Research + Industry Projects

One of the priorities of the Lassonde Institute of Mining is to develop innovative solutions to the mining industry’s most pressing challenges.

Research groups and laboratories:

  • mineral exploration
  • mining engineering
  • computational geomechanics
  • mineral process engineering
  • water management
  • extractive metallurgy

The Lassonde Institute’s principal investigators teach and conduct research across these disciplines in a collaborative manner, creating an important resource of human capital — the next generation of industry leaders and innovators. Our faculty members are also developing new technology-driven solutions that will impact the operational efficiency of the mine cycle and improve sustainability through decreasing environmental risks and financial liabilities.


Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Chair in Mineral Engineering

Since January 2016, the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Chair in Mineral Engineering has been held by Professor Lesley Warren, who succeeded the inaugural chair, Professor John Hadjigeorgiou. An aqueous and microbial geochemist, Professor Warren is a pioneer in the development of integrated approaches to address key questions linked to the roles of genomes and microorganisms in geochemical cycling, with a significant focus on water quality management in mining contexts. She has an internationally recognized track record of resource sector-based integrated geochemical and microbiological investigation, and has partnered with numerous energy and mining industry leaders. She serves on the Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization (CAMIRO) Expert Geochemistry panel and Syncrude Canada’s Reclamation and End Pit Lake Science Advisory Boards.

Visit Professor Warren’s website

Pierre Lassonde Chair in Mining Engineering

Since 2012, the Pierre Lassonde Chair in Mining Engineering has been held by Professor John Hadjigeorgiou. He succeeded the inaugural chair, Professor William Bawden, who had held the position since 1997. Professor Hadjigeorgiou’s teaching, research and consulting expertise are in the areas of rock characterization, slope stability, tunnelling, reinforcement and support, and mine design. A Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Professor Hadjigeorgiou is a recipient of the John Franklin Award in Rock Mechanics from the Canadian Geotechnical Society and the Rock Mechanics Award from the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Visit Professor Hadjigeorgiou’s website

Principal Investigators

Gisele Azimi

BASc, MASc (Sharif University of Technology), PhD (Toronto), PEng, Post-doc (MIT)

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry & Materials Science and Engineering

Research Areas: Extraction, processing, and recycling of strategic materials, mainly rare-earth elements; electrochemistry; high-temperature electrolysis; hydrometallurgy: high-pressure acid leaching and solvent extraction; supercritical fluid extraction of rare earths; supercritical water desulphurization; multi-resolution modelling and experimental investigation of electrolyte systems: thermodynamics, chemical modelling, and process simulation; design and fabrication of metal- and ceramic-based materials and surfaces with controlled properties (e.g., hydrophobic, scale-resistant).

Visit website

Mansoor Barati

BSc (IsfBarati, Mansoorahan), MSc (Isfahan), PhD (McMaster), PEng

Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Research Areas: Sustainable materials processing; production and refining of high quality metals and alloys; alternative metals processing routes; recycling of wastes; fundamentals of interactions and properties in pyrometallurgical systems.

Visit website

Erin Bobicki

BASc (UBC/UNBC), PhD (Alberta)

Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering & Chemical Engineering

Research Areas: Reduction of water and energy use in mineral processing; processing of low-grade ores; surface and colloid chemistry; interfacial phenomena; slurry rheology in flotation and comminution; comminution energy reduction; coarse particle flotation; microwave properties of minerals; microwave pre-treatment for improved processability; saline and recycle water use in processing; tailings re-processing; tailings and wastewater treatment; holistic strategies for increasing the sustainability of mining and mineral processing operations.

Visit website

Kinnor Chattopadhyay

BEng (Jadavpur), MEng (McGill), PhD (McGill), PEng

Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Research Area: The Process Metallurgy and Modelling Group focuses on physical and mathematical modelling of metallurgical process for designing new processes, better understanding of existing process, operational improvements, and to perform ‘root cause’ and ‘what if’ analyses of problems. Fundamentals of metallurgical thermodynamics, transport phenomena, and CFD modelling are applied to simulate real industrial processes.

