Mining Engineering Outstanding Achievement Award

For outstanding achievement or contribution in the field of Mining Engineering

Origins & Conditions


This award was established to recognize outstanding achievement or contribution in the field of Mining Engineering. The Award, once known as the Underground Mining Society Award for Mining Engineering Achievement, now the Mining Engineering Outstanding Achievement Award, is sponsored by the Underground Mining Society.

  1. Eligibility is open to mining engineers either as individuals or in a group, who are actively practicing in the discipline. Mining Engineering is to be broadly interpreted and will include both underground and surface mining environments. The Award will be granted to those engineers who have earned the recognition and respect of their peers for outstanding achievement in this area.
  2. The Award(s) will be made on an annual basis, without restriction to the number, but subject to the discretion of the Underground Mining Society Executive.
  3. Nominations for the Award must be over the signature of not less than ten (10) CIM National Members (in good standing), particularly CIM Branch Members. The nominations will be forwarded through the CIM Executive Director, to the Underground Mining Society Awards Committee for adjudication.
  4. The nominations must be accompanied by a brief statement indicating the reasons for the nomination.
  5. Adjudication of the award shall be made by the Awards Committee of the Underground Mining Society. This committee will consist of five (5) Members, including the Division Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and two (2) members of the Underground Mining Society selected by the executive. The incumbent Division Chairman will have the authority to designate alternates in the absence of any Members.
  6. The Awards Committee will refer the nominations to CIM Council not later than the last Council meeting held prior to the next Annual General Meeting of the Institute.
  7. No member of the Awards Committee shall be a party to the nomination of any candidate.
  8. The Award(s) will be presented at the local Branch level, by a Member of the Underground Mining Society Executive or in their absence, by the local Branch Chairman. In addition, the Award(s) will be verbally recognized by the CIM President at the Annual General Meeting Awards Gala.
  9. All nominations properly presented shall remain in good standing for a period of three years unless formally withdrawn over the signatures of a majority of members responsible for the nomination.
  10. Nominees should be CIM National Members.



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 (, 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.


Jarek Jakubec

Jarek Jakubec is considered a cave mining expert with over 35 years of worldwide operating and consulting experience within the mining industry. His experiences include feasibility project management, technical advisory role, due diligence reviews, mining method selection and rock mechanics. He has worked globally on over 150 mining projects within 30 countries on 6 continents.

Prior to SRK Consulting, Jakubec worked for De Beers Consolidated Mines in South Africa and Botswana, where he led the geotechnical section for large open pit diamond mines.

Within SRK, Jakubec developed and now manages a team of mining and geology experts who provide consulting services for the mass mining and diamond industries. He has published over 26 papers on geology, rock mechanics and mining, co-authored two mining books, and participated on several international research projects. He is also the founder of The Cave Mining Forum and is a Qualified Person in terms of National Instrument 43-101.