Student News

UK student design teams win 2 national competitions

Team Photo
Team Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 31, 2023) Two teams, comprised of undergraduate students with the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky, claimed victory in two national design competitions.

Recently, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) Student Design Competition and the Metallic Student Design Competition were held in Denver, Colorado.

Both the student design team, the “Karstic Khampions,” and the metallic design team, “Thoroughbred Consulting,” placed first in the final round.

Each competition featured two stages, and UK was one of only six teams to make it past the first stage.

The SME competition, which includes a technical design phase and an oral presentation phase, is based on solving an aggregate mining industry design problem.

A panel of judges from the mining and metallurgy industry evaluated each team on their presentation skills, creativity, understanding of processes and thoughtful methodology.

The Metallic Student Design Competition, modeled after the SME Student Design Competition, focused on the evaluation of a mineral deposit (precious/base metal or industrial mineral) and the development of a potential flowsheet and process design.

The design challenge introduced many components — both technical and financial. Those chosen for the second phase had approximately 36 hours to complete their project, which included a 25-minute presentation to judges and a 20-minute question and answer session.

In preparing for the competition, both teams utilized the skills and knowledge gained during their engineering classes.

“What I am the most proud of is the students’ ability to perform under intense pressure while using their technical knowledge to apply comprehensive solutions to real-world problems,” Zach Agioutantis, Mining Engineering Foundation Professor and the chair of the Department of Mining Engineering, said.

Led by Jhon Silva-Castro, an associate professor in mining engineering, the members of each team are as follows:

Student Design Team

  • Shara-Lynn Carter, a mining engineering junior, from Nicholasville, Kentucky;
  • Bryce Goad, a mining engineering junior, from Cincinnati, Ohio;
  • Hannah Heady, a mining engineering senior, from Nicholasville;
  • Rosie Huse, a mining engineering junior, from Marietta, Georgia;
  • Nathan Kelly, a mining engineering junior, from Providence, Kentucky; and
  • Conner Meador, a mining engineering senior, from Louisville, Kentucky.

Metallic Student Design Team

  • Anthony Collett, a mining engineering senior, from Owensboro, Kentucky;
  • Cassidy Crouch, a mining engineering senior, from Trenton, Ohio;
  • Ben Diddle, a mining engineering junior, from Wilmore, Kentucky;
  • Amelia Faust, a mining engineering junior, from Farmington Hills, Michigan;
  • Elliott Morgan, a mining engineering senior, from Pickens, South Carolina; and
  • Josh Thomas, a mining engineering senior, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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