Visit website

Xu Chu

BSc (Peking University), MPhil (Yale), PhD (Yale)

Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences

Research Areas: I am a hard-rock petrologist interested in the rock records of orogenic dynamics and the geochemical processes that transport heat and materials in the lithosphere. I work on a range of topics, with the aim of improving fundamental theories for petrologic thermodynamics and kinetics, and advancing modeling efforts to reveal the geologic histories documented by natural rocks. My projects integrate field-based studies, experimental petrology, and numerical simulations, and apply the petrologic tools to field areas of various geologic settings, including the New England Appalachians, the Tianshan UHP belt in western China, Alpine Corsica, contact aureoles in the Sierra Nevada, and the Adirondacks.

Visit website

Birsen Donmez

BSc (Bogazici, Istanbul), MSc (Iowa), PhD (Iowa)

Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering Canada Research Chair in Human Factors and Transportation

Research Areas: Human factors; human adaptation to technology; designing feedback for guiding operator behaviour; driver distraction mitigation; statistical modelling of crash data; decision support for emergency medical transport; interruptions in intensive care settings; unmanned vehicle supervisory control.

Visit website

Elizabeth Edwards

PhD, PEng

Professor, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry

Research Areas: Subsurface microbial processes, particularly those that occur in the absence of oxygen, with a focus on bioremediation. Anaerobic environments are prevalent in contaminated soils, sediments and groundwater. Research group studies microbial communities from these environments, and how these microbial communities interact and enable transformation of contaminants to less toxic products, and knowledge about how fundamental microbial processes and mineral interactions can be used to develop sustainable bioremediation practices.

Visit website

Kamran Esmaeili

BSc (Kerman), MSc (Tehran), PhD (Laval)

Associate Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas:  Geomechanical mine design; numerical modelling in geomechanics – Discrete Fracture Network (DFN), Synthetic Rock Mass (SRM); feasibility assessment of mining projects; application of geostatistical techniques in mine planning and design.

Visit website

Mason Ghafghazi

BSc (Isfahan University of Technology), MSc (Sharif University of Technology), PhD (UBC), Post-doc (UC Davis)

Assistant Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas: Constitutive modelling of soils; cyclic behaviour of widely graded soils; assessment of liquefaction potential and post-cyclic response of intermediate soils; geotechnical field investigation.

Visit website

Murray Grabinsky

BASc (UBC), MASc (Toronto), PhD (Toronto), PEng

Robert M. Smith Chair in Geotechnical Mine Design and Analysis;  Associate Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas: Geomechanical design of cemented paste backfill systems; integrated mine waste management; economically and environmentally sustainable mining; in-situ instrumentation for paste backfill; liquefaction of paste backfill; non-destructive test methods for paste backfill.

Visit website

Giovanni Grasselli

PhD (EPFL), PEng

Foundation CMG Research Chair in Fundamental Petroleum Rock Physics and Rock Mechanics; Assistant Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas: Hydraulic fracturing; rock mechanics; influence of fractures on the hydro-mechanical behaviour of rock masses; flow and transport in fractured porous media; rock physics visualization techniques (i.e., X-ray microCT, confocal microscopy); mining survey and 3D visualization; rock supports.

Visit website

John Hadjigeorgiou

BASc (Ottawa), Dipl. Eng. Geology (McGill), MEng, PhD (McGill), PEng

Pierre Lassonde Chair in Mining Engineering; Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas: Rock characterization; slope stability; tunneling; reinforcement and support; mine design; ore pass design.

Visit website

John Harrison

BSc, MSc, DIC, PhD (Imperial College London), CEng

Keck Chair in Engineering Rock Mechanics; Associate Chair, Undergraduate, Lassonde Mineral Engineering Program; Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas: Engineering rock mechanics; modelling the progressive failure of rock; geometry and hydro-mechanical behaviour of natural fracture; application of rock mechanics principles to the conservation of stone sculpture.

Visit website

Greg A. Jamieson

BSc (Illinois), MASc (Toronto), PhD (Toronto), PEng

Associate Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; Clarice Chalmers Chair of Engineering Design

Research Areas: Human interaction with automation; analysis of work in complex systems; design of interfaces; cognitive engineering applications in process control; energy systems; other emerging areas.

