Aaron Noble, assistant professor of mining engineering at West Virginia University, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award.

The award was established in 1945 in honor of one of the Institute’s founders and honorary members. It recognizes the best paper published by AIME societies’ members where the lead author is under 35 years of age.

Noble’s paper, “The Partition Moment of Inertia: Techno-Economic Partition Curve Analysis with Applications to Coal Separations,” describes a new way to evaluate separation efficiency in mineral processing equipment. It appeared in the June 2016 edition of “Minerals & Metallurgical Processing.”

“The novelty of my method is that it combines the technical factors that engineers and plant operators understand with the economic factors better understood by accountants and executives,” Noble said. “The method makes better use of existing plant data ensuring that all stakeholders are speaking the same language.”

The award will be presented on February 22, 2017, at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration’s 2017 Annual Conference and Expo and Colorado Mining Association’s 119th National Western Mining Conference Banquet in Denver, Colorado.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition from AIME,” Noble said. “I know that the award is very competitive, and some of the prior recipients include great young minds not only in mining engineering, but also in petroleum and metallurgical engineering. I am delighted to bring this great recognition to WVU.”

Noble received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in mining engineering from Virginia Tech. His research focuses on the analysis of mineral processing systems and particulate separation technologies and he holds two patents for energy efficient equipment designs.