Doctor of Philosophy in Mining Engineering


Program Description

Backed by an unparalleled reputation for expertise and innovation in mineral extraction, mineral processing, and environmental protection, the graduate program in Mining Engineering has two types of students in mind:

  • Those from the industry who wish to improve their workplace skills; and
  • Those who wish to pursue research leading to advances in state-of-the-art or state-of-the-practice mining and mineral process engineering.

What makes the program unique?

In keeping with the collaborative approach of the NBK Institute of Mining Engineering, one of the Department’s greatest strengths lies in its ties with Canada’s mining industry.

Most of our students have opportunities for industry employment and participation in research activity at working mines. This hands-on approach helps our students develop practical skills and gain exposure to valuable case histories. Also, many of our faculty members are active within the industry through consulting activities and involvement in professional societies relating to mining.

The department provides opportunities for interdisciplinary work on social, economic as well as engineering research. Other advantages are international research and travel opportunities and connections to CIRDI. Vancouver is a center for Mining Activity in Canada with its abundance of junior mining companies, finance for mining companies, and law for mining companies.

The end result is an innovative, industry-responsive, and internationally recognized graduate program of the highest caliber.

Quick Facts

  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
  • Subject: Engineering
  • Mode of delivery: On-campus
  • Registration options: Full-time
  • Specialization: Mining Engineering
  • Program Components: Dissertation
  • Faculty: Faculty of Applied Science

Research Information

Research focus

  1. Mining (mine ventilation and mine services, simulation and optimization, mining operations research, rock mechanics and geotechnics, mine valuation and production economics)
  2. Mineral Processing (process control, modeling, simulation and optimization, fine particle technology, surface chemistry of flotation, plant design, and economics, coal preparation technology)
  3. Social-economic aspects and sustainability (mine waste management, environmental aspects of mining)

Research facilities

Our facilities are specifically designed to ensure that our faculty, staff, and students are prepared to meet the demands of the mining industry.

Our instructional building, the Frank Forward building, and our research facility, the Coal & Mineral Processing Laboratory, are fully equipped to provide positive research and educational framework.

Much of the equipment has been obtained through the generosity of donors and the initiative of faculty who seek out and obtain research grants.

As a result, the UBC Department of Mining Engineering is able to maintain its’ reputation for producing first-rate mining engineers and research.

In 2003 we underwent a major renovation that gave us a state-of-the-art classroom, a larger conference room, and a redesigned main office that includes more workspace, quiet nooks, and a coffee room.

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Dunbar, W Scott (Bacterial replication controls, bacteriophage, phage)
  • Elmo, Davide (rock mechanics and rock engineering design; advanced numerical modeling of block cave mining and discrete fracture networks, the interaction between surface and underground mining, numerical simulations of the mechanical behavior of hard rock pillars, slope stability analysis, applications of synthetic rock mass modeling and discrete fracture network modeling)
  • Holuszko, Maria (minerals characterization as it applies to mineral processing; recovery of metals from industrial and municipal waste streams)
  • Klein, Bern (processing of precious minerals; the processing of industrial metals, Ultrafine grinding, high pressure grinding rolls, hydraulic transport of non-Newtonian mineral slurries, industrial minerals, mine-mill integration, continuous centrifugal gravity concentration, improved technologies for artisanal and small-scale gold miners, metal leaching from the waste rock, rheology of mineral suspensions)
  • Madiseh, Ali
  • Miskovic, Sanja (Multiphase Flows, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Experimental Fluid Dynamics, High-Performance Computing, Minerals Processing, Embedded Sensors, IIoT, Industrial Big Data, Critical Elements Extraction)
  • Miskovic, Ilija (Multi-physics of Geo-materials, Big Data)
  • Pawlik, Marek (Surface chemistry, Adsorption of polymers and surfactants, Process water and reagent chemistry, rheology of mineral suspensions, interparticle and interfacial phenomena)
  • Scoble, Malcolm (Sustainable mining, mining with communities, mine-mill integration, workplace safety, mining innovation)
  • Van Zyl, Dirk (The contributions that mining makes to sustainable development, life cycle systems, mine earth structures (tailings, heap leach, and rock disposal facilities))
  • Veiga, Marcello (effects of metals in the environment; pollution caused by mining; social effects of mining on communities; mercury pollution on fish, Biogeochemical cycle of heavy metals in the environment, Bioaccumulation and adverse health effects of metals in the environment, especially mercury, Artisanal and small-scale gold mining, mercury pollution from gold mining and hydroelectric reservoirs, Acid Rock DrainageProcess mineralogy applied to mining, and mineral processing, Sustainable development in mining, Mining communities and social issues related to mining, Mine closure, and reclamation planning)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Eleni Patsa
    "Dr. Patsa studied the overlap between geothermal and mineral resources using public information. She developed a decision-making framework that can be used to assess whether geothermal merits consideration as an energy source for a mining project. Her research demonstrates that such an assessment is possible even in the absence of specialist data." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Ruby Stocklin-Weinberg
    "Dr. Stocklin-Weinberg studied training programs for artisanal miners in developing countries. She designed a framework for how to launch, monitor, and evaluate training to meet the needs of each unique mining community. Her framework will be used to improve the health, safety, labor conditions, and environmental footprint of artisanal miners globally." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Debra Mary Stokes
    "Dr. Stokes investigated how First Nations could benefit from LNG projects in northern B.C. while mitigating any negative impacts. Study results showed that initiatives for education, training, employment, good governance, social-historical barriers, environmental protection, and other supports are needed to ensure long-term sustainability." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Sanaz Moghadam Zadeh
    "Dr. Moghadam-zadeh studied mineral process engineering. She developed a test procedure to evaluate the advantages of high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR), an application for extracting precious compounds. This test procedure will replace conventional techniques with energy-efficient methods in the early stages of industrial project studies." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Nastaran Arianpoo
    "Dr. Arianpoo studied the contribution of energy projects to the sustainable development of their host communities. With a focus on geothermal power projects, she designed a sustainable development framework and maturity model. Her work will help the industry to implement appropriate sustainable development strategies resulting in good neighbor projects." (November 2017)

