Intern Update: Mary Kathryn Deister

Mine Engineering Intern, Mary Kathryn Deister, has spent her summer at Prairie State completing time studies and analyzing data.

These time studies include testing how long it takes to cut the coal, wait for a ram car, and load a ram car, along with any clean up or delay that might occur. These are important to determine the possibility of decreasing unproductive time or increasing production. She says they have been able to collect a few weeks of data for analysis. She has looked at averages and outliers and determined how to improve the production based of the information they have collected.

Mary Kathryn has also been shadowing different departments of the mine operations crews. This has enabled her to assist with problems that arise, allowing her to gain experience with operating equipment.

Mary Kathryn’s favorite part of her internship so far has been gaining consistent hands-on experience. “From running equipment to sitting in on meetings, I have been able to get to see how the industry works and what the job of mining engineering really is. I have learned so much about underground mining, from ventilation, safety, and belts to mine management.”

The experiences that Mary Kathryn will take away from this summer include, “…anything that allowed me to get dirty and work hands-on with a project, gaining that first-hand experience in mining.”

This internship has proven to Mary Kathryn that this is what she wants to do in the future. She knows she has picked the right major for her career aspirations. This fall, she will be a junior at Missouri S&T, where she is majoring in mining engineering with a minor in explosives engineering.