Visit website

Andrew K. S. Jardine

PhD (Birmingham), PEng, CEng, FCAE, FIIE

Professor Emeritus, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; Former Director, Centre for Maintenance Optimization & Reliability Engineering (C-MORE)

Research Areas: manufacturing; operations; preventative replacement; condition-based maintenance; spare parts provisioning (both slow- and fast-moving parts); inspection policies.

Visit website

Michael Kim

PhD (Toronto)

Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Director, Centre for Maintenance Optimization & Reliability Engineering (C-MORE)

Research Areas: Stochastic models; robust/dynamic decision making; statistical learning; reliability and maintenance.

Visit website

Bernd Milkereit

PhD (Kiel)

Teck Chair of Exploration Geophysics, Department of Earth Sciences; Professor, Earth Sciences

Research Areas: Exploration seismology; exploring meteorite impact crater; VSP studies, Mallik Gashydrates; hardrock seismic exploration; scientific drilling.

Visit website

Bibhu Mohanty

BSc, MTech (I.I.T., India), MA (Toronto), PhD (Toronto), PEng

Professor Emeritus, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas: Dynamic fracture processes in rock due to explosive and impact action; blast modelling and design for open-pit and underground mines; fracture and dilution control; explosion seismology; physics of detonation, explosion hazards, and blast-resistant structures; instrumentation for shock wave, impact, and vibrations.

Visit website

Neil Montgomery

Associate Director, Centre for Maintenance Optimization & Reliability Engineering (C-MORE)

Research Areas: Working with C-MORE members and other organizations on data-driven, evidence-based asset management decisions.
Visit website

Vladimiros Papangelakis

Dipl. Eng. (Athens), MEng (McGill), PhD (McGill), PEng

Professor, Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry

Research Areas: Aqueous process engineering; chemical process metallurgy; hydrometallurgy; process modelling; electrolyte solution chemistry; mineral-water interfaces; recycling of inorganic wastes; environmental remediation from mining and metallurgical activities.

Visit website

Angela Schoellig

Dipl. Eng (Stuttgart), MSc (Georgia Tech), PhD (ETH Zurich)

Assistant Professor, Institute for Aerospace Studies; Associate Director, Center for Aerial Robotics Research and Education (CARE)

Research Areas: robotics; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); controls for robot autonomy; machine learning in robotics.

Visit website

Brent E. Sleep

BASc (Waterloo), MASc (Waterloo), PhD (Waterloo), PEng

Chair, Department of Civil Engineering; Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas: Flow and transport processes in the subsurface; geochemical and biological processes in the subsurface; numerical modelling of subsurface processes; hydrogeology; groundwater remediation.

Visit website


Lesley Warren

BSc (Toronto), PhD (Toronto), Post-doc (Quebec)

Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Chair in Mineral Engineering; Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas: Aqueous and microbial geochemistry; environmental and reclamation management for the resource sector.

Visit website

Kaiwen Xia

BS (U of Sci & Tech, China), MS (U of Sci & Tech, China), MS (Cal Tech), PhD (Cal Tech)

Associate Professor, Civil & Mineral Engineering

Research Areas: Rock dynamics; dynamic fracture mechanics; rock fragmentation; dynamic responses of materials; standardization of rock dynamic testing methods; dynamic response of rocks under static confinement; earthquake physics; monitoring of rock mass; structural health monitoring.

Visit website

Paul Young

BSc (London), MSc (Newcastle), Postgraduate Cert. Ed. (London), PhD (CNAA), CEng

Professor of Geophysics, Civil & Mineral Engineering; Former Vice-President Research, University of Toronto

Research Areas: Fundamental and applied research at the interface between seismology and rock mechanics; rock fracture physics, earthquake processes, geophysics, and geomechanics.

Visit website

Zoltan Zajacz

MSc (Eotvos Lorand, Budapest), PhD (ETH Zurich)

Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences

Research Areas: Mass transfer of metallic and volatile elements in geologic fluids; geology; volcanology; ore geology; petrology; silicate; volcanic eruptions; geochemistry; geoscience.

Visit website

© 2020 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering