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Awards and Recognitions

SME offers numerous Awards and Recognitions for the membership  and our Section has members that have been recognized by SME and its divisions.

SME Fellow (Formerly Distinguished Member Award*)


A candidate for Fellow must have been a full member of SME for at least 15 years. A candidate must have demonstrated significant and sustained contributions to the minerals industry and to SME. There must be some contributions to both the industry and SME, though significant and sustained contributions can be to either one.  The award is restricted to only 1.8% of the SME Membership.


Outstanding service to SME may be to a section, a region, a technical division, committees or as a representative of SME and the industry to the public. Outstanding contributions to the industry may be as a leader in exploration, production, manufacturing, environment, basic sciences, engineering applications, education, management or public relations. Contributions may be evidenced by patents, technical papers, educational activities or managerial contributions. Other contributions may be in the development of exploration techniques, mineral properties, mineral processes, major engineering projects, mineral-related equipment and environmental solutions.

2021 - John R. Ackerman, PE, PG

2018 - Michael C. Korb, PE

1998 - Nikhil C. Trivedi

1996 - Walter D. Haentjens, PE

1976 - Thomas V. Falkie

1975 - Donald Markle


* In order to appropriately acknowledge such distinction, the SME Board of Directors determined in February 2020 to rename the award "SME Fellow Award". Thus recognizing these recipients as SME Fellows. This change was desired to better match the global standard and recognition of "Fellow". None of the criteria have changed nor other parts of the award process. The change is limited to the name only.


President's Citation

The Presidential Citation is a non-competitive award presented by the SME President to recognize an individual or group for achieving goals that strengthen SME through activities include growing SME membership, developing sustainable service projects, giving to the SME Foundation, and building awareness of SME in their local community.

2022 - Pennsylvania-Anthracite Section


        SME recognizes the Pennsylvania Anthracite Section of SME for its

        efforts to organize and execute the celebration of AIME's 150th 

        anniversary in Wilkes-Barre, PA on May 16th, 2021.

      "We thank the Section for its commitment and recognition of this

        monumental achievement; its efforts to engage the general public, the

        political leaders of Pennsylvania and the AIME leadership in observance

        of this important day in the history of SME as well as its ongoing legacy

        to preserve the history of the mining, metallurgy and petroleum


2010 - Michael Korb, PE

2006 - Nikhil Trivedi


The Erskine Ramsey Medal


The Ramsay Medal, established in 1948, and funded by AIME, recognizes distinguished achievement in coal mining, to include both bituminous coal and anthracite. The medal is accompanied by an engrossed diploma containing a citation of the service or achievement upon which the award is based. Election to this honor is by the SME Coal & Energy Division Officers with notification to the SME Executive Committee. Eligibility The conditions of eligibility are as follows:

  1. There are no limitations regarding nationality, membership in the Institute, or otherwise.

  2. A candidate must be a living person able and willing to present himself in person to receive the award.

  3. No person who has been awarded any of the other eight major AIME awards (Douglas, Saunders, Lucas, Rand, Richards, Fairless, Hardinge, and McConnell) is eligible for the Ramsay Medal.


1991 - Thomas V. Falkie

1961 - Donald Markle


The Ivan B. Rahn Education Award

The Ivan B. Rahn Education Award, established in 1995, recognizes distinguished contributions to the educational activities within SME and is open to all SME members who have shown long-term interest in and have significantly contributed to SME activities relating to ABET, student affairs, continuing education, professional registration, and/or the Council of Education (not necessarily an educator themselves). The Award shall consist of a statuette with an engraved inscription containing the name of the award, the name of the recipient, and the date of the award. Election to this honor is by the SME Council of Education with notification to the SME Executive Committee.

2017 - Nikhil C. Trivedi

Coal & Energy Division Awards

J. W. Woomer Award (formerly the Young Engineer Award)

The J. W. Woomer Award established in 1976, brings recognition of engineering professionalism to young people working in the coal industry. Election to this honor is by the Coal & Energy Division Officers with notification to the SME Executive Committee.

Eligibility requirements for the award include:

  1. The nominee must be a graduate engineer working in the coal industry.

  2. The nominee must not reach their 35th birthday before the award is presented.

  3. The nominee must have prepared a technical report for presentation at any coal industry meeting or for publication in any coal industry journal or transactions.

  4. The nominee must be a member of SME.

1983 - John R. Ackerman, PE

AIME Awards

Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal

Distinguished achievement in mining administration, including metallurgy and petroleum.

2015 - Thomas V Falkie


Robert Earll McConnell Award


Beneficial service to mankind by engineers through significant contributions which tend to enhance a nation's standard of living or replenish it's natural resources (e.g. discover major mineral supply, develop process to extend mineral supply).


2018 – Nikhil C. Trivedi

The Frank F. Aplan Award

The Frank F. Aplan Award recognizes contributions that further the understanding of the technology of coal and/or mineral engineering.

 2021 - Nikhil C. Trivedi

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