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Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health D Biographical Sketches of Committee Members Raja V. Ramani, chair, is emeritus George H., Jr. and Anne B. Deike Chair of Mining Engineering and professor emeritus of mining and geo-environmental engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Ramani holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mining engineering from Penn State, where he has been on the faculty since 1970. His research activities include mine health, safety, productivity, environment, and management; flow mechanisms of air, gas, and dust in mining environs; and innovative mining methods. Dr. Ramani has been a consultant to the United Nations, World Bank, and National Safety Council and has received numerous awards from academia and technical and professional societies. He was the 1995 president of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. He served on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Mine Health Research Advisory Committee (1991-1998). He was the chair of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Post Disaster Survival and Rescue (1979-1981) and a member of Health Research Panel of the NAS Committee on the Research Programs of the U.S. Bureau of Mines (1994). He was a member of the Department of Interior’s Advisory Board to the Director of U.S. Bureau of Mines (1995) and a member of the Secretary of Labor’s Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis (1995-96). More recently, he was a member of the NAS Committee on Technologies for the Mining Industries (2000-2001) and the NAS Committee on Coal Waste Impoundments (2001-2002). In 2002, he chaired the the Pennsylvania Governor’s Commission on Abandoned Mine Voids and Mine Safety that was set up immedi-
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Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ately following the Quecreek Mine inundation incident and rescue. Dr. Ramani is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. David Beerbower is vice president of safety at Peabody Energy Corporation, responsible for corporate-wide safety policies and programs and for compliance with federal mine safety and health laws and regulations. He has worked as a mining engineer and in various operations positions in the coal mining industry. Mr. Beerbower has served as chair of the Bituminous Coal Operators Association Health and Safety Committee, vice chair of the National Mining Association Health and Safety committee, and chair of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) Coal and Energy Division, and he is currently a board member of SME. Mr. Beerbower received a B.S. in mining engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. in manufacturing management from Washington University in St. Louis. Jefferey L. Burgess is director of the Division of Community, Environment and Policy at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. He also serves as adjunct associate professor in the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering at the University of Arizona. Dr. Burgess’s research interests include respiratory toxicology in firefighters and smoke inhalation victims, reduction of mining-related injuries and exposures, environmental arsenic exposure, and hazardous materials exposures, including methamphetamine laboratories. Dr. Burgess is the principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center-funded International Program for Mining Health and Safety as well as for research projects evaluating smoke exposure and arsenic exposure. Dr. Burgess received his M.D. and M.P.H. from the University of Washington. James W. Dearing is senior scientist at the Colorado Clinical Research Unit of Kaiser Permanente. Until 2006, he was professor and director of graduate studies for the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University. Dr. Dearing also serves as a research scientist with the Michigan Public Health Institute. His primary area of expertise is empirical testing and application of diffusion of innovation theory to problems of moving evidence-based programs and policies into practice. He has led research projects about community-based health system reform, mass media agenda setting, community health promotion planning, interorganizational networks, and organizational change. Dr. Dearing is currently coordinating a national team of diffusion researchers to design and study the purposive acceleration of effective interventions in health promotion and education reform. He holds a Ph.D. in communication theory and research from the University of Southern
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Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health California. Dr. Dearing serves on the National Research Council (NRC) committee that developed the framework for the evaluation of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH’s) research programs and has active research grants from the National Science Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Francis S. Kendorski is principal and vice president of Agapito Associates, Inc. He manages the Chicago area office and is responsible for all of its activities. His work has included mining research in ventilation, blasting, ground control, rock mechanics, and mining methods; underground longwall coal mine design and subsidence engineering; underground stone mine design and ground control; cause and origin investigations of tunnel and mine failures and floods; mine explosion investigations; and ground control studies. His assignments have taken him throughout the United States and Canada, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, New Zealand, Panama, Nicaragua, Trinidad, Chile, and India. Mr. Kendorski is a registered professional engineer in 11 states. He received his M.S. in geological engineering from the University of Arizona. His thesis was on the structural geology and rock mechanics of the rock masses at the underground Magma Copper San Manuel Mine in southern Arizona. Mr. Kendorski was the 2005 recipient of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration’s Rock Mechanics Award for his accomplishments in that area. Michael K. McCarter is chair and professor of the Mining Engineering Department at the University of Utah. He is also a licensed professional engineer in Utah. Dr. McCarter’s interests include geotechnical engineering, explosives and rock fragmentation, mine seismicity, surface mine planning, and instrumentation. In addition to his 33 years of experience in academia, Dr. McCarter has also held several positions, from trackman to planning engineer at Kennecot Copper Corporation. Dr. McCarter holds two patents and among other activities is currently serving as a member of the SME Task Force on Mining Education and as co-chair of the Institute on Mining Health, Safety and Research. Dr. McCarter received his Ph.D. in mining engineering from the University of Utah. David Ortlieb is assistant director for the United Steelworkers Health, Safety and Environment Department in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Ortlieb served as health and safety director for the International Chemical Workers Union for 13 years. He also was employed as health and safety director for the United Paperworkers International Union and for the Paper, Allied Industrial and Energy Workers International Union spanning a 10-year period. As a member of a nationwide union Emergency Response Team since 1996, Mr. Ortlieb has investigated serious and catastrophic