Sample Thesis Submissions

  • The use of geothermal energy in mining: a decision-making framework.
  • A study of electric rope shovel digging effort and behavior for diggability assessment in open-pit mines.
  • Learning from artisanal miners: a model for designing training programs with and for the artisanal mining sector.
  • Testing protocol for evaluating amenability of ores to HPGR crushing for heap leaching.
  • Framework and maturity model to guide and evaluate corporate contributions to the sustainable development of neighboring communities: specific focus on geothermal power projects.
  • Indigenous community's sustainable development framework for LNG developments in Northwest B.C.
  • From social risk to shared purpose: reframing mining’s approach to corporate social responsibility.

Career Outcomes

31 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 6 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 24 graduates:

Sample employers in higher education

  • University of Concepcion
  • Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri
  • University Adolfo Ibañez
  • Technical University of Machala
  • University of Alberta
  • Curtin University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Nevada - Reno

Sample employers outside higher education

  • Golder Associates (2)
  • Fluor Canada Ltd.
  • New Gold Inc.
  • Amec Foster Wheeler
  • Cytec-Solvay Group
  • Rio Tinto
  • Mosaic Company
  • SGS Canada
  • Dr. Jillian Roberts Psychology Corp.
  • Hatch

Sample job titles outside higher education

  • Owner
  • Associate, Senior Geotechnical Engineer
  • Principle Process Specialist
  • Principal
  • Research Engineer
  • Senior Advisor (Natural Resources & Finance)
  • Senior Metallurgist
  • Senior Geochemist
  • Founding Director
  • Senior Manager

Ph.D. career outcome survey

You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC Ph.D. graduates on


This program underwent a name or structural change in the study time frame, and all alumni from the previous program were included in these summaries. These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.

Career options

Our graduates have gone into academic environments to become university professors and instructors or moved into the industry for positions such as being a technical expert for a mining company, consulting company or supply company as well as mining industry advisors for the financial and banking sector.


TOEFL (IBT) overall score requirement


  • ibT Reading 22
  • ibT Writing 21
  • ibT Listening 22
  • ibT Speaking 21

IELTS overall score requirement


  • IELTS Reading 6.0
  • IELTS Writing 6.0
  • IELTS Listening 6.0
  • IELTS Speaking 6.0

Funding Sources

Some types of financial assistance are available for the winter session and may be supplemented by summer research and/or teaching assistantships to the registered students.

Financial support for non-Canadian students is limited and high academic standings are required to obtain support [Grade Point Averages exceeding 3.7 (maximum 4)].

We suggest that you have financial support to finance at least the first year of studies. In the event that a sponsor is willing to provide you with financial support, we will require a letter from him/her noting the amount of financial aid available and its duration.

We regret that we cannot process your application without this document. The department will not be responsible for foreign students’ finances.

The University of British Columbia may offer a Partial Tuition Scholarship up to $3,200 each year to help defray the very large tuition fee increase that has recently levied on foreign students.

Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Applied Science oversees administrative procedures for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the School of Community and Regional Planning, the School of Nursing, and a ... Read More

The Faculty of Applied Science oversees administrative procedures for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the School of Community and Regional Planning, the School of Nursing, and all engineering activities at the Vancouver campus and the School of Engineering at the Okanagan campus. Read less