Surface Mining is both a methods and design oriented course. It is assumed that most of the material that will be taught will be the first time you have encountered the material. The class is, however, highly oriented to preparing you for professional practice in the environmentally and economically sound extraction of mineral resources. As a result, after basic orientation to the topic of surface mining the balance of the class tends to look at selected topics in the depth needed to begin practice, rather than at a broad overview of topics. As a result also, tests are design oriented.
The topics covered in the class begin with lectures on theory, and general principles. The Topical Outline Button on this web site provides a list of readings that may be examined to provide further insights or reinforce concepts taught in lecture.
For each topic, following lectures and readings on theory, a series of example problems are done to show how principles might be applied and how calculations are done. The examples given in class are reproduced on the department web page so that you may spend your time focusing on understanding, rather than desperately engaging in a writing speed contest with the instructor. The web site contains exercises, some with model solutions, and others without.
This class is not especially demanding as far as math is concerned. Most actual calculations will not require operations with any more difficulty than raising a number to a power, or using a trig function. Much is nothing more than addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. There are less than a half dozen regular formulas used in the class. The tricks and complexities in the class involve converting an engineering "story problem" into a series of calculations, and dealing with several factors that could control the production rate without knowing in advance which one is actually limiting.