CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia University is one of 16 winners of research grants for mine health and safety issues.
The Alpha Foundation, which was set up under a deal with U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, announced Monday it’s awarding $10 million to numerous projects at universities across the country.
“I want to put top-notched scientists to work on making mines safer,” said Goodwin. “That’s what these research grants do.”
The foundation was set up by Alpha Natural Resources as part of a $210 million legal settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice following the April 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.
Under the settlement, Alpha set aside $48 million for foundation research grants. This is the first round of projects funded through the grant.
“They’re an investment in the health and safety of our miners and I believe they’ll yield life saving innovations,” said Goodwin.
The funded projects at WVU will be an integrated Surface Mining Safety System and an Enhanced Mobile Equipment Learning and Safety Technology Demonstration.
The following 14 universities were also awarded funding for projects: Colorado School of Mines, University of Kentucky, University of Utah, Virginia Tech, Northeastern University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Pittsburgh, University of Arizona and the University of Connecticut Health Center.
United Steelworkers was the only non-academic winner.