Chinese Experts Dig Into Coal Mine Safety Solutions at NYU

Fifteen Chinese scientists and engineers will enter a pilot program at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University this month.

With China's accelerating economy heavily dependent on coal, mine safety has emerged as a national priority. Moving to embrace high-tech solutions to improve China's record, 15 Chinese scientists and engineers will enter a pilot program at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University this month.

The year-long effort will immerse Chinese coal experts first in a three-month intensive English program at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, then in science and technology studies at NYU-Poly for nine months. The researchers are drawn from Xi'an Research Institute of China Coal Technology & Engineering Group, one of 14 coal research centers dotting the country.

One approach they will study is the use of fiber optics as sensing safety devices in deep coal mines. "This pilot will provide a unique way for Chinese specialists to gain experience in the United States," said NYU-Poly professor of applied physics Hong-Liang Cui, who works closely on fiber optics with his counterparts in China. "When they return home, they will be able to transform what they uncover to improve Chinese mine safety," he said.

China is the largest producer of coal in the world, mining about 40 percent of all coal produced in the world today. An estimated 5 million people work in China's coal-mining industry, in which thousands of miners die each year.

With 850 employees, the Xi'an Institute works in safety, engineering geology, geophysical instrumentation, drilling, and other research. It offers technical consulting services, product development and production, as well as engineering contracting and geological safety services.NYU-Poly is engaged in a number of alliances in China, including joint academic programs with Nanjing University and with the South China University of Technology. The agreement with Xi'an was concluded by NYU-Poly's Enterprise Learning.

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