The Australian Centre for Geomechanics at The University of Western Australia has appointed Dr Ken Mercer to a professorial position in environmental and mining geomechanics.
ACG director Winthrop Professor Yves Potvin said the new position highlighted the importance of environmental and mining geomechanics to the local and global mining industries.
"The ACG has enjoyed a mutually rewarding and successful relationship with industry, primarily through the delivery of world-class research, and Dr Mercer's appointment will enhance our research and continuing education and training platform," Professor Potvin said.
"The ACG looks forward to further developing our environmental technical arm following on from the pioneering efforts of Professor (former ACG director) Richard Jewell and Winthrop Professor of Mining Andy Fourie in the key area of mine waste," Dr Potvin said.
"Dr Mercer brings extensive mining sector consulting and business management experience to the ACG. His professional career includes a leadership role as divisional manager for Snowden Mining Industry Consultants."
Dr Mercer is recognised as a leading geotechnical practitioner in many areas, including surface mining and open pit rock mechanics, tailings dams, waste dumps, water dams and risk evaluation.
"He has also provided geotechnical engineering advice on projects throughout Australia, Africa, South America, Europe and Asia," Professor Potvin said.
Dr Mercer said he was attracted to the ACG by its strong focus on geotechnical excellence and the importance of mine safety, the high level of research and technical expertise and its reputation for delivering world-class geotechnical knowledge and information via relevant and accessible mining events, publications and training products.
As the ACG's environmental mining geomechanics principal, he will be responsible for developing and leading the environmental geomechanics program and will also have a strong involvement with slope stability research.