Awards & Competitions

Make a difference in the mining industry by getting involved with SME’s award and competition program.


SME Award recipients represent the “best of the best” in the mining and minerals industry.

SME Photo Contest

Share your best images with others and give the public a different view of mining.

Student Chapter Competitions

Collegiate competition is fierce as Student Chapters vie for top honors.

If you want to get involved, the following competitions offer a way to unleash your competitive spirit and showcase your knowledge of the industry.

Move Mining

Move Mining is a dynamic competition that takes place at the MINEXCHANGE SME Annual Conference & Expo and addresses the goal to improve the perception of mining. Get involved in Move Mining by submitting an original, 3-minute video showcasing your idea to improve the perception of mining–Season 5 of Move Mining is accepting submissions through noon MT on November 11, 2020.  The video with the most public votes will win the People’s Choice spot as a finalist.  Experts will select the other four finalist teams. The contest will culminate when the five finalist teams present their concepts virtually at the live event during the MINEXCHANGE 2021 SME Annual Conference & Expo. The winning team will receive $5,000. Don’t miss it—help us show the world that mining is essential.

Move Mining Next Gen

Teams of K-12 students create short videos showing how mining is important to their lives and compete for prizes up to $1,000.  Make sure your children and grandchildren enter the contest too! Move Mining Next Gen is the K-12 program to extend the original Move Mining competition. Competitors will compete for prizes in grade categories, plus the People’s Choice public voting prize, by creating a video to share with a world audience that addresses why mining and minerals are important to our lives. Move Mining Next Gen is accepting submissions now!


Individual Student Competitions

Graduate Student Research Poster Contest

The purpose of the Graduate Student Research Poster Contest is to recognize excellence in research in various minerals-related fields. The contest will provide an opportunity for the graduate students to showcase their work in a visible setting and to compete for cash prizes based on the quality of their posters as determined by a team of judges. The goal of the contest is to bolster graduate student education and contribute to research in mining and mineral studies.

Mineral & Metallurgical Processing (MPD) Division Student Poster Contest

SME's Mineral & Metallurgical Processing Division (MPD) invites all interested students to participate in its Student Poster Contest in conjunction with the SME Annual Conference & Expo. This is an excellent opportunity for students to present their research in a fun environment and to network with industry professionals.

Environmental Division (ED) Student Poster Contest

The Environmental Division (ED) holds an annual student poster session as a way to encourage and foster the next generation of Geologists, Geological Engineers, Environmental Engineers, and Environmental Scientists, and to support their academic achievements. The ED welcomes both graduate and undergraduate participants from a diversity of universities.

Team Student Competitions

SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition
Metallic Student Design Competition

The Student Design Competition is a two-stage competition involving a technical design stage and an oral presentation stage based on an aggregate mining industry design problem.

The Metallic Student Design Competition (SDC) is a hard rock competition focused on the evaluation of a mineral deposit (precious/base metal or industrial mineral) and the development of a potential flowsheet and process design. The competition will be conducted in two stages, with the second stage and final judging taking place at the SME annual conference. The new Metallic SDC is modeled after the SME/NSSGA competition, which is based on an aggregate mining industry design problem. 


Student Chapter Competitions