture.

SME Outstanding Student Chapter Report Contest

This award is based on Chapter Reports; nominations are not accepted for this award. Chapter reports are judged on the basis of a comprehensive review and evaluation with other reports from competing chapters. These chapter reports are used to evaluate the level and quality of chapter activities and operations. The financial resources of our Chapters vary therefore, the selection process for the award places a strong emphasis on a Chapter's activities as opposed to the glossiness of reporting those activities. The winning chapter receives a $500 cash award, a certificate of recognition and a ticket to the awards banquet at the SME annual meeting. The winning chapter also receives a travel allowance of up to $500 to offset travel expenses related to the meeting. The three runner-up chapters receive certificates of recognition. All entrants are recognized in Mining Engineering.

SME Board of Directors Internship Program

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be a current SME Member
  • Age 40 or under by application deadline of June 1
  • Completed B.S. or B.A. degree
  • Able to attend all Board meetings
  • Two in-person meetings held at the SME Annual Conference & Expo (February) and the SME Mid-year Meeting (September)
  • Two conference call meetings


  • SME participation/leadership through Local Sections, Divisions, SME Foundation, or other SME sponsored programs.

Intern Responsibilities:

Interns will:

  • Attend all open board meetings and participate actively, but refrain from voting
  • Attend the Emerging Leaders Alliance Conference in October in Washington, D.C.
  • Attend the SME Leadership Orientation that occurs on Saturday mornings of the SME Annual Conference & Expo

Questions? Contact Raven Refuerzo at refuerzo@smenet.org.

SME Foundation Awards

Miners Give Back Award

The purpose of the Miners Give Back Award is to promote humanitarian and service-oriented projects by SME Sections in communities where the sections operate, and to facilitate networking between Sections, as well as improve networking between the Sections and SME. The Miners Give Back award is intended to increase the level of participation by the SME Sections in humanitarian efforts and community service and provide rewards/recognition each year for the outstanding project(s). The SMEF accepts nominations from SME Sections that summarize their completed project(s) and/or community service activities in the preceding year (January 1 to April 1). For multiple projects, please submit an application for each project.

Syd S. and Felicia F. Peng Ground Control in Mining Award

The Syd S. and Felicia F. Peng Ground Control in Mining Award (Peng Award) was established in 2004 through a generous donation from Syd and Felicia Peng. The purpose of the Peng Award is to provide recognition to individuals that have demonstrated technical and scientific excellence in advancing the understanding of ground control technologies or approaches by either publication or direct applications in the mining industry

AIME Awards

James Douglas Gold Medal

The Douglas Award was established by AIME in 1922 in memory of James Douglas, industrialist, mining and metallurgical engineer, inventor of metallurgical equipment, author, and founder of the Phelps Dodge Corporation. He was the donor of the AIME James Douglas Library Fund, the income of which is specifically earmarked for the support of the Engineering Societies Library, situated in the United Engineering Center in New York City. Dr. Douglas was AIME President in 1899 and 1900 and received AIME Honorary Membership in 1906. If a committee member is nominated, they will either find a replacement committee member so that they can resign for the year or remove their nomination until their term is up. AIME Board members are exempt from receiving AIME awards

Robert Earll McConnell Award

The Robert Earll McConnell Award (McConnell Award) recognizes significant contributions that tend to advance a nation’s standard of living or replenish its natural resource base. Such significant contributions may be represented by discovery of a major source of mineral supply, by development of an engineering process to extend present minerals supplies, or outstanding engineering contributions that, in other ways, enhance the standard of living.

Such significant contributions may be represented by discovery of a major source of mineral supply, by development of an engineering process to extend present minerals supplies, or outstanding engineering contributions that, in other ways, enhance the standard of living.


Mineral Economics Award

The Mineral Economics Award is given to recognize distinguished contributions to the advancement of mineral economics.

AIME Board members are exempt from receiving AIME awards.


Mineral Industry Education Award

The award was established by AIME in 1950 to recognize distinguished contributions to the advancement of mineral industry education. In 2011, AIME transitioned administration of this award to SME.

AIME Board members are exempt from receiving AIME awards.


Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal

The Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal Award (Rand Award) recognizes distinguished achievement in mining administration, regarding mining in its broad sense to include metallurgy and petroleum.

Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award

SME staff will determine which papers, published by SME over a period of four years, are eligible for this award. Nominations are not accepted for this award. Eligible papers are Single- or dual-authored technical papers where the lead author is a member in good standing of one of the AIME member societies, under the age of 35 at the time the paper was peer-approved/reviewed and published in the four years preceding May 1 of the judging year. SME Publications --- Before February 2019 -- Mining Engineering magazine; Minerals and Metallurgical Processing journal; Transactions of SME. As of February 2019 – Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration – research journal of SME. AIME Member Society Staff reviews its journals and transactions from the previous four years to nominate authors of technical papers that meet the above eligibility criteria.

