Young Leaders Committee

The Young Leaders Committee (YLC) develops and strengthens young professionals in the mining and underground construction industry while adding value to the entire SME organization.

As a member of the YLC you will find opportunities for personal development, chances to gain and share professional knowledge, and professional network growth, as well as the ability to provide development opportunities to others. YLC members work within SME to reach student chapters, the general public, and provide value to SME members throughout the year.

Organizational Structure

See how the YLC is organized and how you can get involved.

Meet the Class of 2022

The Young Leaders Committee Class of 2022

YLC Alumni Page

Many notable SME members got their start in the YLC.

Mining Finance Webinar Series Sponsored by the New York Section of SME and the SME Young Leaders

The SME Young Leaders have partnered with the New York Section of SME on the Mining Finance Webinar Series! These webinars will take a dive into basic principles of finance including reading/interpreting financial statements, investments, stocks, valuation, and surety bonding. View upcoming webinars and register here.

Interested in learning more about Mining Finance? The New York Section of SME’s 8th Annual Current Trends in Mining Finance Conference (CTMF) answers questions about trends, risks, and sustainable solutions impacting the industry.

YLC Members:
•    Join a growing professional network in SME.
•    Represent and encourage a critical demographic in our society.
•    Develop and promote professional development activities and content.
•    Support students and student chapters entering the industry as young professionals.
•    Gather and share technical information.
•    Foster long-term SME engagement.
•    Engage the mining industry and local communities

Upcoming Events:
September 23, 2022
Happy Hour
Theme: New YLC Members – Are you interested in joining or learning more about the SME Young Leaders? Join us for our September Happy Hour and find out how you can get involved.
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM MST
Location: Airmeet (virtual)

Testimonials

Each year, energetic young professionals who have demonstrated leadership abilities and the desire to become more involved with SME join the YLC. Members of the YLC serve a term of four years and work with other members of the committee to develop critical components of SME and the YLC. Applications are open to all members of SME who are 35 years of age or younger and meet at least five of the leadership criteria listed on the application form.

Young Leaders Committee Yearbook

 

 

What’s your story?

  1. Tell us about yourself. Who are you? Where were you born, schooling etc.
    My name is Luis Velasquez, I am originally from Peru, now living in Lexington, KY since Jan 2021. I majored in mining engineering at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru. As an undergraduate, I joined SME as a student member back in Nov 2012, becoming the vice chair of the SME San Marcos Student Chapter for the term 2013-2014. We organized short courses, mine field trips to surface and underground operations as well as setting up talks from prominent industry representatives. Having finished school, I was admitted into the SME Young Leaders Committee (class 2015), attending the SME Annual Conference 2015 in Denver, CO for the first time ever. Within the SME YLC, I participated actively in the Student Relations, Professional Development subcommittees and then I was appointed as the chair of the Global Sections Subcommittee. I’m currently pursuing a Master’s degree in mining engineering at the University of Kentucky, where I am the president of the UK ISEE Student Chapter 2021-2022. I have also been serving as a Student Director at the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) since Jan 2021.
  2. Why are you in the mining industry? What motivates you to stay in your current role and in the industry?
    I chose this field inspired by my grandfather, who was a mine foreman at Yauli mine —an underground zinc-silver-copper operation located in The Andes, Peru. I clearly remember that once at his house, I saw a rock containing chalcopyrite, and a little of quartz; this lit the flame of willingness to learn more about it. Later, I found that Peru was the world number 2 mineral producer for copper, silver and zinc. It was then that I realized I wanted to become a Mining Engineer back in 2003. Now, after 19 years I made that deliberate decision, I am glad and satisfied with how things turned in my career. I see positive changes on how mining has evolved over the last 20 years and the current approach on the importance of diversity and inclusion in corporate levels. Moreover, it is satisfactory to see disruptive technology breaking new grounds in mining operations that were long following status quo standards. I also enjoy the fact that, as a representative from Martin Marietta Inc. said, “Mining is a big industry, but a small fraternity.”
  3. What is the toughest task/job you've done so far?
    I would say finishing my undergraduate studies while raising my 6-month-old daughter, Nathaniel Sofia. It was my first experience as a father and I had to fulfill college assignments concurrently.
  4. Why should a recent graduate or someone with experience join YLC?
    The Young Leaders Committee (YLC), established in 1998, serves as a really effective platform for the transition from students into professionals as well as a great resource for networking with peers. As an international mining engineer, the YLC has given me experience working in multicultural groups, thus broadening my international network. All of this is possible thanks to the involvement in the subcommittees, transitioning from Subc. member, Subc. chair, and then being part of the Executive Committee. Furthermore, I have had the chance to work with mentors who have provided me with guidance. These activities supported me to become a more effective leader.
  5. What are the three things you’ve learned being a young leader of SME?
    Resilience, work with cross-functional multicultural teams, develop emotional intelligence and, finally, boost my English skills.

Luis Felipe Velasquez is a mining engineer from Peru. He has been involved in SME since he was a student (2012). He became the vice chair of the SME San Marcos Student Chapter (2013-2014). Then, he was admitted into the SME Young Leaders Committee (Class 2015). He participated actively in the Student Relations, Professional Development subcommittees and he was appointed as the chair of the Global Sections Subcommittee. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in mining engineering at the University of Kentucky, where he is the president of the UK ISEE Student Chapter (2021-2022). He has been serving as a Student Director at the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) since January 2021.

Luis chose mining industry inspired by his grandfather, who was a mine foreman at Yauli mine —an underground zinc-silver-copper operation located in The Andes, Peru. He clearly remembers that once at his house, He saw a rock containing chalcopyrite, and a little of quartz; this lit the flame of willingness to learn more about it. Nowadays, he sees positive changes on how mining has evolved over the last 20 years as the current approach on the importance of diversity and inclusion in corporate levels and disruptive technology breaking new grounds in mining operations that were long following status quo standards.

He encourages people to join The Young Leaders Committee (YLC) because he says: “As an international mining engineer, the YLC has given me experience working in multicultural groups, thus broadening my international network. All of this is possible thanks to the involvement in the subcommittees and being part of the Executive Committee. Furthermore, I have had the chance to work with mentors who have provided me with guidance. These activities supported me to become a more effective leader”.

Finally, there are some values he has learned being a Young Leader: resilience, work with cross-functional multicultural teams and developing emotional intelligence. He also enjoys the fact that, as a representative from Martin Marietta Inc. said, “Mining is a big industry, but a small fraternity.”



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