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The 2003 Rock Mechanics Award  

Awarded To: Christopher Mark

In recognition of his contributions to protect miners from the hazards of ground falls, the development of technology considered industry standards, including the Analysis of Longwall Pillar Stability and Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability methods for sizing pillars to prevent mine collapses, the Coal Mine Roof Rating to evaluate geologic conditions before mining takes place.
Christopher Mark entered the mining industry in 1976 as a general underground laborer in a Boone County, West Virginia coal mine. He subsequently obtained BS, MS, and PhD 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 1980's he worked for a geotechnical consulting firm based in Chicago. In 1987, he joined the Bureau of Mines (now NIOSH) Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL) as a specialist in coal mine ground control. Dr. Mark has studied ground conditions at hundreds of mines around the world, and has authored more than 100 technical papers. His contributions to mining engineering practice include ALPS, the Coal Mine Roof Rating (CMRR), the Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability (ARMPS), guidelines for control of horizontal stress, and the Analysis of Roof Bolt Systems (ARBS). Dr. Mark is Co-Chairman of the International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, which is held annually in Morgantown, WV. 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 Rock Mechanics Award:

The Rock Mechanics Award, established in 1967, shall be given for distinguished contributions to the advancement of the field of rock mechanics.


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