Research Facilities

RMERC hosts a wide variety of research facilities:  Explosives Engineering, Geomechanical Simulation Lab, High Pressure Waterjet Lab, Imaging Lab, Mechanical Rock Fragmentation Lab, Mine Design, Mine Vetilation Lab, Mineral Processing Lab, and Space Resources Laboratory.

Explosives Engineering

RMERC is associated with the Explosives Engineering department on Campus.  The new Energetics  Building is located directly behind the RMERC building.


blasting chambers in explosives building 

For more information see Energetics Research Facility.

Geomechanical Simulation Laboratory

Geomechanics incorporates the disciplines of rock mechanics and soil mechanics; both deal with the behavior of geologic material, especially when impacted by engineering activity.  In addition, geological processes occur across a wide range of scales.  No single field or laboratory site can incorporate the effects of all scales in geomechanics experiments.  The RMERC Geomechanical Simulation Laboratory develops and applies state-of-the-art computer simulation techniques to research issues of geosphere management, using techniques that link behavior across multiple scales of space and time.  Applications include engineering geology, petroleum reservoir management, and carbon sequestration research.

For further information contact Dr. Andreas Eckert

High Pressure Waterjet Laboratory

Founded in 1984, RMERC's High Pressure Waterjet Laboratory has built an international reputation in the area of high-pressure waterjet applications.

State-of-the-art equipment provides support for studying special needs of manufacturing, mineral processing, nano-size materials, military, and environmental industries.  These include, but are not limited to, high-precision waterjet cutting, depth-cut control, surface preparation of many kinds and materials, accelerated excavation, comminution, multi-axis milling in mining and manufacturing, erosion prevention, as well as fundamental studies of two- and three-phase flow, the mechanics of fluid jet generation, high speed phenomena, and the  physics of fluid impact.


 waterjet omax

For more information, contact Dr. Greg Galecki

Imaging Lab

Image processing is becoming a very important technology in the geomechanics field. RMERC's Imaging Lab, led by Dr. Norbert H. Maerz, is developing techniques of characterising rock and rock materials and products for the mining, construction, and materials handling industries.

Some of the applicaitons that image processing can be used for are:‌

wip‌  1) Granulometry:  Determining size distributions of granular assemblage, whether blasted fragmented rock or screen and scalped rock products
 joint 2) Highwall structure analysis.  Mapping jointing structure in rock cuts.‌‌
 ob 3) Tunnel profilometry by light sectioning.‌‌
 ruf 4)  ‌‌Joint roughness measurement, using shadow profilometry. ‌ 
  5)  Aggregate ‌shape measurement.



Mechanical Rock Fragmentation Laboratory

The Rock Fragmentation Lab evaluates innovative rock-cutting tools and techniques with full-scale linear and rotary testbeds, incorporating waterjet and/or percussive assist as necessary.

Mine Design

RMERC's Mine Design focuses on development of innovative mine layouts and activity schedules for efficient, safe and sustainable extraction of mineral resources.

Mine Ventilation Laboratory


‌Whether on the surface or under the ground, mines rely for safe operation on maintenance of an appropriate atmosphere.  Dust is a common problem in surface mines.  In underground mines, toxic gases and too-little oxygen can threaten miner health and safety.  State-of-the-art mine ventilation simulation software helps mining, civil, and other engineers understand and control the gaseous environment in constrained spaces.

The Mine Ventilation Laboratory provides mine ventilation expertise to the Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center. The Mine Ventilation Laboratory, in conjunction with the Mining and Nuclear Engineering Department, assists in the operation of the ventilation system at the Missouri S&T Experimental Mine. This consists of a variety of Stoppings installed underground in a variety of layouts and a Joy Axial Vane Fan capable of providing sufficient air quantities to the underground workings for a variety of tests and experiments. The Center also has a large laboratory space set asided for scale models of mine ventilation systems as well as computer modeling software for mine ventilation, including the impacts that a large scale fire will have upon the stable state of a mine's ventilation system.


Mineral Processing Laboratory

“If it can’t be grown, it has to be mined.”  And if it is mined, it has to be processed before it can be made into something useful.  Processing ranges from simply washing the mined material to removing debris, to complex multiple stages using the physical and chemical differences between the target material and the waste to separate them.

The RMERC Mineral Processing Laboratory supports the research efforts of the other laboratories within RMERC, in addition to providing hands-on experience to undergraduate and graduate students of the Mining Engineering program.

mineral lab        mineral lab       mineral lab


For further information contact Dr. Greg Galecki


Space Resources Laboratory


The mission of the Space Resources Laboratory is technology research and development for sustainable extraction of natural resources from extra-terrestrial bodies, starting with the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and comets. Eventually this will come to include the full range of bodies in the Solar System, and gaseous as well as solid resources.

Regolith excavation, handling, and compaction are fundamental capabilities for expanding human operations into space, just as dirt-moving is a fundamental capability of civilization on Earth. It is also a integral part of mining. Regolith studies at the Laboratory are complemented by development of mining methods specifically for autonomous and semi-autonomous technologies.

For further information contact Dr. Leslie Gertsch