Variety on tap for PSU ventilation symposium

SCHEDULE plans are now being confirmed for the 11th US/North American Mine Ventilation Symposium, being held June 5-7 at the Pennsylvania State University.

Donna Schmidt

Professor Emeritus Jan Mutmansky said there were 89 accepted papers in the event, including 14 on coal bed and coal mine methane, nine on mine fires, 10 regarding mine dust, 10 on the topic of ventilation planning and others including seals, fans, leakage, training and others.

Mutmansky said he and co-chair Raja Ramani have noticed a trend in the type of papers submitted for the symposium this year.

“We have five times as many papers on the topic of coal bed and coal mine methane this time and nearly twice as many papers on diesel emissions control and mine fires compared to the last symposium in Alaska. The location of the symposium and the inclusion of coal bed methane and diesel emissions as topics of special interest may have been contributing factors to these trends.”

He added that a special session has also been planned for the first day of the gathering regarding items that came to light after the incident at Sago mine in January.

“We plan not to discuss Sago at all, but hope to obtain good discussions from experts in the field on how to improve mine safety through better communication systems, rescue strategies, implementation of rescue chambers, and better training addressing rescue possibilities,” Mutmansky said.

There will be four pre-symposium short courses held in the two days prior to the conference as well as four limited-availability field trips being conducted afterwards on June 8. Regardless of the industry expertise and interest of attendees, Mutmansky said he is confident that many will find something that will “enrich their knowledge” over the course of the event.

“In addition to the topics mentioned above, we have case studies on coal and metal mine ventilation systems, papers on ventilation in large-opening mines, and numerous other topics of interest to the practicing engineer. The topics on diesels and methane should be especially attractive to many engineers, but the other topics may attract many additional personnel from the mining industry,” he said.

Requests for registration are still being accepted, and the group has posted a full schedule on a website dedicated to the symposium. For further information, visit or contact Rachel Altemus on (814) 865-3439, Fax (814) 863-5709, e-mail

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