Spencer Evans of Eldon a senior in mining engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), is among the members of the university's two Mine Rescue Teams to take part in Missouri S&T's annual Mine Rescue Competition. For the first time since 1988, one of the student teams won first place in the underground rescue portion of the event.
Missouri S&T's Gold Team finished in first place in the underground rescue event, which is part of the annual Mine Rescue Competition held every fall at Missouri S&T. The student team competed against 12 teams from industry and another S&T squad, the Black Team, which finished 10th in the underground event.
Evans is a member of the Gold Team.
Missouri S&T is one of the few universities in the nation that instructs mining engineering students in hands-on mine rescue techniques. The university also has its own experimental mine, where students can test their skills in a realistic environment. When the students graduate and enter the mining industry, they take what they've learned with them.
"We're very proud of the students and for their dedication to demonstrating the importance of mine safety," says Dr. Samuel Frimpong, chair of the mining and nuclear engineering department at Missouri S&T. "Their performance in this annual event serves as a tremendous testimony to the emphasis Missouri S&T places on preparing our students for meaningful and important careers in industry."
The annual Mine Rescue Competition is held at Missouri S&T's Experimental Mine, which is located on Bridge School Road in Rolla. The mine has been named one of Popular Science magazine's "awesome college labs" for three years in a row.
During the competition, teams are evaluated on how they handle a simulated disaster situation underground. The events are set up and judged by representatives of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The teams are rated on how well they follow the basic rules and regulations of the underground rescue problem, and they are graded on written exams. Mine rescue competitions also feature tests involving first aid and maintaining self-contained breathing gear.
In addition to winning the underground portion of the event, the S&T Gold Team won the in-state trophy for performing best in the underground event among all six Missouri teams in the competition. The Gold Team also finished in fifth place overall, while the other S&T squad, known as the Black Team, finished 12th. A team from Doe Run Co. finished first overall in the event.