Newtrax Gives Back to the Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines Engineering Days

Colorado School of Mines (CSM) is an academic leader in mining and geophysical engineering. The courses at CSM are rigorous and rewarding. Some of the most successful leaders in the mining industry have roots in this institution.

Despite its high standards in academic study and professional placement, CSM student are welcomed to campus with an awareness of the campus traditions and history, unique to any other university in the globe. Although the academic foundations of the campus are found underground in the study of earth’s resources and engineering, the aspirations of every CSM student is to find success in continuous improvement of these timely skills and the knowledge which comes with a CSM degree.

Although the curriculum can be challenging, students and faculty at CSM also take the time every year to celebrate the traditions of the campus.

“Since 1934, CSM students have put the stress of studying aside each spring to celebrate Engineering Days (E-Days), uniting the local Mines community in honor of our unique history, traditions, and unflappable Oredigger spirit!”

CSM held it’s E-Days events this past weekend, April 13-15.  Among the festivities were the “Mining Contests” which allow engineering students to experience some of what many miners do every day at work. The contest includes four events; hand-mucking (shoveling gravel into an ore car), swede-sawing (cutting a piece of timber with a crosscut saw), hand-steeling (drilling holes by hand with a chisel-bit and a hammer) and jackleg drilling (using a pneumatic handheld machine to drill a hole in a rock).

Newtrax COO and CSM graduate, Larry Clark, has been “professionally” competing in these events for nearly four decades. He has been volunteering as judge and coordinator for the E-Days jackleg drilling mining event for over ten years.  It is a great opportunity for Mr. Clark to engage with the next generation of engineering talent, encourage them to consider mining as a career, and to give back to an industry and university which has been so rewarding for him.

This year, fifteen students from various disciplines were given a safety introduction, instruction on operating a jackleg and the bone-rattling experience of drilling a hole in a rock. The jackleg, in this case a Gardner-Denver model 83, weighs about 140 lbs with the 4-foot drill steel inserted. The student must lift the jackleg from the ground, insert the steel, move the drill to the rock 10ft away, “collar” the hole (get the drill bit seated in the rock), drill the full length of the steel, pull the drill and steel out of the rock and place the drill and steel back to where they began. No small feat for anyone unfamiliar with this piece of equipment.

The students receive instruction before they begin the event that focuses on the safe operation of the equipment to ensure that safety is top-of-mind. It is with great pride that, in the many events Mr. Clark has judged at CSM, no one has suffered any injury (aside from some bruised egos).

Newtrax employees are pleased to assist in these types of events. We believe strongly in “giving back” to our communities and institutions, in the same manner many of our mining clients give back to theirs.