The Mine Safety and Health Administration selected Dr. Michael Faughnan as the new superintendent of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy. He will be responsible for managing all of MSHA’s activities at the Mine Academy, which is essential to improving health and safety training of MSHA inspector, and miners and operators.

Michael Faughnan
Garry Neil Drummond Michael Faughnan Erik Westman

Erik Westman, professor of mining and minerals engineering, has been named head of Virginia Tech’s Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering in the College of Engineering. Westman will lead the department of 11 faculty members. Westman had served as interim department head since fall 2015, and during the two years prior to that, he was the interim associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Engineering.

Ora Lee Johnson Kirk Ludwig passed away on May 21, 2016. She was born June 25, 1918, at Baker’s Ridge in Morgantown, West Virginia. Ludwig headed and helped found the Rosedale Coal Co., Mon-Valley Coal & Lumber Co., Mon-Valley Mining Co., and Steel Supply, over the course of her nearly 60-year career that began when she went to work for her dad at age 20. That was after she earned an associate degree in business from Mountain State College in Parkersburg. Her father, Thomas Jefferson Johnson, was president of Monongahela Valley Coal and Lumber Co., and the enterprise was faring pretty well, given that the Great Depression was still casting a big shadow over the Mountain State. When she got into administration, she worked just as hard, learning the people-side of the operation.

OraLee Edward John Onuscheck
Ora Lee Johnson Kirk Ludwig Edward John Onuscheck

Edward John Onuscheck, 90, died Tuesday, June 14, 2016, at St. Andrew’s Village in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He was born in Royal, Pennsylvania, on September 9, 1925. A World War II and the Korean War veteran, he worked for the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Co., where he was responsible for all state and federal safety laws. He became the vice president of safety at R&P, which during the 1980s became the largest coal company in Pennsylvania. He worked with the Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA) in Washington, D.C., where he was a member of their safety committee for 25 years. He was also a member of the American Mining Congress Safety Committee from 1972 to 1990, and was chairman of the PA Coal Association Safety Committee for 25 years. He received the coal industry’s highest safety award in 1982, The Donald S. Kingery Memorial Award.