SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition

Build connections with industry professionals and earn experience beyond the classroom.

"Do it. The experience and exposure to a real mining scenario, along with the industry knowledge and contacts you gain from such a unique project as this competition, are invaluable." -Scott Hutchins, Virginia Tech

The Student Design Competition was introduced in the fall of 2004 and culminated at the 2005 SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Salt Lake City, UT. It is a two-stage competition involving a technical design stage and an oral presentation stage based on an aggregate mining industry design problem. It was felt that in combining these two categories of a technical solution and an oral presentation provided the basis for most engineering work once the students enter the mining industry. In this way the students can be involved in a “real world” engineering problem and solution prior to graduation. The teams will be judged on presentation skills, creativity, understanding of aggregate mining processes, and thoughtful methodology.

View the presentations from the 2021 Student Design Competition held during the MINEXCHANGE 2021 SME Annual Conference & Expo.

Submit Team Information

Submitting Procedure
This form must be completed in order to participate in the 2021-2022 Student Design Competition. School information, Faculty Advisor information and at least one team member's information is required to submit the form. If you have any questions regarding submitting your team for the 2021-2022 Student Design competition, please email SME at

Team Applications are due by October 29, 2021 Submissions open soon for 2021! 
Submit Team Application

Download the 2021-2022 Student Design Competition Guidelines


Submit Phase 1 Results

Participating teams for the 2021-2022 Student Design Competition should submit their Phase 1 Results by November 24, 2021.

Get Started
Submit Phase 1 Results

Read what our past participants have to say about the Student Design Competition.
" matter the outcome of the competition this is a great opportunity to make connections with industry leaders and be part of a fun experience that will perpetuate your career. The purpose behind the competition is to build relationships and learn how to collaborate with different personalities. These are the things that you cannot be taught in a classroom, but through experience and this competition embodies that idea."
-Nancy Tracy, Montana Tech