Colorado Section

The Colorado Section is a legally constituted unit of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), encompassing a specific geographical area. Our members are given the opportunity to network with their peers and hear valuable presentations through our activities.

Colorado Section Officers:

Chair: Melissa Chalona
mchalona@enganalytics.com

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Melissa Chalona is an Environmental Engineer with Engineering Analytics in Fort Collins, specializing in regulatory compliance and permitting. She is passionate about minings necessity, complexity, and sustainability.  Melissa served many years on the Larimer County Environment Advisory Board and the Colorado Governor's Air Quality Control Commission. She has been part of  Colorado SME for four years as secretary and vice-chair. She is an avid traveler and loves the outdoors.

Vice Chair: Eric Poeck
epoeck@bgcengineering.ca


Eric is a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines and currently works for BGC Engineering in the field of mining rock mechanics. He joined the SME Colorado Section leadership in 2020 to help encourage local participation in events and promote the scholarships that benefit students in the mining discipline.

Secretary: Susana Orellana
susana.orellana@wsp.com


Susana is a geotechnical engineer and currently works for WSP on the Mine Waste team. Her work experience focuses on the design, geotechnical site investigation, and construction of tailings storage facilities, heap leach pads, and waste dam deposits. This term, she will be filling the role of Secretary for the SME CO Section leadership. 


Treasurer: Nick Gow
nick.gow@patersoncooke.com


Nick is a metallurgical consultant with Paterson and Cooke focusing on early-stage project development  and late-stage/brownfield process optimization. He also serves as a MMSA Qualified Professional for Mineral Processing, ABET program evaluator, CN code auditor, and research associate at the Colorado School of Mines.

Publicity: Maddy Sova
madeline.sova@wsp.com

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Maddy Sova is a geotechnical engineer at WSP. Her work experience is focused on tailings, mine waste, and heap leach facilities. She is looking forward to serving the SME CO Section as the Publicity Director and connecting with the section members!

Programs: Richard Schwering
rschwering@hardrock-consulting.com

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Richard is a Resource Geologist with Hard Rock Consulting, LLC. This term he will serving as the Programs Chair for the Colorado Section. He has previously served as the Program Chair, Vice Chair, Chair, and Past Chair for the Colorado Section of SME. 


Director-at-Large: Kristina Huss
kristina.huss@newmont.com

 

Director-at-Large: Amanda Davis
amanda.davis@maptek.com

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Amanda is a Technical Services Manager and Engineer at Maptek in Golden. She grew up in a mining family, working the mines of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. She graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering and a minor in Business and Economics. Amanda has field experience in underground hard rock and coal and spent time doing survey, expansion design and 3D modeling in New Mexico and Alabama. She has served on the SME Colorado Section board for many years and is currently serving as the Vice Chair of the section.

Director-at-Large Pro Tem: Kevin Moran
kevin.moran@hexagon.com




Kevin is a Mining Engineering Colorado School of Mines graduate and is a Business Development Manager for Hexagon in Golden, CO. He currently focuses on supplying Drill and Blast technologies, like automated fragmentation analysis, post-blast movement monitoring, and automated drilling systems within the USA and Canada. Before joining the Colorado Section of SME, Kevin held roles as the Chair of the Northern California and St. Louis Local Chapters of SME. SME has greatly impacted his life, and he wishes to continue his payback to others by staying involved.
Past Chair: Heather Lammers
hlammers@mines.edu

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Heather is a geological and mining engineer, currently serving as a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Mining Engineering Department at the Colorado School of Mines. Her goal with SME is to promote professional development, networking, and knowledge sharing opportunities for students, young professionals, and mining industry experts.
 


Golf Tournament: Alex Holtzapple
alex@metsim.com


Alex is a metallurgical engineer by background, currently serving as the Managing Director at Metsim International.  As the Golf Chair, his goal with the Colorado section of SME is to continue to build upon the already great fundraiser golf tournament, bringing in new sponsors and players each year, and increasing available scholarship funds.


View the list of past section chairs here. (PDF)


SME Bylaws:

SME & DRMS Collaboration:
The SME Colorado Section and the State of Colorado Department of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS) developed a website, Reclamation Colorado http://www.reclamationcolorado.com/, to provide information on regulations governing the reclamation of mine sites in Colorado that were active after 1975, as well as currently active mine sites in Colorado. The site includes descriptions of the various mining phases along with some of the regulatory and permitting requirements for each phase. Additionally, the website includes pictures of the successful mine site reclamation project in Colorado.

Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) Committee:

  • Contact MEC Chair, Dick Beach at dickbeach@mines.edu
  • Regular meetings are 1st Friday of each month. Location is determined by the Committee Chairperson
  • If you would like a speaker to come to your classroom or civic group, contact the Section's MEC Committee at speakersbureau@smecoloradosection.org

Minerals Processing Division (MPD) Committee

Colorado School of Mines (Mines) Student Chapter:

  • The Mines SME Student Chapter is an active organization on campus working to raise awareness about mining within the community, as well as on campus.
  • The section organizes many different activities to improve networking with industry professionals as well as to build relationships between companies and our members.  
  • If you have any questions, contact the Student Chapter Industry Advisor, Kevin Moran, kevin.moran@hexagon.com

Colorado State University (CSU) Student Chapter:

  • The CSU SME student chapter is a new organization on campus working to raise awareness about mining within the community, as well as on campus.
  • The section organizes many different activities to improve networking with industry professionals as well as to build relationships between companies and our members.  
  • If you have any questions, contact the Student Chapter Industry Advisor, Alan Cram, abcram08@gmail.com 

Links and Current News: