James Dean, director of mining and industrial extension at West Virginia University, has been selected for membership in Careers in Coal, a group dedicated to the best interests of the coal industry. Dean was nominated for membership by Calvin Kidd, an executive with Quaker Chemical Corp. and a long-time supporter of the Statler College’s Department of Mining Engineering.
Founded in 1963, CI-Coal provides members with an ongoing forum to discuss coal industry problems and opportunities. Its 71 geographically diverse members represent a cross-section of management levels throughout the industry. The organization’s Lamplighter Awards are given annually to outstanding seniors at four universities that offer mining engineering degrees: WVU, Virginia Tech, Penn State and University of Kentucky.
“I am humbled that the membership committee extended an invitation for me to join the organization,” said Dean, who is the first faculty member from WVU to be named to the committee.
Dean has extensive experience working on mine safety-related issues. Following the Sago and Aracoma disasters in West Virginia, he served as acting director of the state’s Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training at the request of then-Gov. Joe Manchin. During his tenure, he worked with all facets of the industry to develop consensus standards on requirements for self-contained self-rescuers, refuge chambers and mine communication and tracking systems. The committee’s work provided the template for new federal regulations implemented through the MINER Act of 2006.
He continues to serve by gubernatorial appointment on the West Virginia Mine Safety Technology Task Force, which is charged with looking at new technology for improving mine safety and mine emergency operations in the state and nation. In 2015, he was named chairman of the state’s Mine Inspectors Examining Board, which is responsible for administering examinations for candidates for appointment as mine inspector; to maintain a register of such candidates; and to hear and determine appeals of mine inspectors from suspension orders made by the Director of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training.
During his time at WVU, Dean has worked collaboratively to develop a mobile SCSR training gallery for use at mine sites, in addition to a simulated underground mine for emergency response training for individual miners, mine emergency responders and other mine training.
Dean’s membership will become official at CI-Coal’s fall meeting, schedule for September 22, in Nashville, Tennessee.
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