The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s has prepared global mining industry leaders for more than 125 years. Today, it is the largest mining department in Canada and among the largest in the world. Consistently ranked in the top 10 worldwide, Queen’s Mining has a reputation for training outstanding graduates and has strong and long-standing connections with the industry. Over 25% of mining engineers in Canada are Queen’s Mining alumni.

As technology evolves and the global economy changes, our students and researchers play a key role in defining the state of the art in mining. In close collaboration with industry partners, our faculty and students work to improve the safety, efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness of mining operations. 


Access to and use of minerals and metals are essential to a sustainable society, to the society’s standard of living, and to economic development. Mineral resource management must be conducted in the context of sound process and product life practices. According to Natural Resources Canada (2000) , all activities related to finding, extracting, producing, adding value to, using, reusing, recycling, and, when necessary, disposing of mineral and metal products must be done in an efficient, competitive, and environmentally responsible manner while respecting the needs and values of other resource users and maintaining or improving environmental quality for present and future generations. As a consequence, the minerals and metals industry now involves not only the traditional fields of extraction and processing but encompasses the related fields of financial management, equipment manufacturing, recycling, and preservation and protection of the environment.

Vision Statement

To excel in applied science education and research related to the stewardship and recovery of the earth’s mineral resources, accomplished through the development of exceptional engineers and scholars for a sustainable global society.


Queen’s Mining will strive for excellence in the minerals, environmental, and related fields through:

  • Programs leading to broadly educated graduates equipped to pursue a variety of rewarding and meaningful careers
  • The scholarship of our faculty and students, leading to the advancement and application of knowledge for a sustainable global society
  • Delivery of high-quality continuing education to the engineering profession
  • Service to the profession and its stakeholders

In pursuit of this mission, our goals are:

To attract and retain students with outstanding potential and diverse backgrounds from across Canada and around the world.


  • Promote the challenges and rewards of an engineering career in the minerals, environmental, and related fields to future generations
  • Enhance international and out-of-province participation. Ensure that all high-quality students receive financial support

Great students deserve great teachers. A dynamic relationship between professional competence, fundamental and applied research, and creative teaching is essential to achieving our mission and vision.


  • Maintain and develop a broadly skilled faculty to foster a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Hire and retain outstanding teachers and scholars who can enrich their teaching and research by remaining current with industrial practice and innovation
  • Support faculty members with up-to-date facilities, information, resources, and technology for both teaching and research
  • Enhance the learning environment with regular input from guest lecturers from industry

To provide rigorous, relevant, and challenging programs of study and research which cross traditional boundaries to address the complex challenges faced by the minerals, environmental, and related fields.


  • Ensure that curriculum and program development reflect the increasingly global context of the minerals and related industries
  • Encourage relevant second language acquisition
  • Foster interdisciplinary research and teaching
  • Pursue the delivery of continuing education to professionals in engineering and those with an interest in the minerals industry

The Department is part of the Stephen J.R. Smith Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Queen’s University. Smith Engineering is changing the face of engineering education, so future engineers can be leaders in the face of complex and multidisciplinary global issues, building on four key pillars:

  1. Problem-based, experiential learning oriented toward the world’s grand challenges.

    A transformative approach to engineering education needs to incorporate problem-based learning across the program to ensure students engage with others and develop novel, technically sound solutions to a broad range of societal challenges in an ethical, sustainable, and humanistic way.

  2. A humanistic approach to engineering.

    A human-centered mindset will be cultivated in students and faculty to frame problems, ensuring that knowledge and creativity are brought to solutions that will have the greatest impact, recognizing and driving “problem-solution” fit through observation, insight and empathy.

    Alongside students’ grounding in fundamental and applied sciences, Smith Engineering needs to incorporate a systematic inclusion of social science and humanities knowledge.

  3. Competency-based education to ensure subject mastery.

    Program-wide competency-based education must communicate progression to students on their competence, allow students to articulate their abilities to employers and ensuring that all graduating students possess the required knowledge and skills.

    This fundamental shift can provide ongoing feedback to students on their progress toward meeting all program requirements, and repeated opportunities to improve at an individualized pace, and will significantly help students articulate their skills to employers.

  4. Experiential learning where students learn through practice.

    A new model of education must provide all our students with innovative professional development and experiential learning opportunities and ensure that community and industry insight is embedded into curricular and extra-curricular experiences.

    What is needed is an approach that provides significant relationship and experience within industry.