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John Craynon

John Craynon


MRB 359A

Teaching Assistant Professor - Department of Mining Engineering


BS, Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1982 
MS, Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1985 
PhD, Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2011

Dr. John Craynon is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Mining Engineering at West Virginia University. He is also President of Mining Development Services LLC, which provides custom advisory services to the mining, energy, and resource development sectors. He retired in 2018 as the Senior Mining Engineer in the Division of Engineering and Environment at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, where he assisted with project financing involving mining and other related industries. Additionally, he was responsible for monitoring mining projects with Bank financing and providing support to the other professionals in the Bank. Previously, he served as Director of Environmental Programs at the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech. In this role he served as the Project Director of the Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science (ARIES) for five years. He was co-owner and Principal Consultant of CWP Consulting LLC for over eleven years.

His earlier government career, which spanned nearly 28 years in the US Department of the Interior, focused on mining technology and the environment, and the technical, legal, and public policy issues related to mining. Dr. Craynon’s government work was related to diverse topics such as the regulation of coal mining, mine waste management, cleanup of contaminated sites, coal combustion byproducts, underground mine mapping, acid mine drainage, subsidence, hydrology, stream restoration, reforestation, sustainable reclamation and invasive species issues. His academic research program and consulting interests also include sustainable development, stakeholder involvement, resource and market characterization, and the analysis of regulatory and legal frameworks for energy and minerals development.

Dr. Craynon is a professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a native of Kentucky. He is the proud father of four adult children and grandfather of six. He enjoys music, painting, writing poetry, sports, the outdoors, fishing, and hiking. John is an avid fan of the Washington Nationals baseball team, the Washington Capitals hockey team, the Virginia Tech Hokies, and University of Kentucky basketball. He is a homebrewer, a whisk(e)y and wine enthusiast, and enjoys fine cigars.

Selected Publications

  1. Craynon, J.R., E.A. Sarver, N.S. Ripepi and M.E. Karmis, 2015 “A GIS-based methodology for identifying sustainability conflict areas in mine design – a case study from a surface coal mine in the USA” International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment doi: 10.180/17480930.2015.1035872.
  2. Craynon, J.R., E.A. Sarver and M.E. Karmis, 2013 “Incorporating Sustainable Development Principles into Coal Mine Design” International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice 8(3):57-64. 
  3. Craynon, J.R., E.A. Sarver and D.P. Robertson, 2012 “Could a Public Ecology Approach Help Resolve the Mountaintop Mining Controversy?” Resources Policy 38:44-49. 
  4. Craynon, J.R. and M.E. Karmis, 2009 “An Approach to Optimising Coal Mine Design for Sustainable Development” in Sustainable Development Indicators in the Minerals Industry Conference: SDIMI 2009, Publication Series – Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, vol. 6/2009, pp. 109-114. Reid, M.E. and J.R. 
  5. Craynon, 2000 “Information Technology Tools for Estimating Costs of Surface Mining Reclamation” in Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, W. Lee Daniels and Steven G. Richardson, eds., pp. 459-466.

Teaching Interests

  • Leadership and Management 
  • Mining and Sustainable Development 
  • Mining Health and Safety 
  • Energy, Raw Materials and Environment 
  • Law, Regulations, and Mining

Special Interests

  • Mining and the Environment 
  • Professionalism and Engineering Ethics

Research Interests

  • Raw materials and modern society 
  • Mining and the environment 
  • Energy and environmental footprint

Professional Societies

  • Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) 
  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • Society of Mining Professors (SOMP) 
  • Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) 
  • American Society for Reclamation Sciences (ASRS)
  • International Mine Water Association (IMWA)