Coal & Energy Division Awards

Coal & Energy Division Distinguished Service Award

The Coal & Energy Division Distinguished Service Award was established by the Coal & Energy Division in 1989 and the first Award was given in 1990. This Award will be presented to an individual for achievements in the coal mining industry.

All candidates must be SME members in good standing and must be living at the time of their selection in order to receive the award. Members of the current award committee are not eligible to receive the award during their term of service on the award committee.

Howard N. Eavenson Award

Howard N. Eavenson (1874-1953) obtained a bachelors degree from Swarthmore College and a civil engineering degree a few years later. At 26, he became chief engineer for United States Coal & Coke, a subsidiary of US Steel. For the next 18 years, he opened up several coal deposits and built 15 large coal plants in West Virginia and Kentucky. In 1920, Eavenson established his own consulting firm in Pittsburgh, PA and, by the time he became president of AIME in 1934, he was a director of Pittsburgh Coal Co. and chairman of the board of Appalachian Coals - a joint selling agency through which 137 producers of bituminous coal marketed more than 45 Mt/pa (50 million stpy).

Erskine Ramsay Award

Erskine Ramsay (1864-1953) graduated from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA in 1883. By age 20, he was the superintendent of H.C. Frick Coke Co.'s Monastery mines and coal works, which produced the third largest amount of coal in Pennsylvania. He then joined the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Co. at its Pratt Mines near Birmingham, AL and, in 1895, became the assistant general manager. An avid inventor, Ramsay was granted his first patent in 1897, for a coal and mineral washer. Subsequent inventions centered on improvement in the coal-mining process and in the safety of miners. Ramsay was involved in the design of a mine car with a safety cage and an automatic car stop.

Other inventions include the rotary car dump, the swivel coupling, the use of shaking screens and improved washers. The latter two inventions improved the process of removing coal from other minerals in a more efficient manner.

Ramsay served as head of the Republican National Committee and, in 1911, was appointed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines as member of a commission to study coal-mining methods in Europe. During World War I, he served on the Committee on Coal Production. He received the William Lawrence Saunders Gold Medal in 1937.


Percy Nicholls Award

At a joint Fuels Meeting of the ASME Fuels Division and the AIME Coal Division in St. Louis, Missouri in 1942, the fall after Percy Nicholls died, the first Percy Nicholls Award was presented. This award was established by the two divisions to commemorate the outstanding contributions that Nicholls had made in the science and technology of fuels utilization. It is presented jointly by the Fuels and Combustion Technologies Division of ASME and the Coal & Energy Division of SME.

Rock Mechanics Award

The Rock Mechanics Award shall be given for distinguished contributions to the advancement of the field of rock mechanics and is open to all regardless of age, nationality, SME membership, or professional field. There are no limitations regarding nationality or membership in the society, though preference is given to society members.

All candidates must be living at the time of award presentation.


Stefanko Best Paper Award

The Stefanko Best Paper Award, established in 1983, recognizes authors presenting papers in the Coal & Energy Division technical sessions, at SME Annual Meetings, for their contributions to the body of knowledge. The award shall consider: 1) technical quality of the paper; and 2) quality of presentation. The award shall consist of a cash gift and certificate(s) for the author(s). In case of multiple authors, the cash gift shall be divided equally among the authors.

J.W. Woomer Young Engineer Award

The J. W. Woomer Award (formerly the Young Engineer Award) established in 1976, brings recognition of engineering professionalism to young people working in the coal industry.

The nominee must not reach their 35th birthday before the Award is to be presented at the Annual Meeting.


Environmental Division Awards

Environmental Division Benefactor Award

Environmental Division’s Benefactor Award was established in 2014 to recognize companies or individuals who have significantly contributed to the Silent Auction to benefit the Environmental Division Scholarship Fund

Environmental Division Distinguished Service Award

The Environmental Division Distinguished Service Award, established in 2001, recognizes members who have significantly contributed to the workings of SME and the Environmental Division and have an outstanding reputation for professionalism and accomplishment.

Environmental Division Stewardship Distinguished Service Award

The Environmental Stewardship Distinguished Service Award was established by AIME in 1970 to recognize significant contributions to environmental conservation by addition to knowledge; by the design or invention of useful equipment of procedure; or by outstanding service to governmental or private organizations devoted to any field of environmental conservation.

In 2011, AIME transitioned this award to SME.

Health & Safety Division Awards

Health & Safety Division Research & Educational Excellence Award

The Health & Safety Research & Educational Excellence Award was established in 2012 and is presented to an individual or a research or educational institution exemplifying exceptional innovation and dedication toward advancement in technology or education for the protection and well-being of miners.