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Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health accidents in the paper, chemical, and mining industries. He has served on various advisory and steering committees, including the Business Council of Pennsylvania Labor-Management Committee on Hazardous Waste Disposal, the John Grey Institute Steering Committee for Petrochemical Industry Safety and Health (U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and the State of Ohio Governor’s Commission on the Storage and Use of Hazardous and Toxic Materials. Mr. Ortlieb earned his B.S. in industrial technology from State University College at Buffalo, New York. Susan B. Patton is vice chancellor for academic affairs and research and associate professor of mining engineering at Montana Tech. Dr. Patton has also worked as the general manager for Novak Engineering Consultants and a mining engineer for Pittsburgh and Midway Coal Mining Company. Her research interests include underground mine environment quality, mine reclamation, mine ventilation, and materials handling. Dr. Patton has taught several short courses on mine permitting, ventilation, and reclamation. She holds a Ph.D. in mining and environmental engineering from the University of Alabama. Robert G. Peluso is a self-employed consultant. He is currently working with the Paragon Technical Services, Inc., on developing a toxic material profile for uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters. Over the past seven years he has provided expert consultation to Drager Safety, Inc. and Eagle Research Group and health and safety litigation consultation to three legal firms. Prior to private consulting, Mr. Peluso worked with the Mine Safety and Health Administration in the Department of Labor. Mr. Peluso’s health and safety expertise includes the areas of respirable dust, ventilation, toxic materials physical agents, refuse handling, fires, and explosions. He received his M.S. in industrial hygiene from the University of Pittsburgh. Mr. Peluso is nominated for his expertise in disaster response and prevention. Pramod Thakur is the manager of coal seam degasification at CONSOL Energy, Inc., and a centennial fellow at The Pennsylvania State University. He has served CONSOL for 31 years and has been mainly responsible for diversifying the company into gas operations. He is internationally recognized as an expert in coal seam degasification and coalbed methane production; in 2004, he was awarded the Howard Hartman Award, the Society of Mining Engineering’s highest award for lifetime contributions to mine ventilation engineering. His lifetime endeavors have minimized the risk of coal mine explosions in the United States as well as many other countries. Dr. Thakur has conducted extensive research on coal seam degasification, respirable dust control, and diesel exhaust control. He successfully managed research projects costing a total of $90 million, leading to the develop-
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Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ment and application of four different techniques for coal seam degasification (i.e., underground horizontal drilling to a depth of 3,000 feet; vertical gob wells [with the U.S. Bureau of Mines]; massive hydraulic fracing of coal seams; horizontal hole drilling from the surface for coalbed methane production). The second major area of Dr. Thakur’s efforts is to minimize the risk of coal worker’s pneumoconiosis (black lung). He did extensive research on sampling and measurement of respirable dust and engineering control by water infusion, electrostatic charging of water particles, and the use of surfactants. Dr. Thakur has been a member of SME American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) since 1969 and was elected a fellow of the Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa. He holds six U.S. patents in the areas of coal seam degasification and drilling equipment designs. Dr. Thakur received his Ph.D. in mining engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. Jeffrey S. Vipperman is associate professor of mechanical engineering, associate professor of bioengineering, and director of the Sound, Systems, and Structures Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Vipperman’s research spans the many related disciplines of dynamics, vibrations, controls, analog and digital signal processing, autonomous system health monitoring, smart materials and systems, acoustics, hearing loss prevention, and structural acoustics. Nearly 60 publications and almost 70 presentations have been authored by Dr. Vipperman, including many related to hearing loss prevention in the mining industry. He served in the past as a mechanical engineer at NIOSH’s Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, where he conducted research in the areas of hearing loss prevention and engineering noise controls. In addition, he has collaborated with the NIOSH Alice Hamilton Laboratories to evaluate and characterize the exposure to impulse-impact noise in manufacturing settings. He has consulted for numerous corporations and private and government laboratories and chairs an American National Standards (ANSI) group in acoustics. Dr. Vipperman received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Duke University. James L. Weeks is senior scientist at Advanced Technologies and Laboratories International, Inc., a consulting firm in Germantown, Maryland, as well as an adjunct associate professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and at the School of Public Health at George Washington University. Dr. Weeks served in various roles within the Occupational Health and Safety Department of the United Mine Workers of America for more than 10 years and continues to serve as a consultant to them today. Among other activities, he has evaluated dust exposure in coal mines, fatal injuries in coal mines, quartz exposure in metal and nonmetal mines, noise exposure in construction, beryllium exposure among
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Mining Safety and Health Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health demolition workers, and heat exposure among workers using chemical protective clothing. He has more than 50 publications in the peer-reviewed literature. Dr. Weeks is certified in the comprehensive practice of industrial hygiene and experienced in the analysis of exposure and injury data. He has worked in the mining, construction, and manufacturing industries and is senior editor of Preventing Occupational Disease and Injury (Second Edition, 2004), a book widely used by occupational health professional and others. Dr. Weeks received a B.S. in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in science, technology, and public policy from Case Western Reserve University, and M.A. and Sc.D. degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health.
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