Indian-American inducted into National Mining Hall of Fame

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Professor Emeritus Raja Ramani of Penn State University who has been inducted to National Mining Hall of Fame 2021. Photo: eme.psu.edu

Raja V. Ramani, professor emeritus of mining and geo-environmental engineering at Penn State University, 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 was one of four inductees this year.

A May 21, 2021 press release from Penn State quotes the NMHF reason for selecting Ramani, saying his induction is a “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,” Ramani is quoted saying by Penn State. “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.”

Another mining expert named to the NMHF was Dr. Roshan Boman Bhappu (1926-2019) in 2020.

Ramani joined the Penn State faculty in 1970, and served as head of the Department of 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, in the press release.

Ramani 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.

A 1962 graduate of the Indian School of Mines, Ramani joined Bengal Coal Co. before immigrating to the U.S. where he earned his master of science degree and doctorate from Penn State.

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