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George John Schuller Jr.

Honorary Doctorate of Engineering

Over three decades, George John Schuller Jr. has established an extraordinarily successful international career in mining, which culminated in 2017 when he was named president of Peabody Australia.

From an early age, Schuller aspired to become a mining engineer. This dream was realized when, as a WVU graduate in mining engineering, he became the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He went on to earn an MBA from the University of Charleston.

In Schuller’s senior year at WVU, vacation work in the coalfields of southern West Virginia led to a co-op student position with Peabody Coal Company. Upon his graduation in 1985, he joined Peabody full time and began what would become a rewarding lifelong career with the world’s leading pure-play coal company.

Schuller spent the first 15 years of his career establishing a strong foundation through roles with multiple Peabody operations in southern West Virginia. He worked his way up through the organization, spending much of his time in underground roles. This hands-on experience — not always part of an engineer’s career path — gave Schuller a deep appreciation for the operational realities of working in the mining industry and the technical aspects of efficient mining practices.

Throughout his career, Schuller has been instrumental to many “firsts” for the mining industry, such as changing state legislation to introduce the first piece of underground diesel equipment in West Virginia. Today, as president of Peabody’s Australian Operations, Schuller champions diversity and promotes inclusion across the industry. He works to ensure that the organization establishes equal opportunities for female and indigenous employees, as well as those of all ages, cultures and ethnicities.

A recent nominee for the chairship of Australian Coal Association Low Emissions Technology, Schuller has served as chairman of the board for Middlemount Coal, a 50-50 joint venture with Yancoal, and as vice president of coal on the Queensland Resource Council. He has also been a director of the Minerals Council of Australia and served on the Coal Mining Health and Safety Advisory Committee to the Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines. He currently sits on the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and holds 16 directorships in companies internationally.

Three years ago, Schuller was inducted into ‘King Coal’ in the United States, and in 2016 he was recognized with membership of the ‘Old Timers’ – a fraternity of leaders in the mining and resource industry. Additionally, he was honored as a Kentucky Colonel by the state of Kentucky.