The 2009 Syd S Peng Ground Control in Mining Award
Awarded To: Anthony Iannacchione
In recognition of his tenacious and tireless ground control research efforts to protect the safety and health of miners around the world.
Dr. Anthony Iannacchione is currently the director of the mining engineering program at the University of Pittsburgh where he teaches mining engineering and conducts research. Prior to this appointment in 2008, he worked for the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for approximately 33 years. His educational background is split between civil engineering (PhD and MS) and geology (MS and BS). Currently he is taking courses in mineral industry risk assessment from the University of Queensland. Minerals industry risk assessment and management is one of his current passions and Dr. Jim Joy at Queensland is a principal reason for this interest.
At the University of Pittsburgh, Anthony has helped to set up three mining engineering certificate programs for undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students. The University of Pittsburgh had a mining engineering department until the mid-80’s and its students are still sought after by companies, manufacturers and government agencies serving the minerals industry. Anthony teaches three mining courses: Strata Control Engineering, Mine Ventilation Engineering and Environmental Controls in Mining. He is also assisting Dr. Dirk van Zyl in jointly offering a new course with the University of British Columbia entitled “Sustainable Development in Mining: Economics, Society and Environment.” Other courses in the mining engineering program are taught by industry experts Daniel Su and James McCaffrey. Currently, Anthony is the Principal Investigator of a 2-year contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection entitled “Report on the Effects of Underground Mining for the Period 2003-2008.” Pennsylvania law requires that an assessment of the surface impacts of underground bituminous coal mining be made every five years. This project is in the process of examining land disruptions, structural damage and water source impairments in areas were mining has occurred.
Anthony has participated on numerous advisory committees. Most recently, he has served on several National Science Foundation committees associated with their Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL). In 2007 he served on an expert panel convened by Richard Stickler, Assistant Secretary of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, to recommend a course of action after the second fatal accident at the Crandall Canyon mine.
Anthony’s expertise in ground control engineering started with research projects in the mid-80’s sponsored by the USBM and later by NIOSH. These efforts were largely aimed at developing controls for hazards associated with coal mine bursts, high horizontal stress and inadequate entry, pillar and roof support performance. Many of these products are reported on in research papers and were featured in numerous technology transfer events, seminars and workshops aimed at transferring products and methodologies to the mining industry. The research team that Anthony was associated with at the USBM and NIOSH represents some of the finest collection of ground control experts in the world including: Thomas Mucho, Gerald Finfinger, Christopher Mark, Keith Heasley, Joseph Zelanko, Thomas Barczak, Stephen Tadolini, Al Campoli, Gregory Molinda, Gabriel Esterhuizen, Matt DeMarco and Floyd Varley. This group was also influenced by other international experts including Syd Peng, Miklos Salamon, Ken Barron and Winton Gale, to name a few. Unfortunately, space limitations prevent listing all the exceptional people Anthony has had the pleasure and honor to know and work among. Considering the collective talent of these individuals, it would be difficult not to be excited about ground control issues and, harder still, not to participate in developing new and important tools and techniques for the mineral industry.
In the mid-90’s, Anthony helped to initiate a series of research projects aimed to curb raising ground fall fatalities in the underground stone industry. He and Leonard Prosser initiated the popular underground stone safety seminars in 1996. This year the 14th stone safety seminar was held and represents the seminal health and safety event for this industry. It should be noted that the underground stone industry has enjoyed several years of zero fatalities. Perhaps the stone seminar and the other research products produced during the last 10 years may have had a direct bearing on this statistic. Lastly, Anthony would like to recognize individuals who have shown great patients in mentoring him through the years. They include Maurice Deul, Gerry Finfinger, Thomas Mucho, John Murphy, Lew Wade, Larry Grayson, Jeffrey Kohler, Stephen Tadolini and Jack Parker.
To view his nomination click here: Nomination
The purpose of the 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.