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SME Congressional Fellowship Program  

In November of 2013, SME announced the first SME Mining Engineering Congressional Fellowship which began in Washington, D.C. during the 2014-15 legislative session. The Fellowship gives a seasoned mining expert the chance to apply their industry knowledge to positively affect change in the laws that govern the U.S. mining and minerals industry.

In February of 2014, SME announced Dr. Joshua Hoffman, P.E., as the Society’s choice to represent mining in Washington, D.C. during the 2014-2015 Legislative Session.
“His understanding of the nexus of public policy and mining issues, along with his teaching and outreach experience, make him an excellent candidate for the SME Congressional Fellowship,” stated 2013 SME President Dr. Jessica Kogel. “SME is pleased that Hoffman will be serving Congress as the mining industry subject matter expert.” 
Hoffman obtained his B.S. in mining engineering, with minors in explosives and chemistry from Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly University of Missouri-Rolla). He received his Ph.D. in mining engineering from the University of Kentucky with his dissertation, A Framework for Understanding the Public’s Perspectives of Mining Applied to the Kentucky Coal Industry. Hoffman chose this theme for his dissertation because of his commitment to educating the public about the importance of the mining and minerals industry. 
“I truly believe this work is important—to the degree that it is vital to the future of the mining industry,” stated Dr. Hoffman about his dissertation. “The purpose of this work was to address the issue of the public’s perspective of mining; understand it better; and create paths for improving it.” 
Awareness of the ways in which science, engineering and technology affect a broad range of non-scientific issues, as well as sensitivity to political, economic and social factors were guides in choosing the recipient of the SME Fellowship. The assignment will provide a unique opportunity for Hoffman to gain first-hand experience with the federal legislative process and make practical contributions to the effective and timely use of his knowledge of mining, mineral processing and mined product applications as they relate to the environment, natural resources and federal science policy.
Dr. Joshua Hoffman, P.E.

The Fellowship application period for the 2015-2016 Legislative Session runs from Dec. 1-31, 2014.
Applications must include the following materials: 
  • A résumé, no longer than two pages, providing information about educational background, professional employment, community and professional activities, public policy and legislative experience, committee and advisory group appointments plus one additional page for professional publications and presentations. 
  • A statement of approximately 1,000 words addressing the applicant’s interest in the Fellowship, career goals, contributions the applicant believes he or she can make as a Fellow to the legislative process and what the applicant wants to learn from the experience. 
  • Three signed letters of reference specifically addressing the applicant’s experience and how it would relate to his or her ability to work on Capitol Hill as a special legislative assistant. 
A prospective Fellow must have a demonstrated record of success in research or scholarship in mining engineering, mineral processing, extractive metallurgy, economic geology or geological engineering. The Fellow must also demonstrate sensitivity toward policy issues and have a strong interest in applying scientific and technical knowledge to U.S. public policy issues. An applicant is expected to be a member of SME and have either a doctorate in the above referenced fields or a masters degree in engineering with at least three years of professional experience. (Federal employees are not eligible.)
  • Stipend - $72,000
  • Relocation - $3,000
  • Health insurance - $5,000
Anyone interested in this program may contact:
John Hayden, Deputy Executive Director - Public Affairs and Government Relations, 303-948-4250 or
Jackie Dorr, communications Manager, 303-948-4244 or
Participating Societies:
The SME Congressional Fellowship program is partially supported by funding from the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME).

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SME is a member society of OneMine, the SME Foundation, and the
American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME).