Professor Emeritus Raja Ramani inducted into National Mining Hall of Fame

Courtney Robinson
May 21, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Raja V. Ramani, professor emeritus of mining and geo-environmental engineering, will be inducted into the National Mining Hall of Fame (NMHF) on Oct. 23 at the annual National Mining Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. Ramani’s selection into the NMHF is in “recognition of a lifelong commitment to education and research that has influenced a generation of mining industry leaders.”

“I was humbled, but more than that, my first reaction was surprise,” said Ramani, reflecting on the induction announcement. “When I came from India in 1966, I didn't even know what a hall of fame was. Over the years I have nominated people to the hall who have contributed a lot to mining over their lifetimes, as I had a sense of their extraordinary achievement. I am really humbled to get elected.”

Ramani joined the Penn State faculty in 1970 and devoted most of his career to educating mining industry leaders through his more than 50 years at the University. He served as head of the Department of Mineral Engineering (the predecessor to the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering) from 1987 to 1998 and chair of the Mineral Engineering Management  section from 1974 to 2001. In 1998, he was appointed as the first endowed chair in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the George H. Jr. and Anne B. Deike Chair in Mining Engineering.

"The department is very proud of Dr. Ramani’s induction into the class of 2021 National Mining Hall of Fame inductees. His half-century of service at Penn State and his outstanding contributions to the mining profession ranks him among the most influential faculty not just at the University, but also among mining departments, the world over,” said Sanjay Srinivasan, head of the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering. “As a true, lifelong educator and someone who has given back so much to the mining community, it’s impossible to imagine our world-renowned mining program without Dr. Ramani.”

Ramani’s commitment to safety, productivity and environmental issues extended beyond Penn State through numerous national and international appointments and consultations, including the United Nations and World Bank. He has served on more than 40 committees of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Engineering, including as its president, president of the SME Foundation, and chairman of the Coal Division. He was a member of the SME board of directors, SME Foundation board of trustees, and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers’ board of trustees. In 2005, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Ramani described chance meetings with prior students as one of the most rewarding parts of his career, even after retiring more than 20 years ago.

“I'm very proud when someone comes up to me at a roadside market and says ‘You don't know me, but I took your P.E. short course four years ago.’ That's the fun of teaching,” he said. “It makes me feel like there was nowhere else I could have gone to make a more meaningful and satisfying contribution.”

One of four inductees this year into the limited NMHF, Ramani will join six previously inducted Penn State personnel: Frank Aplan, George Deike Sr., Howard Hartman, David Mitchell, John T. Ryan Sr. and Edward Steidle.

“I'm always impressed with the number of Penn Staters in the Hall of Fame,” said Ramani. “Penn State is recognized as producing people who do hard work and I am very happy to join the list of mining faculty in the hall — Mitchell, Steidle, Hartman, Falkie and Aplan — all with whom I can claim I have spent some time.”

Ramani earned his bachelor of science degree in mining engineering with honors in 1962 from the Indian School of Mines. He joined Bengal Coal Co. before immigrating to the U.S. to earn his master of science degree in 1968 and doctorate in 1970, both in mining engineering from Penn State.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 21, 2021