Opportunity awaits: Madison Sandoval's metallurgical journey

Madison Sandoval, undergraduate metallurgical engineer from the University of Nevada, Reno, was sponsored by Molycop to attend the MINEXCHANGE 2024 SME Annual Conference and Expo.

Key Facts

  • Madison Sandoval was one of two undergraduates sponsored by Molycop to attend the 2024 SME Annual Conference and Expo in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Madison has demonstrated a passion for metallurgy in her research studies, internships and in leadership roles in extra-curricular community activities at the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • Madison's attendence at the SME Conference provided her with invaluable opportunities for professional growth, networking and learning within the mining industry. 

Madison Sandoval, a senior undergraduate metallurgical engineer from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), was one of two students sponsored by Molycop to attend the prestigious MINEXCHANGE 2024 Annual SME Conference and Expo in Phoenix, Arizona, in February 2024. 

In this interview with Molycop, Madison reveals her passion for metallurgy and her unwavering commitment to a sustainable future for the mining industry.

"I have always been fascinated by the earth sciences and chemistry," Madison says. "When I began my academic pursuit for a major, I found metallurgical engineering – a field that I knew little about but was eager to explore."

Madison actively engaged in undergraduate research throughout her undergraduate program under the guidance of Professor Carl Nesbitt and Assistant Professor Eshan Vahidi. Her research projects were diverse, including studies into mercury removal in the gold industry and innovative approaches to battery recycling using organic and inorganic acids.

"My time at the University of Nevada, Reno, has been filled with invaluable growth opportunities," Madison reflects. "From internships with Nevada Gold Mines and American Battery Technology Company to working at McClelland Labs, each experience has shaped my academic and professional trajectory."

Developing leadership experience 

Madison's commitment to gaining diverse experiences has extended beyond her academic pursuits. She served as the Secretary for the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) student chapter, known as the John Mackay Club, and founded the Women in Mining UNR chapter, a testament to her leadership and dedication to fostering a supportive community.

As the founder and president of the Women in Mining UNR chapter, I learned invaluable lessons about leadership, time management and effective communication. These experiences have equipped me with the skills necessary to thrive in the mining industry.— Madison Sandoval

On track to graduate in spring 2024 with a degree in metallurgy from UNR and equipped with new learnings and experiences gained at the SME Conference, Madison is eager to embark on the next chapter of her journey. With a keen interest in mineral processing, she is eager to explore various aspects of metallurgy within the mining industry, particularly focusing on comminution, a crucial function in mineral processing.

"I cannot wait to deepen my understanding of comminution and embrace new challenges within the mining industry," Madison says. "My experiences at UNR and the SME Conference have prepared me to tackle the complexities of the field with confidence and enthusiasm."

Advice from a rising star  

For students considering a career in mining, Madison offers sage advice: "Actively network, engage in various activities and never hesitate to ask questions. The mining industry is filled with passionate individuals eager to help you succeed. Embrace curiosity, seize opportunities and never stop learning."

As Madison's journey continues, her passion for metallurgy and dedication to the mining industry serve as guiding beacons, illuminating the path to success for future generations of mining professionals.

Molycop – Progress Together

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