RAPID CITY, SD — Robert Hall, Ph.D., P.E., is the new head of the Department of Mining Engineering and Management (MEM) at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.
Hall completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and followed up with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He went on to finish his Ph.D. in mining engineering at Queen’s University in 2000. Hall most recently served as a professor in the School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Alberta, Canada. Prior to that he spent 15 years at the University of British Columbia.
“I applied for the position at South Dakota Mines as it is a great opportunity to be part of a school and department that has strong industry, community and government support,” said Hall. “The MEM faculty and staff are well regarded by industry and academia and there is a genuine desire for the department to continue its long history of success.”
MEM at South Dakota Mines is a close-knit department with strong ties to local, national and international mining companies, equipment manufacturers and mining schools. “Mining students generally have better job opportunities and higher starting salaries than many other engineering disciplines,” Hall added. “Students who join MEM at South Dakota Mines are not only getting a degree, they are joining a community of people who believe in working hard and supporting each other.”
Hall brings experience from two large universities and various consulting activities to the department. His areas of research include mining equipment design, automation, equipment maintenance and reliability, comminution and energy reduction. His skillset will help MEM continue to meet the engineering needs of South Dakota and the United States by attracting the best and brightest students and faculty.
“There is a need to create graduates that have the capacity to understand and utilize the emerging technologies in the mining industry,” says Hall. “My multidisciplinary experience in my own education, research, consulting and my involvement with the integrated engineering program at the University of British Columbia will allow me to work with stakeholders to create graduates that meet these needs.”
Hall says this is an exciting time to be involved in the mining industry as cutting-edge technologies are advancing the economic and sustainable recovery of the earth’s resources. “Mining engineers contribute to society by sustainability, providing the materials that make up many of the items we all need in everyday life,” he said. “Mining engineers also get to play with some of the largest and most technologically advanced equipment in the world. including self-driving trucks that are three building stories high, advanced chemical and electrical control processes and satellite technology to aid mine reclamation. The breadth of opportunities to learn and grow during your career are endless.”
When Hall is not working on campus, he spends time with his two dogs who are, “spoiled rotten.” He also has a commercial pilot’s license and enjoys flying on wheels, floats and skis depending on the time of year. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and many other outdoor activities.