Michael Karmis, professor and former Stonie Barker Chair of the Department Mining and Minerals Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1978, Karmis made significant contributions to responsible mining through his work in rock mechanics and ground control, health and safety, sustainable development mining practices, carbon sequestration, and critical mineral recovery.

He also served as the director of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, a statewide interdisciplinary study and research facility located at Virginia Tech. In this capacity, he was responsible for research and analysis of Virginia’s energy trends as well as the examination of socio-economic implications related to energy and coal and gas development and associated environmental impacts. He became a recognized expert on decreased carbon footprints through effective carbon management technologies.

Michael Karmis with legislators
At its spring meeting, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors honored former mining and minerals engineering professor Michael Karmis (second from left) with emeritus status. Since his retirement in December, he has also been recognized by the Virginia House and Senate for 40 years of service to the commonwealth. Recently, mining department head Kray Luxbacher (at far left) hosted a reception for Karmis that was attended by state Del. Jason Ballard, R-Pearisburg, (second from right), and Sen. Travis Hackworth, R-Richlands (at far right). Photo by Tonia Moxley for Virginia Tech.

Throughout his career, Karmis held leadership positions in several professional organizations, including president of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration; president of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers; and secretary general of the Society of Mining Professors (Societät der Bergbaukunde).

In 2012, Karmis received the first Gunter Fettweis Award from the international Society of Mining Professors in recognition for his accomplishments in education, research, and professional service. He also received an honorary degree from the Scientific Council of Moscow State Mining University in Russia in 2010.

In the classroom, Karmis taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses and advised numerous students on master’s degree and Ph.D. dissertations, helping them develop successful careers in both academic and industrial settings.

Karmis received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

Related stories

Former energy center director prospects for Appalachian opportunity

Seven universities form Appalachian energy, environment research initiative

Coal and Energy Center at Virginia Tech selected for study on injection of carbon dioxide into storage reservoirs

Share this story