Health & Safety Division Individual Excellence Award

The Health & Safety Individual Excellence Award was established in 2012 and is presented to a member of the industry who demonstrates outstanding dedication, leadership or heroism in exploration, mining and/or metallurgy occupational safety and health management.

Health & Safety Division Operational Excellence Award

The Health & Safety Operational Excellence Award was established in 2012. The Award recognizes operations that demonstrate improved health or safety performance as a result of (1) designing, launching, and/or tracking initiatives over at least the past three years or (2) maintaining programs for more than three years that require a considerable commitment of resources.

Industrial Minerals & Aggregate Division Awards

A. Frank Alsobrook Distinguished Service Award

The Industrial Minerals & Aggregates Division Distinguished Service Award, established in 1995, recognizes members who have significantly contributed to the workings of SME and the Industrial Minerals & Aggregates Division; and have an outstanding reputation for professionalism and accomplishments.

Hal Williams Hardinge Award

The Hal Williams Hardinge Award, established in 1958 and funded by AIME, recognizes outstanding achievement which has benefited the field of industrial minerals & aggregates. The achievement so recognized may have been accomplished through writing, teaching, research or administration, resulting in new uses, wider markets, improved management, or through wider dissemination of knowledge.

IM&AD Young Scientist Award

The Young Scientist Award, established by the Industrial Minerals & Aggregates Division in 1985, brings recognition of scientific professionalism to young people working in the industrial minerals & aggregates industry. The recipient will be encouraged to submit an article within a year of the award presentation for consideration for publication in "In the Aggregate."

The nominee must not reach his or her 40th birthday before the Award is presented at the Annual Meeting.

The award may be presented to a non-member of SME with the provision that the Division makes him/her a member by awarding him/her a one-year membership.

Mineral & Metallurgical Processing Division Awards

Frank F. Aplan Award

The award was established by AIME in 1989 with voluntary contributions of friends and associates as a tribute to Frank F. Aplan for his lifelong productive career in coal and mineral processing research and education. Dr. Aplan was the initial award recipient.

In 2011, AIME transitioned administration of this award to SME.

Antoine M. Gaudin Award

The Antoine M. Gaudin Award, established in 1975, is for scientific or engineering contributions that further understanding of the technology of mineral processing. Eligible areas for contributions are agglomeration, classification, comminution, electrical and magnetic separation, flocculation and sedimentation, froth flotation, hydrometallurgy, particulate behavior, and other related mineral processing operations. There are no limitations regarding nationality, membership in the Institute, or otherwise.

MPD Outstanding Young Engineer Award

The MPD Outstanding Young Engineer Award, established in 1984, recognizes significant contribution of a young individual within the Mineral Processing/Extractive discipline.

The nominee must be less than 36 years of age before January 1st of the year the award is presented.

Robert H. Richards Award

Robert H. Richards, inventor, author and teacher, was one of America's pre-eminent ore dressing engineers, and he can rightly be called the father of ore dressing in the United States. In 1874, Richards began studies of hydraulic classification that led to his discovery of and extensive research on the phenomenon of hindered settling. Based on these fundamental studies, he developed a series of sizing and concentrating classifiers, the Richards pulsator jig, and the concept of sizing before gravity concentration. In addition to this important research, Richards' encyclopedic, four-volume treatise, Ore Dressing, published in 1909, was the first comprehensive work to codify and publicize all that was known about ore dressing American at that time.

In 1868, Richards was in the first graduating class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Upon graduation, Richards stayed at MIT as an instructor, advancing to the rank of professor in 1884, and served as the head of the department of Mining and Metallurgy until his retirement in 1914. He joined AIME in 1873 and became its president in 1886. AIME honored Richards' memory in 1948 establishing the Robert H. Richards Award as the premier award in the field of ore processing.

Arthur F. Taggart Award

The Arthur F. Taggart Award, established in 1970, is made for the paper or series of closely related papers with at least one common author, which in the opinion of the Committee represents a notable contribution to the science of minerals processing. The selection shall be made from papers on mineral processing, published in Minerals and Metallurgical Processing Journal, Mining Engineering, Transactions, or any other appropriate SME publication published within the year preceding the Award. For the purpose of this Award, an Award year shall be considered to run from June 1 to May 31. The Award shall be presented at the next Annual Meeting of the Division.

Milton E. Wadsworth Award

The Milton E. Wadsworth Metallurgy Award, established in 1992, recognizes distinguished contributions that advance our understanding of the science and technology of non-ferrous chemical metallurgy.

