Eastern Recipient - Gireesh S.S. Raman
Gireesh S. S. Raman is a PhD candidate at the Pennsylvania State University working in the field of mining and mineral processing. Raman received his Bachelor's degree in Mining Engineering from the College of Engineering Guindy, one of the top technical schools in India. He was at the top of his graduating class and was the recipient of the Working Internships in Science and Engineering (WISE) scholarship to pursue a research internship in Germany. During his undergraduation, he has presented multiple papers on eco-friendly mining and processing. For his undergraduate thesis, he developed an expert system for environmental impact assessment which offered a potential to reduce the time consumed in the environmental clearance process for mining projects by many folds. Having entered the PhD program with the Funds for Excellence in Graduate Recruitment scholarships, he is currently investigating the effects of various operating parameters on the pressure filtration of coal refuse slurries, as pressure filtration offers a potential to eliminate slurry impoundments, reduce the surface area requirement for waste storage, and reduce the overall water consumption of the plant.
He is also the recipient of multiple awards from The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration which includes the Coal and Energy Division Scholarship, The Environmental Division Scholarship, WAAIM Scholarship (2015 and 2016). He has also been recognized with the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, The Charles B. Darrow Award in Fuel Science, and the Frank and Rusy Rosinko Graduate Fellowship from The Pennsylvania State University.
Mid-Continent Recipient - Poonam Giri
Poonam Giri holds a Bachelor of Science from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science from Indiana University. She is currently entering her final year of Doctoral research in the Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University. As a hydro-geochemist, her research examines the attenuation neutralization capacity for limestone-based Abandoned Mine Land (AML) treatments. Having gained expertise in hydrogeology, geochemistry, and numerical modeling through her studies, she developed a numerical model simulating the physio-chemical conditions within limestone-based acid mine drainage (AMD) treatments. As an intern with the Indiana Geological Survey, she has applied her models to an abandoned mine land (AML) site in southwestern IN in order to help target the location for a new treatment. The project demonstrated that the attainable level of effluent alkalinity is highly dependent on the site-specific influent pH and mineral acidity, which fluctuate considerably with seasonal discharges, as well as the reactivity of limestone surface, the abundance of secondary mineral precipitates, and the flow rate through the system. She has also previously interned with the U.S. Department of Energy, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron.
Her ambition is to work for a consulting company as a reclamation engineer. She would like to continue developing models to aid in AML reclamation and environmental remediation. In her free time, Poonam enjoys swimming, being outdoors and cooking.
Western Recipient - Meg Doolittle
My interest in abandoned mines stemmed from my work with active mines on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. There were a total of nine ghost towns on or near the forest and many of the miners I was working with were re-mining areas that had been mined decades ago. I took the Abandoned Mine Land Safety course with the Forest Service in Wallace, ID and explored a number of closure solutions to the vast amount of abandoned mines around me. I was involved in some inspections of mines with bat gates on Hells Canyon, helped install and fabricate a bat gate outside Cle Elum, WA, and am living in Butte with a lot of mining history. I have worked both with the government and private sector companies.
At the University of Montana, my bachelor's of geology had a focus on hard rocks and structural geology. This allowed me to be mindful of the geology behind heavily mined areas. After working for a few years, I found a desire to be more qualified to work in reclamation and remediation to prevent the massive problems associated with many abandoned mines. I am currently studying geological engineering at Montana Tech, with a focus in geochemistry and specifically acid rock drainage. My thesis is on naturally occurring acid rock drainage, but could easily be applied to acid mine drainage in abandoned mine land clean up