Keynote Address at the 23rd International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, August 3-5,2004

Wade, Lewis Dr.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2005
It is really an honor and pleasure to be here at the 231d International Conference on Ground Control in Mining. My name is Lew Wade. Until recently I served as the Associate Director of Mining for NIOSH. That's a position that I recently moved out of and that position is now filled by Dr. Jeffery Kohler. I now serve as the Sr. Science Advisor to the NIOSH Director. The topic of my talk today will be coal mine ground control, a look back at the last 30 years, and then a brief look forward. I will start by talking about coal mine ground control statistics and with just a brief look, those statistics clearly show that you people are making a difference and there have been tremendous improvements. I'll then look at reasons for those improvements and those will include people working together (this conference being a prefect example of that), as well as technology development. In the area of technology development, I will give you my top-ten list of technology developments in the area of coal mine ground control. Then I'll end with a look towards the future and point to some possible future developments. Then, I will be so bold as to issue some challenges to the participants of this conference. Again, if you take the broad look back at underground coal mine roof falls and ground fatalities, you see this tremendous improvement that we have all come to appreciate. We have all been a part of improving the safety conditions for our underground miners and the number of fatalities is orders of magnitude less than what it was at the turn of the previous century. We have every reason to be pleased and proud of what we have been able to accomplish. Now, the question is why. What are the reasons for those improvements? Just look around this room. You see evidence of what I think are one of the principle reasons: miners, mine operators, government workers and researchers, equipment suppliers, people in research and academia working together. Coming together and sharing at a Conference like this over the last 23 years.
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