The program is administered by the University of Kentucky Graduate School. Joseph Sottile, Ph.D., Director of Undergraduate Studies, serves as the MHS program director. He also serves on the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Mining Sector Council. Thomas, Novak, Ph.D., PE, Department Chair, and Alliance Coal Chair, provides departmental oversight of the program. Prior to joining the University of Kentucky, Dr. Novak was the Director of Science and Technology for NIOSH’s Office of Mine Safety and Health Research. In 2004, Dr. Novak was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his work in electrical safety. Additional faculty members include those listed below.


Faculty Member Appointments Areas of Expertise
Joseph Sottile Professor, Mining Engineering, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director, Mine Health and Safety Training Program for the CARERC
  • Mine electrical systems, mine health and safety, electrical component incipient failure detection
  • Teaches Introduction to Mine Systems Analysis (MNG 335) Mine Power System Analysis (MNG 511), Mine Power System Protection (MNG 611), Electromechanics (EE 415G), Data Analysis and Design of Experiments (MNG 699) (new)
Thomas Novak Professor of Mining Engineering, Chair, Department of Mining Engineering, Alliance Coal Academic Chair
  • Electrical Systems, Mine Ventilation, Mine Health & Safety, Mine Ignition Prevention, Communications and Tracking
  • Teaches Mine Ventilation (MNG 341), Mining Engineering Economics (MNG 431), Industrial Automation and Control (MNG 520), Advanced Mine Health and Safety (MNG 599)
Zach Agioutantis Professor, Mining Engineering, Director of Graduate Studies, Mining Engineering Foundation Distinguished Chair
  • Data Management and Analysis, Rock Mechanics, Subsidence Engineering, Sustainable Development, Computer Applications for the Mining and Geotechnical Industry.
  • Teaches Underground Mine Design (MNG 351), Rock Mechanics (MNG 551), Graduate Seminar (MNG 771), Advanced Geomechanics I (MNG 555), Advanced Geomechanics II (MNG 655)
Jhon Silva Assistant Professor, Mining Engineering
  • Coal dust explosion mitigation, ground vibration, rock fragmentation, slope stability
  • Teaches Explosives and Blasting (MNG 331), Senior Mine Design Project I (MNG 591), Senior Mine Design Project II (MNG 592), Blast Instrumentation (MNG 621), Surface Mine Design (MNG 463), Advanced Blast Design (MNG 531)
Steven Schafrik Associate Professor, Mining Engineering
  • Performance computing applications, mine health and safety, respirable dust control
  • Teaches Fundamentals of Engineering Computing (EGR 102), Fundamentals of Mine Design (MNG 291)
Rick Honaker Professor, Mining Engineering
  • Coal Preparation, mineral processing, advanced physical processing, fine particle processing, automation and control, applied surface chemistry
  • Teaches Fundamentals of Mining Engineering (MNG 201), Coal Preparation Design (MNG 575), Mineral Processing Plant Design (MNG 580), Simulation of Mineral Processing Circuits (MNG 691)