Dr. Faramaz Hassani
Dr. Faramarz Hassani obtained his B. Eng. (1975) and PhD (1981) in mining engineering from Nottingham University, England. He has been at McGill University since 1983 and has spent many years in a leadership role. Dr. Hassani is presently the Webster Chair professor of mining engineering. His focus is in rock mechanics, mine and energy as well as mine backfill.
He was the co-founder and the chairman of the Canadian Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) and has been an advisor to a number of governments on their mining issues and consultant to many major mining companies around the globe. He is also the recipient of many patents and awards.
Dr. Hassani maintains strong interdisciplinary research and has supervised over 170 PhD and M. Eng. students and research scientists. He has contributed to over 350 scientific articles, books and reports.
He has been an active member of CIM for 34 years and is involved in many CIM national meetings as well as chairing many international conferences such as Mine Backfill in 1989 and 2007, the World Mining Congress 2013, as well as the International Society of Rock Mechanics Congress in 2015.
Dr. Rimas Pakalnis
Dr. Rimas Pakalnis, UBC Associate Professor Emeritus Mining Engineering, was born on October 28, 1956, in Val-d’Or, Quebec. He attended KLCVI in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, followed by McGill University for mining engineering and then the University of British Columbia (UBC) for his Masters and PhD. Over his life he taught hundreds of undergraduate students at UBC, and supervised dozens of Masters and PhD students. He was published extensively: in several journals including those for the CIM and SME, government publications for CANMET and the U.S. Bureau of Mines, and many conference proceedings globally.
Pakalnis had over 30 years of experience in underground mining. He was a designated expert in the field of rock mechanics by Canadian and U.S. federal agencies and consulted for a wide variety of mining operations throughout the world. His extensive research and practical experience guided his teaching at UBC for over 20 years and internationally, both at conferences and in the delivery of professional development training for mining operations.
Pakalnis was a great champion of empirical method for rock mechanics mine design, putting his conviction and skills into practice around the world. He worked for 169 mining companies across all continents, improving industry practice and keeping his fellow humans safe with his designs.
His legacy includes the many graduate students he supervised and mentored in the field of mining rock mechanics. He and his students developed many empirical design tools in rock mechanics that have become industry standards. He developed a reputation for promoting lifelong education and improving the safety and cost-effectiveness in the industry to be remembered for generations to come. The Dr. Rimas Pakalnis Memorial Fund in Mining Engineering set up in his memory by family and friends (https://memorial.support.ubc.ca/rimas-pakalnis/), will pay tribute to Rimas' life and career by supporting outstanding graduate engineering students at UBC.
Dr. Pakalnis passed away on Thursday October 18, 2018.