Emeritus Professor awarded Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award in India

October 07, 2014

Raja V. Ramani, Emeritus Professor of Mining and GeoEnvironmental Engineering, and Emeritus George H. Jr. and Anne B. Deike Chair in Mining Engineering, was awarded the Fulbright - Nehru Distinguished Chair at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) for October 2014 to February 2015.

The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program awards are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Candidates are considered eminent scholars and have a significant publication and teaching record, according to the Fulbright website.

“Penn State’s commitment to building a global university, and in particular through the Global Engagement Network, and the support it receives from the faculty has impressed me to continue to be engaged in international activities although I retired in 2001,” Ramani said.

“Dr. Ramani is extremely deserving of this award,” said Michael Adewumi, vice provost for Global Programs. “He has made enormous contributions to Penn State’s global mission, and I am so very pleased that his contributions are being recognized with this award.”

The grant activities are broadly defined as teaching, advising, guest lecturing and interacting with faculty on program development and curriculum.

“There is almost a symbiotic relationship between growing human aspirations for enhancing quality of life and increased demands for energy, minerals, and materials and manifestations of such global problems as climate change, and solid and toxic wastes,” said Ramani. “In this project, I propose to use the three activities of the Fulbright-Nehru chair to advance education and research in such areas as energy, environment, resource conservation, mining and sustainable development through cooperative activities.”

“I hope that it will contribute immensely to enhance my own personal growth and ability to be of greater service to educational institutions in teaching and research in the United States, India and other countries in the future,” Ramani said.

A graduate of Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India, Ramani came to Penn State in 1966 after six years of engineering and managerial experience in underground coal mines in India. At Penn State, he was the chair of the Mineral Engineering Management program from 1974 to 2001, the Head of the Department of Mineral Engineering from 1987 to 1998 and the Director of the Miner Training Program from 1992 to 2001. He co-directed the Generic Mineral Technology Center on Respirable Dust from 1983 to 1998 and the Standard Oil Center of Excellence from 1983 to 1989.

Ramani has taught undergraduate, graduate and continuing education courses in mining engineering and mineral management. He has directed 80 graduate students to advanced degrees in mineral engineering and has authored more than 200 research papers and more than 50 research reports. Ramani has a wide range of research interests covering the health, safety, production, environmental and management aspects of mining operations. His research activities have involved theoretical and practical aspects, mathematical and computer modeling, and experimental work in the laboratory and mines. With funding from U.S. Bureau of Mines, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Science Foundation, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Surface Mining, and other federal and state agencies and industry, he has done extensive work in such areas as ventilation, airborne respirable dust control, mining methods, mine systems engineering, resource assessment, investment evaluation, cost control, human resource development, environmental engineering and mineral management.

Ramani has served as consultant to national and international agencies (United Nations, World Bank, National Safety Council, etc.) and to mining companies worldwide on health, safety, productivity and environmental issues. Ramani has been appointed to technical and advisory panels by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Department of Labor. In 2002, he chaired the PA Governor’s Commission on Abandoned Mine Voids and Mine Safety that was set up immediately following the Quecreek Mine inundation incident and rescue. He has chaired two committees for the National Research Council and has been a member of five more.

Ramani was the 1995 president of Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Inc. (SME). He was a member of the AIME Board of Trustees (1994-97) and the president of SME Foundation (2001-04). He is a member of several professional and technical societies associated with the mining profession both in the United States and abroad. From 1984 to 1987, he was the chair of the International Council for the Application of Computers in the Mineral Industry (APCOM).

Ramani was named a distinguished alumnus of the Indian School of Mines in 1978, and in 1997, was awarded the doctor of science degree (honoris causa) by the school. In 1988, he was elected a distinguished member of SME. In 1989, he was awarded a senior Fulbright Fellow Award to the Soviet Union and the Distinguished Achievement Award of the International Council for APCOM. He is the recipient of the Eavenson (1991), Stefanko (1993) and Hartman (1996) awards from SME, the Environmental Conservation (1990), Mineral Industry Education (1999) and Erskine Ramsay (2005) awards from AIME, and the Percy Nichols Joint Society Award (1992) from AIME-ASME.

At Penn State, he has received the Wilson Outstanding Teaching award (1987), Stefanko Distinguished Alumni Award (2003) and Charles Hosler Scholar Medal (2006). In 2000, he received the Thornton Medal from the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (London). In 2010, he was elected an Honorary Member of AIME. The first recipient (1986) of the Educational Excellence Award of the Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America in 2013, he received its Donald Kingery Memorial Award for his contributions to the health and safety of the miners. In 2013, he also received the Prof. S.K. Bose Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching Mining Engineering from the Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India.


Last Updated January 09, 2015