Emily Sarver, assistant professor of mining and minerals engineering at Virginia Tech, has received one of the first two nationwide Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration Career Development Grants.

The Career Development Grant program is one part of the society's new strategic effort aimed at building and securing the faculty pipeline for mining and minerals engineering. The honor is patterned after the National Science Foundation's CAREER award program, and provides support to rising stars in this field.

Sarver, who joined the Virginia Tech faculty in spring 2011, has already been involved in more than $2.8 million in sponsored research, with her personal share exceeding $2 million. Her research and teaching focuses on mine-generated environmental contaminants and the responsible development of mineral and energy resources.

"Clearly, the global mining industry is in the midst of an intentional paradigm shift towards more holistic, responsible approaches to business. The goal is to operate in a manner that actually contributes to the development of sustainable economies, environments, and communities. As an environmentally and socially conscious citizen of the mining community, I am optimistic and committed to this vision," Sarver said.

Sarver will use the award, valued at a maximum of $300,000 over three years, to support her research and teaching in her areas of concentration.

She is also an adjunct faculty member with Virginia Tech's Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She obtained her Ph.D. in this department in 2010 after working with Marc Edwards, an internationally recognized expert on water treatment issues and the only Virginia Tech faculty member to receive a MacArthur Fellow award.

To date, Sarver has served as the committee chair or co-chair for two doctoral candidates and two master's students in three different departments; and an additional eight graduate students are pursuing degrees under her advisement at present.

She received her bachelor's degree in mining and minerals engineering and her master's degree from Virginia Tech. In 2004 she was named the outstanding senior in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering.

Among her other honors, the Burkhart Mining Society at Virginia Tech named Sarver the 2015 Teacher of the Year. She was an invited speaker for the university's 2010 Fall Graduate Commencement Ceremony. She was also a recipient of a Charles E. Via Fellowship from 2007 until 2010, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship from 2004 until 2009. In 2006 she earned the W.V. Power Graduate Award in materials science and engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

Sarver is a member of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, the American Water Works Association, the Society of Mining Professors, and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration.

The other recipient of a 2015 development grant from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration is also a three-time Virginia Tech graduate of the mining and minerals engineering department. He is Aaron Nobel, currently an assistant professor of mining engineering at West Virginia University.