The Society of Mining Professors (SOMP) was established in 1990 during a special inaugural meeting hosted by the Montanuniversität in Leoben, Austria. The Society is considered the natural successor of the historic Societät der Bergbaukunde, which was formed in the early 18th century and is recognized as the world's first international scientific society. Since its inception, the Society has functioned primarily as a European entity representing senior academics in the mining engineering discipline.
At the 14th Annual General Meeting of the Society, in Milos, Greece, in 2003, a decision was taken to examine the role of the Society in global minerals education, to reassess its vision and membership guidelines, and to develop the future direction of the organization. This resulted in a plan of action to allow the Society to transform and position itself as the premier global voice of the academic minerals disciplines and to lead the effort of restructuring minerals education. These changes were adopted in 2005. Since 2005 the Society has continued to become a more international body, while not losing its European heritage and core values. In 2009 the Society met for the first time outside of Europe, travelling to Sydney, Australia for the annual meeting. Since that time, it has become standard practice to move the annual meetings regularly between Europe and elsewhere (including Peru in 2011 and South Africa in 2014). Further changes were made to the Society’s Constitution and Strategic direction in 2012.
The Society is intended to be a vibrant global society, representing the majority of mining and miningrelated academics. The purpose of the Society is to promote Mining Engineering as an engineering discipline, and to facilitate information exchange, research, and teaching collaboration and other collaborative activities among its members.
The vision is to be the leading international society for mining university professionals, recognized for:
• Effective networking
• Fostering collaboration and innovation in research, teaching, and learning practices
• Relevance and impact for the global mining sector and society at large.
The mission of the Society is to contribute towards a sustainable minerals supply for society through:
• Actively developing and supporting the mining engineering discipline
• Development of long-term professional relationships
• Exchanging innovative experience in teaching and learning practice
• Sharing research experience, capabilities, and future challenges
• Fostering professional career development and social awareness
• Providing timely, authoritative, and independent comments on relevant global issues