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Emeritus engineering professor publishes textbook on longwall mining

Syd Peng headshot

Syd Peng, the Charles E. Lawall Chair Emeritus of mining engineering. (Statler College Photo/Paige Nesbit)


Syd Peng, the Charles E. Lawall Chair Emeritus of mining engineering at West Virginia University, has published a 3rd edition textbook on longwall mining.

The new edition builds on previous work by Peng, who wrote the 2nd edition of the textbook in 2006 and summarized longwall mining technology as practiced in the U.S.

“It was appropriate for me to undertake such a book writing endeavor because my research work has been concentrating on it since its massive introduction from Europe in the mid 1970s and grew with its development to become worldwide standards today,” Peng said. “The 2nd edition has been popular for all types of longwall mining professionals.”

According to Science Direct, longwall mining is a method in which long rectangular blocks of coal are defined during the development stage of the mine and then extracted in a single continuous operation by an automated cutting head moving parallel to the coal face.

Since the release of the 2nd edition, major developments have been made in the field in the areas of automation and health and safety technology, as well as equipment reliability. These developments greatly increased productivity and cutting cost. In particular, the longwall system can now run automatically without intervention if the area allows.

The big data obtained and fast communication technology have been fully utilized to improve and solve operational problems in real time. Those features are documented in the new edition.

Peng is a prolific author in the areas of ground control, surface subsidence and respirable dust. A member of the National Academy of Engineers, Peng has received numerous awards including the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers Erskine Ramsey Medal and the Medal for Excellence from London’s Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. He is also a member of the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame.

He joined West Virginia University in 1974 and was appointed chairman of mining engineering in 1979, a position he held until 2006. He served again as interim chair in 2015.

The textbook was published by CRC Press of the Netherlands on Nov. 30. It is currently available to purchase online.



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

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