The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration’s Mining & Exploration Division William L. Saunders Gold Medal Award Committee has selected long-time SME member Ta Li as the 2021 recipient of the prestigious William L. Saunders Gold Medal. The award was established in 1927 and recognizes distinguished achievement in mining other than coal.
Ta is the recently retired Vice President of Operations-Mining for Tetra Tech, Inc., Golden, CO. He graduated from Columbia University in 1970 with a BS in Mining Engineering. Upon graduation, he began his career as a production supervisor at the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine for Kennecott Copper Corp. Relocating to New York City, he became the Associate Editor for E&MJ, a McGraw Hill Publication. In 1974, he joined SME as Technical Editor of Mining Engineering magazine, ultimately serving as Editor in Chief. He published many articles on global mining operations. Following his time with SME, he worked for many engineering consulting firms, the latest being Washington Group International, Inc. While there, his professional work was recognized by being awarded five consecutive Corporate Lion Awards, resulting in over $450 million in sales to this global engineering and construction entity.