News & Media

Arch Coal Innovative Grant Project Earns Place In National Engineering Design Team Finals

January 26, 2011 at 11:30 AM EST

HOTCHKISS, Colo., Jan. 26, 2011 – Members of a Hotchkiss High School physics class taught by Richard Hypio will soon be headed to the Washington, D.C. area as finalists in the National Engineering Design Competition.

Competition team members Brandon Duval, Isaac Fisher, Zachary Larmer, David Murry, Cody Spiker and Ryan Spor submitted a six-minute video demonstrating their prototype as part of the semi-final round. Their team was one of five chosen to travel to Arlington, Va., for the finals scheduled for Feb. 16-17. There, the team will construct a display and make a 20-minute, live presentation to compete for the top prizes.

Hypio said his team is well prepared for the finals. The team’s original entry was underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation through its 2010 Innovative Teaching Grants program. “We’ve been working on our design since September of last year,” he said. “The competition challenged students to design and build an assistive device for a physically challenged person in the community. Our team’s client, Paul Larmer, is very active in our community. However, given his frequent air travel, it is extremely difficult for him to manage his luggage in airports. Our invention, the Caboose, allows him to do so ‘hands free.’”

“Our employees will be cheering for these young men as they compete,” said West Elk Mine General Manager Don Vickers. “We’re thrilled for them and their success and proud that our grant has encouraged such innovation.”

Arch Coal’s Mountain Coal Company and its West Elk Mine are located near Somerset. Approximately 350 people are employed at West Elk. Arch Coal, Inc. is the nation’s second largest coal producer. Through its national network of mines, Arch supplies the fuel for approximately 8 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. The company also ships coal to domestic and international steel manufacturers as well as international power producers. Arch is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACI) and maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis.