Corale Brierley Awarded NMT President's Medal

August 28, 2018

Scientist and entrepreneur lauded for her contributions to the mining industry and the National Academies of Engineering


SOCORRO, N.M. – New Mexico Tech President Dr. Stephen Wells officially presented the second-ever President’s Medal to Dr. Corale Brierley on Saturday at the Founders Club Banquet.

portrait of Corale BrierleyBrierley is currently serving her second four-year term as vice president of the National Academy of Engineering. She was inducted in 1999 into the U.S. National Academy of Engineering for “innovations applying biotechnology to mine production and remediation.” Academy membership is among the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer and honors those who have demonstrated unusual accomplishment in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology.

Dr. Brierley earned her bachelor’s in biology at New Mexico Tech in 1968 and her master’s in chemistry in 1971. She then went to the University of Texas in Dallas, where she earned her Ph.D. in environmental sciences in 1982. She then embarked on a remarkable career, working in the biotechnology applied to mine production, the treatment of radioactive waste, and business development in these areas.

Brierley is the 2008 recipient of AIME´s (American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical & Petroleum Engineers) James Douglas Gold Medal Award “For the pioneering research and contributions to applications in bioleaching and remediation of metals”.

In 1991, Dr. Brierley founded her company, Brierley Consultancy, and rose to the top of her industry. She has won numerous industry awards, served as editorial board members for journals, and has been elected as an officer of national committees and organizations.

The NMT President Medal is conferred to those individuals who have profoundly enhanced the university through four criteria – (1) significantly supporting the university through donations or gifts, (2) appreciably advancing STEM in higher education, (3) enhancing the professional growth of the sciences and engineering in the service of humankind, (4) and/or significantly enhancing the reputation of New Mexico Tech nationally or globally.

Brierley is internationally known for her pioneering research and contribution to applications in bioleaching and metal remediation. She has published more than 80 technical papers and five patents and is internationally recognized resulting from a career of thirty five years comprising 15 years as an international consultant; two years with Newmont Mining Corporation as Head of Environmental Process Development; eight years of Managing Advanced Minerals Technology Inc., a metal biotechnology company; and 10 years of applied research, development and teaching in her fields of expertise at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

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