Matthew Pierce appointed Director of the Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Mine Construction
Top image: from left to right, Allan Moss (General Manager at Rio Tinto) with Dr. Erik Eberhardt, Dr. Matthew Pierce, Dr. Peter Kaiser and Mr. Douglas Morrison at the announcement event in Vancouver.
RTC-UMC is based at the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) in Sudbury, Canada and was established in 2010 to complement Rio Tinto’s research center program (also with centers in Australia and the U.K.). RTC-UMC focuses on technology development and implementation for underground mines through research in rapid mine construction and to enhance footprint reliability, including developing efficient and effective ground control measures. Research aims at overcoming key challenges in mine construction and mechanized excavation and addresses the challenges related to the introduction of new technologies to perform in highly stressed and naturally variable ground.
Dr. Pierce received Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Geological and Mining Engineering from Queen’s University and a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from the University of Queensland, for which he was awarded the Rocha Medal in 2013 by the International Society of Rock Mechanics. Through his involvement in a wide range of consulting and research projects over the last two decades, including the International Caving Studies and Mass Mining Technology Projects, he has pioneered methods for the determination of the strength of rock masses and the analysis of caving, fragmentation, subsidence, draw/recovery and infrastructure stability for mining projects and operations.
During his tenure with RTC-UMC, Dr. Pierce will remain a Principal Engineer with Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. in Minneapolis were he specializes in geomechanical characterization of rock masses and underground mine design.