Mining Engineering

Program Description

Mining engineering is a broad profession, which embraces all required activities to facilitate the recovery of valuable minerals and products from the earth’s crust for the benefit of humanity. It is one of the oldest engineering professions, which continues to grow in importance. It has often been said: “If it can't be grown then it must be mined.” An adequate supply of mineral products at competitive prices is the life-blood of the continuing growth of industrialized nations and the foundation of the progress for the developing countries.

The function of the mining engineer is to apply knowledge of pertinent scientific theory, engineering fundamentals, and improved technology to recover natural resources. Mining is a world-wide activity involving the extraction of non-metallics, metal ores of all kinds, and solid fuel and energy sources such as coal and nuclear materials. In addition to mineral extraction, the skills of mining engineers are also needed in a variety of fields where the earth’s crust is utilized, such as the underground construction industry. The construction industry, with its requirements of developing earth (rock) systems, tunnels and underground chambers, and the hazardous waste disposal industry are examples of such applications. These are expanding needs, with a shortage of competent people; the mining engineer is well qualified to meet these needs.

The importance of ecological and environmental planning is recognized and given significant attention in all aspects of the mining engineering curriculum.

Mines mining engineering students study the principles and techniques of mineral exploration, and underground and surface mining operations, as well as, mineral processing technologies. Studies include rock mechanics, rock fragmentation, plant and mine design, mine ventilation, surveying, valuation, industrial hygiene, mineral law, mine safety, computing, mineral processing, solution mining and operations research. Throughout the mining engineering curriculum, a constant effort is made to maintain a balance between theoretical principles and their engineering applications. The mining engineering graduate is qualified for positions in engineering, supervision, and research.

The Department recognizes the high expectations that industry has for our graduates as well as the responsibility we have to prepare our students for successful professional careers. To be successful, it is imperative that mining graduates possess an ever-growing set of technical skills, knowledge, and expertise. Beyond the technical aspects of basic sciences, engineering fundamentals, and problem-solving, mining engineering graduates must also acquire a host of other skills which are essential in today’s global economy.

These include:

  • The ability to work in interdisciplinary teams and communicate effectively to different types of audiences,
  • An appreciation of the social, political, and economic realities of different cultures, countries, and indigenous peoples,
  • An understanding of the global role mineral extraction and resource development have on local, regional, and international levels,
  • The desire for continuing and life-long education, intellectual and professional development, analysis, and creativity,
  • The need to maintain high professional and ethical standards,
  • The importance of self-confidence, conviction, and compassion, and
  • The skills critical to leadership and supervision.

Put simply, our vision for the Mining Engineering Department is to be internationally recognized as the World’s premiere center for education and applied research in the diverse fields of mining and underground construction and tunneling. This vision spans across numerous interdisciplinary areas of study. Through collaborations with other Mines departments, academic institutions, government agencies, and industry, we are committed to expanding the international reputation of the Department for excellence in education, research, industry service, and community outreach.

 The Mining Engineering Department's program objectives are:

  1. Have knowledge of, and skills in, engineering fundamentals to solve complex and open-ended mining and earth systems-related problems.
  2. Demonstrate teamwork and leadership skills relevant to their chosen profession.
  3. Several years after leaving Mines, our graduates will achieve professional growth.

The program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Department Head

M. Stephen Enders

Associate Department Head

Jürgen Brune


Corby Anderson

Kadri Dagdelen

H. Sebnem Düzgün

Linda Figueroa

Priscilla P. Nelson

Patrick R. Taylor

Associate Professors

Veronica Eliasson

Elizabeth Holley

Hugh B. Miller

Masami Nakagawa

Jamal Rostami

Assistant Professors

Rennie Kaunda

Nicole Smith

Gabriel Walton

Professors of Practice

Jürgen Brune

Research Professor

D. Erik Spiller

Adjunct Faculty

Anthony Konya