"Every project is an opportunity to learn, to figure out problems and challenges, to invent and reinvent."
During my junior year of undergraduate studies, I decided that I wanted to transition into a career in the mining industry. And what better way to do this than through a topic that was already highly passionate about? Over the course of this two-year phase, I presented various articles on the status quo of diversity, inclusion and access in the mining and minerals industry at the 2018 Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources (IMR) short course at the University of Arizona, and the 2019 and 2020 Annual Conference of the Society of Mining Engineers. I even published an article with IMR entitled "Sending Out the Invitations: Developing Diversity in Mining” in the February 2018 issue of the Mining Engineering Magazine. This work forms the basis of my thesis topic for my graduate degree at Colorado School of Mines.
While studying geology at University College Dublin, I worked with Dr. Tom Manzocchi of the Fault Analysis Group at the School of Earth Sciences to compose a 3D modelled fault map describing the development of geological structures related to rifting around Mavropigi (Μαυροπηγή) in the Ptolemais Basin in northwestern Greece. Data had been previously collected in the form of field observations and geolocated photographs by the Aristotle University in Thessalonica, Greece. The results from our study were used for future reference in assessments of various risks and controls in the Mavropigi lignite mine in Greece.
While at University College Dublin, I also studied soil and rock mechanics and principles of geotechnical engineering. I was introduced to a variety of ground study tools which are useful in both mining and construction, and worked with a team of international students to complete a desk and site study of a construction site on campus. Following this study, we worked to design a foundation appropriate to the building which the architects had proposed for the site. You can see the completed geotechnical report and design proposal below.OPEN COMPILED GEOTECHNICAL REPORT
During my four years as an undergraduate, I spent a semester at University College Dublin to study Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering. Firstly, in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, I assisted in the characterization and mapping of geological characteristics on sites, including Portraine, Protrush, Ballycastle, Giant’s Causeway, Chushendall, and Ballintoy Harbor. Secondly, I applied my knowledge of geological techniques to map mineral and sediment in order to deduce the geological history of Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic gneiss in North Mayo. Among other techniques, my team and I utilized basic dykes as structural markers to distinguish Grevilia from Grampian events, and to map Neoproterozoic Dalradian metasediments.
My undergraduate engineering capstone was an advisory study of design solutions to convey faecal sludge from pit latrine emptying systems to a safe location in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. I was the primary project manager, advising my team and coordinating industry sponsor communication. The project culminated in a trip to participate in the 5th Faecal Sludge Management conference and carry out the required fieldwork in February of 2019.
My undergraduate design capstone focused on involved a pre-existing mini-grater and -press design to aid small-scale Ghanaian gari producers. My tasks consisted primarily of interfacing with on-the-ground operators while still in America, and tracking machine and business progress on the ground. In January 2019, my team and I travelled to Kumasi, Ghana, where we constructed a number of units for our clients. My main responsibility was to document the trip and act as primary welder for prototypes. Upon our return to the US, I became project manager for the incoming student team.
Due to my love of artisan crafts and my blacksmithing hobby, I took it upon myself to add a mobile forge to the machine shop at Olin during my junior year. After acquiring the necessary funding from the school administration, my primary concern was the design and fabrication of a forge that would abide by all the relevant safety standards while remaining mobile and useful for various blacksmithing projects. After the year of operation, I also instituted a safety training program for future students to utilize the resource, making it an official part of the Olin fabrication resources. The video below shows me heat treating my first real knife under the guidance of a highly experienced bladesmith.