James William White
2003 Medal of Merit Recipient
Dr. White, P.E., is the cofounder and current Chairman of Modular Mining Systems, Inc. (Modular). Modular, founded in 1979, has grown until it is now the world leader in mine management system technology. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, Modular has regional offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Peru, and South Africa. Beginning with the development of an innovative mine haul truck dispatching system, Jim led the company to develop and offer a totally integrated mine management system called IntelliMine. With over 6,000 Modular field computer systems deployed, clients report increases in mine productivity of 5% to 32%.
In 1996, Komatsu America International Company purchased a controlling interest in Modular. This enabled the company to expand its product lines. Together with Komatsu, Ltd. of Tokyo and Komatsu America Corporation of Illinois, Modular is about to deploy its newest product – an autonomous (driverless) haulage truck system. This “Non Stop Haulage” system integrates the latest in high-precision Global Positioning System (GPS), vital signs monitoring, and safety technologies. Modular’s mine management system, including its truck dispatch feature, acts as the real-time supervisory system for this advanced technology. Autonomous haul trucks are a logical and important next step toward increased efficiency, reduced labor and maintenance costs, and productivity gains.
Jim White received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. He began his technical career in 1968 as a Senior Project Engineer working for Rohm and Haas Co., a large chemicals and plastics manufacturer. He resigned as head of their Research Computing Center in 1971 to join the College of Mines at the University of Arizona as an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering. He quickly began applying his computer knowledge and talent to problems and opportunities in the mining industry. He left the University in 1981 to head Project Engineering at Modular Mining Systems Inc. Dr. White is also a Director of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum and a member of the Engineering Advisory Committee of the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration.