Pickles Family Scholarship

Established in October 2019 by Dr. Christopher Pickles and awarded on the basis of academic excellence to funding eligible Masters or PhD level students enrolled in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining. Preference will be given to students pursuing research in the field of sustainable processing in extractive metallurgy.

Brian Kawenski Cook, PhD Candidate


Brian is currently enrolled in the PhD program at Queen’s University’s Robert M. Buchan School of Mining. He received his Bachelor’s in Materials Engineering from McGill University in 2016 where his work focused on the development of lightweight automotive and aerospace alloys. After graduation, Brian worked at CiDRA Minerals Processing as a Metallurgist where he helped develop their novel P29 Technology. In 2020, Brian returned to graduate school at Queen’s University under the supervision of Dr. Charlotte Gibson to research the flotation of lithium bearing minerals. His research is done in close collaboration with SGS Lakefield.

The George C. Bateman Memorial Fellowship

A bequest by the late George C. Bateman to provide graduate fellowships to students in Mining Engineering.

Tianyu Zhao, PhD Candidate


Tianyu's PhD project is recycling waste lithium-ion batteries. In particular, he is interested in selective leaching of lithium from e-waste and has done a lot of research work. He aims to turn waste lithium-ion batteries into wealth, so as to realize the recycling and sustainable development of resources.

Noble E. Potakey, MASC Candidate

Noble-Photo.jpg Noble E. Potakey has a bachelor's degree in Geological engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. In 2021, he joined the predictive geometallurgy and geostatistics lab under the supervision of Prof. Julian Ortiz, where he is working on optimizing grade control in open pit mining using supervised machine learning. He is keen on revolutionizing ore grade determination and mine design techniques using AI.

Arik Collins, MASC Candidate


Arik is a MASc student in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining, Queen’s University. His research focuses on the remediation of tailings through sulphide flotation to reduce the environmental impact from acid rock drainage. Arik is also exploring policies surrounding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations in the mining industry, with hopes that the mining industry will be a leader of best practices and environmental innovation.

The Harry Isaacs Memorial Graduate Scholarship

Established in October 2005 by a bequest from the estate of Mary L. Isaacs, B.A. 1950 in memory of her brother Harry Isaacs, and awarded to eligible full-time funding graduate students in Mining Engineering.

Mehmet Emircan Emci, PhD Candidate


Mehmet commenced his PhD studies in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen's University under Dr. Abbas Taheri in September 2022. His work centers on rock mechanics, ground characterization, and experimental geomechanics. With a BSc and MSc in Mining Engineering and a keen understanding of the industry from internships and continued engagement, Emci aspires to be a leading academic in both teaching and research.

The Paul D. D. Chick Memorial Scholarship

A scholarship established in memory of Paul D. D. Chick, M.Sc. '80, is awarded annually on the recommendation of the Head of the Department to a promising graduate student registered in the Department of Mining Engineering.

Batur Tokac, MASC Candidate

Batur-Tokac-Photo.jpg Batur Tokac is a driven M.A.Sc. candidate at Queen's University's Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining. He earned his B.Sc. degree in mining engineering from Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey, in 2019. For the fall semester of the academic year 2018-2019, he received the high honour roll award from METU in recognition of his academic achievements. Following graduation, he worked as a mining engineer, contributing to equipment selection, mine planning and haulage fleet optimization projects in the industry.

At present, Batur is a member of Queen's University's Green Mining Value Chain Lab, studying under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Qian Zhang and Asst. Prof. Asli Sari. His research focuses on developing a simulation model involving different conditions and parameters to compare diesel and electric trucks environmentally and economically in open-pit mining operations.

The J. J. Denny Memorial Fellowship in Mining Engineering

Established from the sale of gold nuggets donated by Mrs. J. J. Denny in memory of James Denny, M.Sc. '21 and awarded on the recommendation of the department to a graduate student in mining engineering

Gloria Owusu-Addo, MASC Candidate


Gloria is an M.A.Sc. Student in the Robert M. Department of Mining at Queen's University, under the supervision of Dr. Charlotte Gibson and Dr. Sadan Kelebek. Her research, partnered with the Canadian Wollastonite, focuses on processing Wollastonite ore. Gloria's thesis examines physical separation methods to upgrade the Wollastonite ore for further downstream processes.

Modular Mining Graduate Award

Established in May 2018 by Modular Mining Systems Inc. and awarded on the basis of academic excellence to funding eligible research Masters or PhD level students enrolled in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining. Preference will be given to students pursuing research in the fields of Mining Optimization, Automation, Technology, and/or Innovation.

Soheil Kheirparast, MASC Candidate


Soheil is currently engaged in researching the stochastic optimization of mine planning. He obtained his bachelor's degree in mining engineering from Tehran Polytechnic in Iran. Throughout his academic journey at Queen's, he has served as a teaching assistant and a teaching fellow for three distinct undergraduate courses. Soheil's areas of interest encompass geostatistics, mine planning, data analytics, uncertainty and risk management, as well as mine economics.

Espoir Murhula, PhD Candidate


Espoir joined the Department of Mining Engineering at Queen's in January 2022, in the critical minerals research group, to work on lithium recovery from LCT pegmatites. Espoir uses multiscale methods like batch flotation, microflotation, surface chemistry methods, as well as molecular to atomic scale modeling (e.g., DFT and AIMD) to help improve the separation of lithium-bearing minerals (e.g., spodumene) from gangue minerals (e.g. quartz).

Analia Laura Parrillo Valiente, PhD Candidate


Analía graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de la República (Uruguay) in 2014.  She completed an M.Eng. in Mining Engineering at Queen´s University in 2016, and her M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at Universidad de la República in 2022. She is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Queen’s University under the supervision of Dr. Takis Katsabanis.  Analía’s research focus is the development of a model to predict fragmentation and grindability of fragments using measurements while drilling and blast pattern parameters.

The Gordon Bell Fellowship in Transformative Mining

Established in November 2019 by Gordon Bell, BSc (Eng) 1980. Awarded on the basis of academic excellence to funding eligible Masters or PhD level students enrolled in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining, whose areas of research show potential for transforming the means by which mineral resources are extracted. A key objective of the scholarship is to foster interdisciplinary research to develop new or apply emerging technological advances to the mining and processing of minerals, or by advancing and applying new or developing technologies in other industries which can be transformative to the mining industry.

Guillermo Andrés Alvial Hein, PhD Candidate


Guillermo is a Ph.D. candidate in the Hydrometallurgy and Environmental group in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining. He has experience in metal recovery projects from primary and secondary resources, including gold, lithium, and copper. His thesis is focused on improving gold recovery from refractory gold ores through a pretreatment using different types of microorganisms. The goal of his research is to develop a new technological opportunity, promoting the view of a net-zero target in the mining industry. 


Alireza Gholami, PhD Candidate


Alireza is a PhD student in GreeMVC Lab in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining, Queen’s University. His research aims to assess the comprehensive life-cycle impact of recycling and reusing high-value mineral wastes.

Patrick William Rankin, MASC. Candidate


Patrick spent two years as a research affiliate student in the mineral processing group at CanmetMINING, part of National Resources Canada (NRCan), in Ottawa while he worked on his master’s degree in the Mining Department at Queen’s University. His research investigated seasonal temperature and water quality effects on copper-zinc flotation using real ore and process water from Kidd Creek Operations. He will be staying on at NRCan in the role of Policy Analyst starting in September 2023.