The research emphasis of the department in recent years has been in the areas of utilization of coal combustion by-products (CCB), development of coal gasification and fluidized-bed combustion technologies specifically for mine-mouth applications, carbon dioxide sequestration in coal seams and development of advanced fine coal cleaning and dewatering circuits for their near-term application in the coal mines in the Midwestern States. The research activities of the faculty ensure that students are taught current, state-of-the-art mining engineering, science, and design. An Industrial Leadership Board provides guidance to the applied research activities of the Department.
The Department has well equipped laboratories for rock mechanics, mine ventilation, coal & mineral processing, carbons dioxide sequestration and coal-bed methane studies as well as environmental studies. In addition, the faculties in the Department have special facilities for conducting pilot-scale research using the high-bay facility of the Illinois Coal Development Park. The laboratories and the off-campus research facilities are used for undergraduate and graduate instruction & research.