During Homecoming 2019, MGE hosted its 14th annual Lacy Lecture, named in honor of the department’s founder, Willard “Bill” Lacy.
Speakers for the Lacy Lecture series are chosen for their prominence in, and outstanding contributions to, the mining industry. This year's speaker was Jean Savage, vice president of the Surface Mining & Technology Division of Caterpillar. Savage discussed how autonomous technology could not only make the mining industry more efficient, but also more sustainable for the environment and safer for miners.
“We’ve proven over and over again that when you use autonomy, you can park some of the machines you were using before,” Savage said. “You need less equipment to do the same amount of work, meaning you may be down to a mine with just 30 people on site and most of them back in that operation center, out of harm’s way.”