Kurt Oakes holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, earned in 1985. He is the Senior Manager, Drill and Blast for Peabody, based out of the corporate offices in St. Louis, MO. In this role he is responsible for the management and oversight of Peabody’s explosives engineering, and drilling and blasting programs throughout their operations across the United States and Australia. The responsibilities in his role include blast-based safety, management and governance of operational blasting and seismic control practices, integration of value driven explosive technologies, and community & governmental outreach in blast related affairs for Peabody’s surface and underground coal operations.
Prior to joining Peabody Kurt had been with Martin Marietta (Raleigh, NC) as Senior Manager - Explosives Engineering, Olson Explosives (Decorah, IA) - General Manager, Orica USA (Various Locations) – Initiation Systems Specialist/Senior Technical Representative, Granite Mountain Quarries (Little Rock, AR) – Senior Plant Engineer, Feldspar Corporation (Middletown, CT & Spruce Pine, NC) Mine and Mill Superintendent, Unimin Corporation (Byron, CA) – Shift Supervisor, and Mid-Continent Resources (Redstone, CO) – Underground Miner (Coal).
Kurt has authored papers and presented at the ISEE; SME; ISEE Best in the West; ISEE Mid-America Blaster’s Conference; the IMA-NA; the MSHA – Western Mine Blasting and Safety Conference, and for the Australian Chapter of the ISEE. He has held blaster certifications and licenses in North Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Iowa.
He has assisted with instructing blaster certification courses for in Missouri, ISEE – MINNBlast; Georgia and the Nevada. In Arkansas and Iowa, he assisted with the initial legislation for blaster’s licensure in those respective states. He is currently serving on his third term to the Board of Directors for the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE), where he is currently Chair for the Blasters Training Committee, and works closely with the Government Affairs Committee, and Drilling Section. He has held various roles within the SME – Industrial Minerals and Aggregates Division including Chair of the Aggregates Division. He is a certified MSHA Part 46 & 48, Surface and Underground Instructor. He is also a member of the Missouri S&T Mines and Metallurgy Academy, and the Missouri S&T Mining Department Development Board.