Dr. Mary Poulton is Head of the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering in the College of Engineering and Director of the new interdisciplinary Institute for Mineral Resources at the University of Arizona. She is the first woman to head an engineering department at the University of Arizona. She received her Ph.D. in geological engineering from the UA in 1990. Dr. Poulton has published numerous journal articles and conference papers on the application of computational neural networks to pattern recognition problems in the earth sciences, including geophysics, mining, mineral and petroleum exploration, hydrology, and atmospheric science. She is the author of a book on the use of neural networks for geophysical data analysis.
Dr. Poulton has led or participated in research projects totaling over $21 million in funding. She is co-founder and vice president of a water and energy management company, NOAH, LLC. She recently completed two terms as chair of the Mine Safety Research Advisory Committee for NIOSH and chaired the Board on Natural Resources for NASULGC. Dr. Poulton was appointed to serve on three National Research Council Committees including co-authoring the 2007 report on critical minerals. Dr. Poulton has testified before the U.S. Congress on workforce issues in mining and petroleum engineering and helped develop the Energy and Mineral Schools Reinvestment Act which is pending in the U.S. Senate. She is the 2009 recipient of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineering Industry Educator Award and the 2009 recipient of the Mining Hall of Fame Medal of Merit.