Alumna, engineering professor selected as honorary member of institute

Off the Wall pARTy

Barbara Arnold, pictured left, was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017 from Kevin Snider, chancellor of Penn State New Kensington. She was recently given honorary membership with the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME), which is one of the highest honors bestowed by the institution.

Credit: Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Barbara Arnold, alumna and professor of practice in mining engineering at Penn State, has been awarded honorary membership in American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME). AIME honorary membership is one of the highest honors that the institute can bestow on an individual.

Honorary membership is awarded in appreciation of outstanding service to the institute or in recognition of distinguished scientific or engineering achievement in the fields embracing the activities of AIME and its member societies.

Arnold was recognized for “her dedication and perseverance in developing a strong and more vibrant Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) Foundation continuing through exemplary service as SME president.” She will be recognized virtually at the 2021 SME Annual Conference & Expo scheduled March 1–5.

"Being named an AIME honorary member is indeed a rare accomplishment," said Sanjay Srinivasan, head of the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering. "It is a recognition afforded to only a very select few who have made lasting contributions in their field of endeavor. We are indeed extremely proud of Professor Arnold's singular accomplishments in the area of coal and mineral processing and the impact she has had in that area of scientific pursuit. It is indeed an honor and a privilege to have Barb as our colleague."

Arnold, a registered professional engineer, served as president of SME in 2018. She has a long history of service to SME. She previously served on the board of directors, as chair of the Coal and Energy Division and as the SME Foundation’s president. She was named a Fellow by the society, which was formerly known as a distinguished member, and was awarded the J.W. Woomer Young Engineer Award, and the Percy Nicholls Award in recognition of her important contributions to the area of coal preparation, in particular, flotation, coal properties and coal handling.

Arnold was also awarded the Frank F. Aplan Award, named in honor of Penn State’s distinguished professor emeritus of metallurgy and mineral processing, from AIME for her “R&D contributions and accomplishments in all facets of coal processing, particularly froth flotation, computer simulation, flowsheet development and plant evaluation.”

"It's truly an honor to be selected as an AIME honorary member," she said. "The history of AIME and its legacy in mining and metallurgy are phenomenal. I am humbled to join the ranks of its honorary members that include Penn State emeritus faculty member Raja Ramani and the late Frank Aplan."

Arnold was named an Alumni Fellow, the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association, in 2011. She previously served as president of Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences (GEMS), the college’s alumni society. She received the college’s Robert Stefanko Distinguished Achievement Award for Mining Engineering in 2007 and the GEMS Alumni Achievement Award in 2008.

Arnold joined the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences on Aug. 1, 2020.

Arnold, who received her bachelor's degree in mining engineering and master's and doctoral degrees in mineral processing from Penn State, began her collegiate career at Penn State New Kensington. Since then, she has been an active member with the Penn State New Kensington Alumni Society since the 1980's and a member of the campus' Advisory Board since 1998. In 2017, she was one of four inaugural recipients of the Penn State New Kensington Distinguished Alumni Award.