The Society of Mining Professors (SOMP) has named Professor Serkan Saydam President for the 2023-2024 term. The flag exchange ceremony was conducted at the 2023 SOMP Annual General Meeting, which took place at the Technical University of Clausthal in Germany from 5-11 September.

The SOMP is a global academic organisation committed to making significant contributions to the future of the minerals discipline. The SOMP's main goal is to ensure the availability of scientific, technical, academic, and professional knowledge required for a sustainable supply of minerals to benefit humanity.

Each year, the President of the SOMP hosts the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The aim of the AGM is to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among mining professors and experts. It plays a crucial role in advancing mining education, research, and industry practices. Furthermore, it serves as a platform for networking, sharing knowledge, and addressing key challenges and opportunities in the mining sector.

In a message from the newly appointed President, Professor Saydam extended a warm invitation to all SOMP members from around the world to attend the 34th Annual General Meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Sydney, Australia, in September 2024. The event will be hosted by the UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering and the AusIMM.

"I am thrilled to welcome you all to Sydney, our host city that harmonizes both the contemporary and traditional. I believe that our exciting event program and the charms of Sydney will make this a highly successful and truly memorable SOMP event,” said Professor Saydam.

The 2024 AGM will be co-hosted with AusIMM and will offer attendees the opportunity to visit high-tech mines in New South Wales, as well as attend the International Future Mining Conference hosted by UNSW and AusIMM.

The theme for next year’s AGM is “Building Tomorrow Together through Integrating Technology and Embracing Diversity in Mining”.

“The theme highlights the importance of SOMP members’ participation as we collectively shape a future in mining that seamlessly links advanced technology with a diverse and inclusive cultural landscape within a sustainable framework,” said Professor Saydam.

Professor Saydam received his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Mining Engineering from the Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Türkiye and completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He joined the UNSW School of Mining Engineering as a Senior Lecturer in 2006 and since 2017 he has been working as a professor. 

He is currently a Fellow Member of the AusIMM; President of the ISRM Commission on Planetary Rock Mechanics; Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at UNSW; Deputy Secretary-General and Council Member of the SOMP.