Doctor of Philosophy in Mining Engineering (PhD)
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 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.
In order to best meet the needs of these two groups, the program encourages interaction between universities in North America and other countries. In many cases, this collaborative outlook leads to joint research projects and student exchanges.
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 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 centre 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.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 90
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 6.5
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date01 September 2020
January 2022 Intake
Application Open Date01 January 2021
May 2022 Intake
Application Open Date01 May 2021
September 2022 Intake
Application Open Date01 September 2021
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Mining Engineering (PhD)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
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, modelling, 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)
Our facilities are specifically designed to ensure that our faculty, staff and students are prepared to meet the demands on the mining industry. Our instructional building, the Frank Forward building and our research facility, the Coal & Mineral Processing Laboratory, are fully equipped to provide a 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 work space, quiet nooks, and a coffee room.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$969.17 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Program Funding Packages
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’ financial.
The University of British Columbia may offer a Partial Tuition Scholarship up to $3,200 each year.
All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2021 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $22,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $22,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.
- 8 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 8 students was $2,813.
- 16 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 16 students was $31,495.
- 24 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 24 students was $10,317.
- 1 student received an external award valued at $9,000.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
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:
RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher EducationUniversity of Concepcion
Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri
University Adolfo Ibañez
Technical University of Machala
University of Alberta
University of British Columbia
University of Nevada - Reno
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationGolder Associates (2)
Fluor Canada Ltd.
New Gold Inc.
Amec Foster Wheeler
Dr. Jillian Roberts Psychology Corp.
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationOwner
Associate, Senior Geotechnical Engineer
Principle Process Specialist
Senior Advisor (Natural Resources & Finance)
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThis 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.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Mining Engineering (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
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 (Industrial biotechnology; Economics and business administration; biotechnology applications in mineral resources; mining industry business model innovation)
Elmo, Davide (rock mechanics and rock engineering design; advanced numerical modelling of block cave mining and discrete fracture networks, interaction between surface and underground mining, numerical simulations of the mechanical behaviour of hard rock pillars, slope stability analysis, applications of synthetic rock mass modelling and discrete fracture network modelling.)
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; processing of industrial metals, Ultrafine grinding, high pressure grinding rolls, hydraulic transport of non-Newtonion mineral slurries, industrial minerlas, mine-mill integration, continuous centrifugal gravity concentration, improved technologies for artisinal andsmall scale gold miners, metal leaching from waste rock, rheology of mineral suspensions)
Kunz, Nadja (Mining engineering; Public administration; Public policy; Public security policy; Decision Analysis; Environmental engineering; Hydrology; Risk management; Systems engineering; water resources management)
Madiseh, Ali (Mining engineering; Numerical modelling and mechanical characterisation; Heat and mass transfer operations; energy systems; Renewable energy systems; Energy storage; Energy decarbonization; Computational Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer)
Miskovic, Sanja (Mining engineering; Mineral Processing; multiphase systems; Production and Process Optimization; Optimization, Control and Operations Research; Prefeasibility and Pilot Scale; R&D and Innovation; Technological Innovations; Sensors and Devices; Computational Fluid Dynamics; Critical Elements Extraction; Embedded Sensors; Experimental Fluid Dynamics; High performance computing; IIoT; Industrial Big Data; Minerals Processing; Multiphase Flows)
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)
Steen, John Thomas (Strategy; Innovation; Network analysis; Projects; Mining industry)
|2020||Dr. Mitelman developed an analogous method for solving ground-support problems, having an impact on the obligation for civil and mining engineers to ensure the stability of underground excavations. His proposed method requires less simplifying assumptions than analytical solutions and less computational resources than numerical methods.|
|2020||Dr. Lopes da Costa analysed if securitisation could be a viable solution to the growing issues surrounding reclamation funding scarcity and regulatory inefficiency in mining. He explored key securitisation drivers that may increase the degree of financing and regulative success, which might lead to new funding sources for the mining industry.|
|2020||Dr. Ghaffari Touran investigated one of the main fundamental mechanisms affecting the separation of multi-component ores. She showed how prolonged conditioning and gradual dissolution of salt-type minerals destroy the selectivity of the separation process. Her findings will help to improve product quality in the mineral industry.|
|2020||Dr. St-Arnault studied the weathering mechanisms of mine waste-rock using automated mineralogy and long-term leachate geochemistry data. This research improves the characterization of mine waste-rock and predictions of mine drainage quality.|
|2019||Understanding rock structure in engineering is key to building safe structures. Dr. Karimi Sharif developed an approach to better understand the failure mechanisms with naturally fractured rock masses. Her work uses numerical models to simplify the integration of discrete fracture networks and will inform future structural design.|
|2019||Dr. Nadolski developed an integrated mine-and-mill approach to improve the productivity of block cave mines. He identified and evaluated methods, such as the implementation of grade sensors, to increase cave mine productivity. His work will have significant implications to future copper supply.|
|2018||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.|
|2018||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, labour conditions and environmental footprint of artisanal miners globally.|
|2017||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.|
|2017||Mining makes a significant contribution to society, but can adversely impact the environment and the lives of people living in regions where mining occurs. Dr. Fraser's research demonstrated how the use of an economic theory to create shared value could reduce mining-community conflict and advance the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.|
Sample Thesis Submissions
Mining Engineering offers opportunity for study in the fields of mining and mineral processing, including mine environment and coal preparation. Areas of research interest are:
- Mining: Mine economics and valuation, mine design, drilling and blasting methods, rock mechanics and slope stability, optimization and simulation of mining operations, advanced mining methods, mine services (particularly mine ventilation), and climatic control.
- Mineral processing: Unit operations, comminution, process modelling and optimization, expert systems, instrumentation and computer control. Flotation, surface chemistry, fines recovery, coal recovery, treatment of fine and oxidized coal, and precious metals recovery.
- Mining and Environment: Acid rock drainage, environmental protection, effluent control and treatment. Social and legal aspects of sustainable mining practices, small-scale mining in developing countries.