Timothy W. Beck (SME)
AIME Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award in 2013
Timothy W. Beck is a Research Engineer with the NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR). He is a part of the Dust Control Team within the Dust, Ventilation, and Toxic Substances Branch. His research focuses on field and laboratory development and evaluation of dust control technologies for the underground coal mining environment.
Prior to working at OMSHR, Timothy was employed by TXU Mining Company (now Luminant) as an Associate Engineer at the Big Brown Mine. In this position, Timothy worked on multiple projects related to improving operations at the surface lignite mine. These projects varied from mitigation of bottom ash disposal sites to supervision of a lignite production crew.
Joining OMSHR in 2003, Timothy has researched longwall, continuous mining, and roof bolting dust control strategies. He has performed numerous full-scale laboratory tests to characterize dust and gas behaviors at the face of a simulated continuous mining entry. These tests have evaluated the relationships between many factors, including: external spray usage, water pressure, spray angle, curtain setback distance, entry air quantity, and scrubber fan capacity. These tests have built on field studies of similar conditions, providing insights into practical dust suppression and methane abatement techniques.
In the area of roof bolter dust control, Timothy has published several papers evaluating engineering controls and innovative drilling techniques. The specific topics include supplying filtered air to roof bolter operators, improving dust collection during drilling, and reducing dust collector emissions with dust collection bags and water exhaust conditioners. Most recently, Timothy has completed an evaluation of a bit sleeve device for controlling drill hole dust emissions. This research has been instrumental in stimulating industry adoption of newly identified technologies to reduce dust emissions and worker exposure.
Presently Timothy is updating the full-scale longwall simulation laboratory at OMSHR, redesigning and replacing the mockup longwall shearer with a modern unit with advanced instrumentation. These changes will allow for finer control and more comprehensive monitoring of test parameters. This new model is expected to continue high-quality, relevant evaluations of longwall dust controls for many years to come.
A member of SME since 1997, Timothy is a graduate of University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering. He is currently completing a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental and Occupational Health from University of Pittsburgh with a Certificate in Health Risk Assessment. His prior awards include the John T. Boyd Memorial Young Engineer’s Award from the Pittsburgh Section of SME and the J.W. Woomer Award for Engineering Professionalism and the Robert Stefanko Best Paper Award from SME’s Coal & Energy Division.