Rock Star: CEE Associate Professor Andrew Bunger elected president of ARMA
Bunger hopes to broaden the success of ARMA’s annual symposium and create more opportunities for students.
Andrew Bunger, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and RK Mellon Faculty Fellow in Energy at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, has always made time in his schedule for the American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA) – even when he was almost 10,000 miles away working in Australia.
ARMA announced at their annual symposium that Bunger will be its new president, a position which represents the organization and ultimately decides on how to best serve ARMA members and drive the organization forward.
“I’m honored to take on the position,” Bunger said. “ARMA’s history of leadership is impressive, and I’m humbled to stand beside them.”
As president, Bunger is looking forward to serving ARMA in all of its capacities as ARMA has been a constant force throughout his career. The annual symposium was his first conference as a graduate student over 20 years ago, and he has made an effort to attend ever since.
“Throughout ARMA’s history, the annual symposium is the heart of the organization. Advancing its quality and success is essential. As our world changes in terms of the priority people put on traveling to in-person conferences, my number one goal as president is to make our symposium worthy of a top-spot in the priority list for everyone who works in the area of rock mechanics.”
He’s also hoping to open more opportunities for students interested in rock mechanics and geomechanics to join the organization.
“Over the past few years, our number of student groups on campuses around the world has more than doubled. Now our opportunity is to translate that enthusiasm into participation, growth, and career advancement for our student members. We want to inspire as well as ensure the success of the next generation,” Bunger said. “To me, that’s really exciting.”
Rock mechanics falls under the broad category of geomechanics. It is a foundational field for multiple application areas for which rock is a primary material considered in engineering design. These include petroleum, mining, geothermal, and civil infrastructure. ARMA aims to serve both its members and the public as the “recognized representative of multi-disciplinary advancements and applications of rock mechanics.”