Mining & Exploration Division Awards

Ben F. Dickerson III Award

Ben F. Dickerson III was a member of AIME from 1962 until his death in 1987. He served on the Board of Directors and was Chair of the M&E Division. He will be remembered for his numerous "ROCK IN THE BOX" columns which he began writing in 1980, and also for the humor, wit and satire of his "News and Rumor from the Bush" articles featured in Skillings Magazine. He believed in professionalism and encouraged his employees to participate in professional societies in order to grow in their profession. Besides AIME, he was a member of SEG, GSA (Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits), SIMM, AIPG, Colorado Mining Association, Northwest Mining Association, Mining Club of the Southwest, Mining Club of New York, and the Arizona Geological Society, to name just a few. He abhorred ignorance and apathy. His curiosity was boundless; he never stopped asking "Why?"

Mining & Exploration Distinguished Service Award

The Mining & Exploration Division Service Award, established in 1985, honors members of SME (with the exception of all M&E Division Officers at the time they hold office) who have made outstanding contributions to the M&E Division in its programs or other activities.

Daniel C. Jackling Award

The Daniel C. Jackling Award was instituted by the Mining, Geology and Geophysics of AIME in 1953. Daniel C. Jackling, for whom the Award is named, was an Honorary Member of AIME and President in 1938. The Jackling Award is presented for significant contributions to technical progress in the fields of mining, geology and geophysics or other applicable fields as determined by the Mining & Exploration Division.

Miner of the Year Award

The Miner of the Year Award was established by the Mining & Exploration (M&E) Division in 2012 and was first awarded in 2013. It is presented to a person in recognition for getting “Rock in the Box.” This award is designed to recognize mine-site leaders who are able to manage production, people, community, safety and be good stewards of the environment and is funded by Epiroc (previously Atlas Copco, Inc.)

M&E Outstanding Young Professional Award

The M&E Outstanding Young Professional Award, established in 1996, recognizes the meritorious accomplishments of a young individual working in the mining and exploration industry (including related academic and governmental careers). The award shall consist of a plaque appropriately engraved with the name of the award and the name of the recipient.

The nominee must be 35 years of age or less at time award is to be presented.

Harry M. Parker Excellence Award

The award recognizes individuals who most exemplifies the effort and insight Harry Parker has brought to improve the mining industry. His work in resource/feasibility reporting and geostatistics has improved the investment community’s perception of mining ventures.

Robert Peele Memorial Award

The Robert Peele Memorial Award, established in 1953, is funded by AIME. The paper under consideration must have been published in an SME publication within a two-year period ending December 31. Only the first author of a paper must be an SME member not over 35 years of age at the time the paper is submitted. The award is limited to authors of M&E Division papers.

Nominations cannot be accepted, view the guidelines for the procedure.

William L. Saunders Gold Medal Award

William Lawrence Saunders was born in 1856 in Columbus, GA, the son of Episcopal minister William Trebell Saunders and Eliza Morton of Virginia. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. As a young man, Saunders invented the apparatus for underwater drilling and became wealthy as a result of his equipment being used in the Russian oil fields. He was the founding editor of Compressed Air magazine and published two textbooks on compressed air. In 1904, he became president of the Ingersoll Sergeant Drill Co. after the death of William Russell Grace. He became the first president of the now combined Ingersoll Rand in 1906. As the twice-elected mayor of North Planfield, New Jersey, he campaigned for woman's right to vote.

During World War I, Saunders was chair of the Naval Consulting Board, which collected inventions and ideas from engineers and inventors to be used in the war effort. He also served as the 1915 president of AIME and deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He died in 1931.

Mineral Education Coalition Awards

C. Dale & Kathleen B. Elifrits MEC Leadership Award

The Minerals Education Coalition Leadership Award honors an individual SME member who has provided leadership to advance the mission of the MEC and has been involved in the delivery of its programs and/or activities.

MEC-SME Organization Recognition Award

The Minerals Education Coalition SME Organization Recognition Award recognizes an SME group (Division, Local Section, Committee, etc.) effort which has demonstrated active involvement with the MEC’s efforts either through development and use of educational materials with K-12 teachers and students or public outreach and awareness about mining and minerals.

MEC Partnership Appreciation Award

The Minerals Education Coalition Partnership Appreciation Award acknowledges a non-SME individual or organization which has exemplified support for the MEC’s mission either through development and use of educational materials with K-12 teachers and students or public outreach and awareness about mining and minerals.

MEC Student Chapter Education Outreach Award

To be considered for the MEC Student Chapter Education Outreach Award, you must demonstrate community service and/or other educational outreach activities (educational outreach to K-12 students, teachers and the general public) in the Application. The award selection committee will evaluate Outreach activities to select the award recipient. The application should be submitted electronically for the MEC Education Outreach Award.