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Networking & Development Opportunities for Students

Check out conference events specifically geared to provide you with an experience set to inspire you in your studies and able to open the doors to future prospects.

SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition: Final Presentations

Sunday, February 25, 2024 | 7:00 am – 3:00 pm

The SME/NSSGA Student Design competition is a two-phase, team-based competition involving an aggregate mining technical design and an oral presentation. The technical design phase takes place during the first semester of the school year on each team’s campus. In the second phase of the competition, students have one weekend to solve a design problem and present their findings to a panel of judges. The competition is designed to simulate an engineering project prepared by an engineering group for a company. Past problems have highlighted the challenges of mine planning, plant design, reserve modeling, and feasibility analysis.


SME Metallic Student Design Competition: Final Presentations

Sunday, February 25, 2024 | 7:00 am – 5:00 pm

The Metallic Student Design Competition (SDC) is a two-phase, team-based hard rock competition focused on the evaluation of a mineral deposit (precious/base metal or industrial mineral) and the development of a potential flowsheet and process design.

The Metallic competition is conducted in two phases. The first phase is the technical design phase, which takes place during the first semester of the school year on each team’s campus. In the second phase of the competition, students have one weekend to develop a solution to the Phase 2 problem and present their findings to a panel of judges.


Student Engagement Breakfast

Sunday, February 25, 2024 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am

The Student Engagement Breakfast gives students the unique opportunity to connect with industry leaders and learn special insight into new technologies used in the mining industry today. The breakfast is sponsored annually by mining companies to showcase emerging technology and innovation. All student attendees are invited to the breakfast. Contact Mona Vandervoort at for more information.


SME Student Forum

Sunday, February 25, 2024 | Noon – 1:30 pm

Join us and our executive sponsor Newmont for an exciting lunch and interactive program. Celebrate with your peers as we announce the winner of the SME Outstanding Student Chapter Contest, the Student Chapter MEC Award, and the 2023 Student Membership Challenge winner.


Graduate Student Poster Contest

Sunday, February 25, 2024 | 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Monday, February 26, 2024 | 11:00am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | 11:00am – 5:30 pm

The contest provides an opportunity for graduate students to showcase their work in a visible setting and to compete for cash prizes based on the quality of their posters as determined by a team of judges.


SME and Komatsu Student & Professor Engagement Reception

Monday, February 26, 2024 | 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Come one, come all to the favorite student event at the SME Annual Conference & Expo each year! Watch for more details coming soon!


Student First Aid/CPR Training

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Organized by the SME Young Leaders and the Health & Safety Division

Hands-on First aid essentials training for students in the mining industry, in coordination with the Health and Safety Division. This training aims to cover all major aspects of First Aid and CPR using modern equipment and practical knowledge from experienced safety experts in the Mining Industry.


MPD Student Poster Contest

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 | 8:00 am – Noon

The Mineral & Metallurgical Processing Division invites all graduate and undergraduate students with a research topic related to mineral processing or extractive metallurgy to participate in the MPD Student Poster Contest! You will have an invaluable opportunity to present and highlight your work in a fun environment, and network with industry and academic professionals. All accepted contestants receive complimentary tickets to the MPD Luncheon and are awarded attractive cash prizes of $125 up to $1,000.

  • Abstract submission deadline January 31
  • Hang poster in foyer outside MPD Luncheon ballroom 7:30 am – 8:00 am
  • Remain with poster for judging and to answer questions 8:00 am – 11:30 am
  •  Winners announced during MPD Luncheon 12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

For contest guidelines, visit:

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The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) brings together the mining and mineral industry’s brightest and most dedicated professionals. Over 13,000 global members advance their careers with world-class technical resources, educational programs, networking opportunities, and professional development tools from SME. Our members are focused on sharing best practices on safety, environmental stewardship, and moving mining forward. SME. Inspiring mining professionals worldwide.

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