Stephen Smith – Coalsmith Consultants

What does he do?

  • Coal Quality and Combustion
  • Fuel Engineering Management
  • Maintenance and Technical Services

Coalsmith focuses on quality control and accurate measurement processes

  • coal preparation for combustion and conversion
  • coal laboratory analysis
  • sampling systems and bias tests
  • online coal analyzers
  • combustion efficiency improvement
  • conveyor belt scales and weighing
  • stockpile inventory

Coalsmith’s  Qualifications

  • 39 years experience in fossil fuel power plants and coal mines
  • Member of ASTM D5 committee on coal and coke
  • Certified master team facilitator
  • Certified, experienced, highly rated trainer
  • Master of Science degree in Engineering Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, University of Tennessee.



Most power plants are ‘flying blind’ and don’t know the quality of their coal, the #1 raw material cost consumable. Every power plant needs on line analysis of coal and bunker modeling to predict boiler efficiency and prevent deratings from boiler slagging. Increasing the number of measurements from a periodic daily ‘grab’ sample to a continuous online sample improves coverage and allows trending charts of coal quality to reduce deratings and maintenance. Coalsmith participates in performance testing and calibration of these devices, and is particularly interested in their integration into the control room platforms.  Coalsmith can help your power plant engineers become familiar with all aspects of online analysis and ASTM test requirements.


Imagine a script engine that does complicated spreadsheet calculations in minutes. Wolffware  produces streamlined Excel software to quickly calculate bias test multivariate statistics. Excel Add-ins perform repetitive analysis of complex data quickly and simply.  This software Add-in to Microsoft Excel is now available for purchase.



With the impending retirement of thousands of engineers in the ‘baby boom’ generation, there is a growing need for adequate training in the coal industry. Coalsmith Consultants has an excellent reputation for training and can provide your company with custom-made Coal Quality Control seminars at your site. These three-day instructional seminars will give your staff the knowledge for technical oversight of coal sampling operations.  Contact Coalsmith for a sample class syllabus for your class.

There is a lot of knowledge and training that goes into good coal sampling so we ‘get it right’ and have statistically valid procedures for sampling, sample preparation, and analysis in the lab.  Stephen Smith is an ASTM volunteer, chairman of the sample preparation task group (D2013), and recipient of the R.A. Glenn Award for service to Committee D5 on Coal and Coke. ASTM meetings are the best way to catch up on technical issues in an informal atmosphere with leading coal scientists from around the country. Meetings are free and open to all who want to participate, membership is not required, costs only $75 per year and you get the latest book of coal standards when you join. Visit for the location and dates of our next meeting.


Coalsmith helps investors determine feasibility and create technical, financial, and managerial plans for testing new technologies. Coalsmith engineers conducted field studies for Standard Laboratories, Inc., including surveillance of loading docks, utility plants, and laboratories. The final report included coal production and consumption estimates by type, market penetration and size, competitors strengths and weaknesses, and recommendations. Coalsmith has credibility with coal suppliers, laboratories, utilities, and research groups, including Eagle River, Standard Labs, SGS, Duke Energy, and GLGroup.


Coalsmith provides technical and financial perspectives on energy technologies to clients of the Gerson Lehrman Group “Council of Advisors”. GLGroup provides phone consulting access to industry experts like Coalsmith so investment firms and fund managers can be technically and financially informed before investing in hedge funds, new technologies, and stock IPOs.


Understanding Knowledge and Technical Workers

Upon graduation with a master of science in engineering management, Coalsmith realized there are many ways to improve the effectiveness of engineers and help managers realize the added value to their organizations. In collaboration with executive management consultant Dr. Zelma Lansford we developed a unique “Successful Geek” seminar. Geeks are the technical and knowledge workers of today who are essential to 21st-century business success. Schedule this seminar to find out how to quickly resolve conflicts, facilitate business innovation, release creative energy, and improve your bottom line. Dr. Lansford has authored a new book called “Abracadabra – Improve the Place Where You Work.”

© 2015 Stephen R. Smith