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Austin Cooper's work help coal mining safer

Coal News - Published on Tue, 10 Jul 2018

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Triblive reported that Austin Cooper's work for the US Bureau of Mines helped make coal mining safer for miners in Western Pennsylvania and around the world. Mr Cooper worked as a physical scientist with the now-defunct agency at a time when it operated an experimental mine in South Park, where he conducted controlled experiments on the combustibility of coal dust. His son, Peter said that “My dad did help make the mines safer. The research they did changed the coal industry for the men.”

Mr Cooper worked with other scientists overseas and co-authored books on mine safety with scientists from other countries, he said.

Mr Austin R. Cooper Sr. of Greensburg, formerly of McMurray, died, July 3, 2018, at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg. He was 97.

Born on Aug. 18, 1920, in Washington, Pa., he was a son of the late Roman Cooper and Esther (Johnston) Cooper. He graduated from East Washington High School and attended Knoxville College in Tennessee.

Following his service in the Navy, he went to work for the Bureau of Mines. He did research at the Pittsburgh experimental mine into the explosive properties of dust, hydraulic fluid and other mining products, Peter Cooper said.

Mr Cooper said that “He took us there as kids and would show us how even common household products, under the right conditions, can be explosive.”

Mr Cooper testified as an expert witness in several trials, including one involving a woman who was burned while heating Carnation Milk on a stovetop, he said.

Mr Cooper retired in 1984 after 40 years with the bureau, which closed in 1996.

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Posted By : Amom Remju on Tue, 10 Jul 2018
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