At the 42nd International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, we are bringing together some of the brightest minds in our industry. Get to know our expert speakers and start planning your conference experience today.


8:00 AM | July 25, 2023

Keynote - Roof Bolting and Roof Falls

Dr. Syd S. Peng

Founder of the 40-year-old International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, Syd Peng is a global leader who has advanced the science and technology of mining. Growing up in Taiwan, Peng worked in the Shinchu coal mine and moved to the US to study gas outbursts and safe mining practices at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Peng received his PhD at Stanford University, where he married his wife, Felicia. Married and graduated, Peng’s first engineering job was at the Twin City Research Center until 1974, when he moved to West Virginia University and declared, “this is where mining is supposed to be.” Chairman of the WVU mining program for 28 years, Peng developed their PhD program and the US standards for longwall mining and surface subsidence damage control. As a consultant, Peng became known as a problem solver for industry and inspired safe mining practices in China coal mines. Peng has had a significant impact on the mining industry and continues to influence future generations of mining engineers through the Syd S. and Felicia F. Peng Ground Control in Mining Award.

There are two basic types of roof bolts used in US underground coal mines, tensioned and non-tensioned, based on suspension or beam building principles. The use of continuous miners and roof bolters for development of and installation of roof bolts results in a nearly standard roof bolting pattern: 4 x 4 ft in 20-ft wide entries, regardless of roof stratigraphic sequence. Consequently, the design of roof bolting is restricted to selection of bolt parameters such as type, diameter, and length. Under this system, roof falls are not uncommon including skin falls, large falls, massive falls and cutter roofs and occurred sometime after development and mostly at intersections. Remedial measures commonly adopted are briefly described. In terms of roof bolting theories, “suspension” has been most commonly used regardless of bolt type used. The vast variety of roof bolting patterns adopted in coal mines of various countries including Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Mexico, and South Africa presented at ICGCM in the past 40 years was shown and discussed - a complete lack of a commonly acceptable roof bolting theory or theories.