Mineral processing expert joins mining engineering faculty

August 22, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Barbara J. Arnold joined the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as a professor of practice in mining engineering on Aug. 1.

Barbara Arnold

Barbara J. Arnold joined the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as a professor of practice in mining engineering on Aug. 1, 2020.

IMAGE: Courtesy Barbara Arnold

“Dr. Arnold brings with her a wealth of experience in the critical areas of mineral processing and sustainable mining operations,” said Department Head Sanjay Srinivasan. “She is recognized as a leading expert in these areas and is a strong proponent of the concept of ‘zero-waste’ mining that has enormous implications for the future of mining operations. We are excited to welcome Dr. Arnold to our department and college and are confident that she will be a key player in the recently established Center for Critical Minerals.”

In addition to teaching responsibilities, Arnold will develop a strong research program in tailings management, critical minerals, rare earth elements and the application of data science to coal and mineral processing value chains.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Arnold join the department’s mining engineering faculty,” said Sekhar Bhattacharyya, mining engineering program chair. “I am enthusiastic about the prospect of long-term value addition through the expertise and industry reach of Dr. Arnold.”

Arnold is the founder and president of PrepTech Inc., an engineering services and mineral processing equipment company located in Apollo, Pennsylvania, which offers engineering services to coal companies.

Arnold, a registered professional engineer, served as president of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Inc. (SME) in 2018. She has a long history of service to SME: She previously served on the board of directors, as chair of the Coal and Energy Division and as the SME Foundation’s president. She was named a fellow by the society (formerly distinguished member), and was awarded the J. W. Woomer Young Engineer Award, and the Percy Nicholls Award in recognition of her important contributions to the area of coal preparation, in particular, flotation, coal properties and coal handling.

She is the current secretary of the Coal Preparation Society of America, also serving as their representative to the International Organizing Committee for the International Coal Preparation Congress.

Arnold has authored more than 50 publications, as well as numerous technical reports. In addition, she is on the editorial boards of several industry journals.

Arnold was awarded the Frank F. Aplan Award, named in honor of Penn State’s distinguished professor emeritus of metallurgy and mineral processing, from the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers for her “R&D contributions and accomplishments in all facets of coal processing, particularly froth flotation, computer simulation, flowsheet development and plant evaluation.”

Arnold was named an Alumni Fellow, the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association, in 2011. She previously served as president of Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences (GEMS), the college’s alumni society. She received the college’s Robert Stefanko Distinguished Achievement Award for Mining Engineering in 2007 and the GEMS Alumni Achievement Award in 2008.

In 2008, she established the Barbara J. Arnold Global Initiatives Program Support Fund at Penn State New Kensington that promotes cultural awareness and diversity enhancement.

Arnold received her bachelor's degree in mining engineering, and her master's and doctoral degrees in mineral processing, all from Penn State.

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Last Updated August 23, 2020