STEAM Café: Hangup Man

Hangup Man: A Most Dangerous Job

Mark Bowron, Instructor in Mining & Engineering Management


The Black Hills has a history that is rich in mining. But despite our roots being so closely tied to this industry, most of us rarely think of lives that were affected and even lost during those mining days. SD Mines faculty member Mark Bowron, a 40-year veteran of the mining industry, will share stories about the “hangup man” a unique position that existed in the 1970s-80s at the Climax Mine in Colorado. The hangup man played a vital role in the secondary underground blasting process. The talk will look at the technical aspects of this blasting technique in underground mining, but also the equally important aspect of the human and emotional toll it would take on the miners. The Hangup Man job was so dangerous that it is simply no longer allowed under the present Mine Safety & Health Administration rules. There was a saying underground when a hangup man was killed or injured or simply acquired enough seniority to take a job on the surface - “There are no OLD hang-up men.”

STEAM Café is a partnership between South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, South Dakota Public Broadcasting and Hay Camp Brewing Company. This series of free informal talks by SD Mines faculty, staff and visiting experts covers topics ranging from cutting edge research to history.

STEAM Café, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, is held at 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month, at Hay Camp Brewing Company. A food truck is available at each STEAM Café where patrons can purchase dinner. Handcrafted beer is available for purchase from Hay Camp.  

“STEAM Café is a great opportunity for the community to connect with the staff and faculty at SD Mines to talk about the amazing things happening in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and math,” said Rachel Mannhalter, SD Mines Training & Development Coordinator. “We love the idea of this very informal atmosphere where conversations can happen, and connections can be made.”




525 University Loop
Rapid City, SD 57701


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