New Member Profile – Meet Scott Rosenthal!

July 26, 2019 by NASTT Staff


Scott Rosenthal, Associate Professor and Department Head of Mining Engineering at Montana Tech

How long have you been involved with underground infrastructure and trenchless technology? What brought you to the industry and/or your specialty area?

In my career as a mining engineer I was never directly involved with trenchless technology applications.  After becoming a professor of mining engineering, I had a graduate student look at a novel directional drilling concept for open pit mining and as part of that project we looked at existing trenchless technologies.  Prior to this project, I had always been fascinated by tunnel boring machines (moles) from the mining side and what they have accomplished in civil infrastructure construction and mining applications.  We are re-introducing an underground construction course for our students which will include an exposure to tunnel boring machines.

You’ve had a successful career in mining, both in the field and as an educator. What drew you to mining and eventually to teaching?

What drew me to mining was a fascination with minerals that my father, a ceramic engineer, instilled in me.  Where do you find the best minerals? In mines.  Once I began studying mining engineering, I realized the industry had the biggest and coolest machines around and I was hooked.  It was always on my bucket list to teach and after doing several guest lectures at a couple of universities, an opening arose at my Alma Mater, so I applied and was selected to join the team.

Share one project/objective you and your students are working on or recently worked on.

Placement of our students is not always in mining engineering roles and a number of our graduates accept positions with heavy civil contractors.  Adding a knowledge of trenchless technology to their education through our underground construction course will add another tool to their tool belt.  The project I am working on is building the underground construction course with the aid of industry contacts and attending an industry sponsored education forum for university professors this summer.

Why did you join NASTT? Are you planning on attending No-Dig 2020?

I joined NASTT because it is the industry organization focused on trenchless technology. It will help me build the relationships I need to be successful in educating our students going forward.  As the faculty advisor for our NASTT student chapter, my membership demonstrates to the students my commitment to supporting them, the profession and NASTT.  I do plan on attending No-Dig 2020 and hope to be able to bring a few students along as well.

Any upcoming travel/vacation plans? Traveling with family, friends?

Sonya, my wife, and I are very involved with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation here in Montana. Our big summer get away is to the annual Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Elk Camp in Park City, Utah.  The rest of the summer is committed to enjoying the brief Montana summer and continuing work on an historic preservation project that we have.

Anything special you like to do when you’re not working?

Back to the love of minerals and mining—I do underground tours at the World Museum of Mining here in Butte to help out the museum and to help educate the visitors about the past and present importance of mining; and, occasionally I get out into the mountains to look for minerals and spend a little time panning for gold in a favorite creek.

Book you are reading? Construction Vibrations by Charles H. Dowding is my current reading of choice for two reasons: 1. back to the development of our underground construction course, this text helps quantify why trenchless technology has applications for large civil projects versus traditional underground drill and blast; and, 2. I am working on a PhD that may involve research around underground vibrations in adjacent openings from nearby blasting.

Sports team?  Green Bay Packers

Android or iPhone?  iPhone because a millennial once joked if I owned one, I couldn’t figure it out (he was wrong).

Favorite App?  Any banking pp that allows me to deposit checks—what a time saver!

Interested in joining NASTT? Click here for more info or contact Carolyn Hook for details.