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The 2003 Stefanko Best Paper Award  

Awarded To: Christopher Mark

For the paper: “Reducing the Risk of Ground Falls During Pillar Recovery”
Christopher Mark entered the mining industry in 1976 as a general underground laborer in a Boone County, WV coal mine. He subsequently obtained B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mining engineering from Penn State. His doctoral research focused on longwall ground control and resulted in the analysis of longwall pillar stability (ALPS) pillar-design method. In the early 1980s, he worked for a geotechnical consulting firm based in Chicago. In 1987, he joined the Bureau of Mines, now the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, as a specialist in coal-mine ground control. Mark has studied ground conditions at hundreds of mines around the world and has written more than 100 technical papers. His contributions to mining engineering practice include ALPS, the coal mine roof rating, the analysis of retreat mining pillar stability, guidelines for control of horizontal stress, and the Analysis of Roof Bolt Systems. Mark is co chair of the International Conference on Ground Control in Mining. His awards include the NIOSH Alice Hamilton Best Paper, the U.S. Bureau of Mines Engineer of the Year and the U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics Applied Research Award. His current research interests include roof screening, multiple-seam interactions and international coal-mine ground control practice.

About The 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.


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