Michael Karmis is Stonie Barker Professor of the Mining and Minerals Engineering Department, Virginia Tech and director of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research. He earned his BS and PhD degrees in Mining Engineering from Strathclyde University, Scotland. He has authored more than 150 scientific papers, reports, Proceedings volumes and textbooks. He has directed or co-directed about 40 major research projects and has served as advisor to 30 post-graduate students. Dr. Karmis has been active within the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), has served for 10 years on the SME Board of Directors, and he is currently the 2002 SME President. A professional engineer in the USA, and a licensed engineer (Eur Ing) in Europe, Dr. Karmis has been active in consulting with the minerals industry, consulting companies, government organizations and legal firms. He is a Distinguished Member of the SME, a Fellow of the Institute of Quarrying and a Fellow of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. He has received numerous recognitions and awards from major scientific, professional and industrial organizations.