Syd Peng, the Charles E. Lawall chair emeritus, and Felicia, an associate professor of mining engineering, have donated an additional $150,000 to establish the professorship, making their total contribution to the department $500,000.

“During the past two decades, WVU’s mining engineering program has grown to become one of the premier programs in the world mining community,” said Syd Peng. “It is absolutely essential to maintain this reputation and our hope is that this professorship will contribute in some way toward this goal.”

The endowment will provide the holder of the professorship, who has yet to be selected, with a broad range of support for research, teaching and service. While there are several endowed professorships currently available within the department, all with an emphasis on mining, Syd Peng noted this professorship will also be available to specialists in the mineral processing area, which is Felicia Ping’s area of research expertise.

Syd Peng has written numerous textbooks and journal and proceedings articles in the areas of longwall mining, ground control, surface subsidence and respirable dust. He initiated the annual International Conference on Ground Control in Mining in 1981 and served as senior editor of the conference proceedings. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has received numerous awards including the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers Erskine Ramsey Medal and the Medal for Excellence from London’s Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. He is a member of the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame.

In addition to her work in mineral processing, Felicia Peng specializes in coal preparation, interfacial phenomena, modeling and simulation of processes and computer applications. She is an associate editor of Coal Preparation and is a member of numerous professional societies including Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration; American Institute of Chemical Engineers; Coal Preparation of America; and Society of Northern Coal Preparation and Engineering.

“This generous gift from Syd and Felicia reflects their history of support to the academic mission of the Department of Mining Engineering,” said Christopher Bise, Robert E. Murray chairman of Mining Engineering at WVU.

The gift was made in conjunction with “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.” The $1 billion comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the university runs through December 2017.