A 3-month study in 1971 of the Essen Roof Support and Rock Mechanics Research Center's program of roof and support evaluation included 25 mine trips. German miners must adopt mining methods and environmental control measures involving methane drainage and water infusion to improve productivity under severe natural conditions. Pressing problems in ground control must be solved, such as cavities in front and above the supports at longwall faces and excessive convergence in gate roads. The center developed automatic data processing methods to quantify the results of roof and support surveys and to establish criteria. Another approach to ground control is the study of mine models. The center's laboratory has the facilities to test elements of powered roof support and whole assembled units. Face automation and roof control by powered shields are novel developments that are under close scrutiny in the field as well as in the laboratory. Though the essen center's roof and support evaluation techniques are tailored to the needs of the coal mining industry of the Federal Republic of Germany under conditions vastly different from those in the united sates, some application may be found here, for instance, monitoring faces and roadways and preventive maintenance of hydraulic systems.