After World War II, Congress established 11 regional centers, placing Region V in Minneapolis. In 1951, the Bureau of Mines officially acquired the property around Coldwater Spring for its Twin Cities Research Center (TCRC) from Veterans Administration, although it had begun occupying the campus in 1949.
Formal research began on the property in the early 1950s and continued for the next 46 years.
During its short history, the TCRC accomplished nationally and internationally significant breakthroughs in mine and mine safety technology. Work included research and development in the following areas:
Coal & rock fragmentation
Specifically, the TCRC:
- Conducted research on applications for drilling on the moon as part of NASA's Apollo Moon Program;
- Developed the Tilden process for separating non-magnetic taconite from ore which led to the development of the taconite industry on Minnesota's western Mesabi range, on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and other locations worldwide;
- Developed diesel engine safety techniques to reduce the potential for ignition of methane gas and the reduction in toxic and carcinogenic exhaust fumes in underground mines;
- Developed a vehicle and equipment operator notification system to reduce the number of collisions and injuries during backing-up operations, a system now employed on school buses, dump trucks, and many other types of equipment and vehicles;
- Developed an ultra-low radio frequency system that could penetrate thousands of feet of rock, an application now marketed worldwide.
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