In 1871, the Department of Mining Engineering was founded with Bernard J. Harrington (BA 1869, MA 1895, LLD 1899) as lecturer. Harrington, who had just received the new PhD designation from Yale University, would become a professor in the department in 1874, at which point Metallurgy, the study of metals, was introduced as part of the program in Mining Engineering. It took another 24 years before the name of the department was changed to Mining and Metallurgy. More than a century later, in 2001, the name was changed to Department of Mining, Metals and Materials Engineering, and six years later, it was accepted that the department was involved with all materials, with metals being one of these, and the Department name changed to Mining and Materials Engineering.
The department currently offers two undergraduate programs: a) Materials Engineering and b) Mining Engineering. Both are accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) and are co-operative, meaning that they have 12-16 months of compulsory work experience prior to graduation. These are the only two Co-op programs offered at McGill and the relatively moderate enrolment of the department has, to date, ensured full placement of about 40-50 students three times per year. The department boasts a wide range of research activities with annual funding per professor, in 2008-2009, of over a quarter of a million dollars (excluding infrastructure awards). Most of the research is performed by graduate students at both the Masters and PhD levels on industrially driven projects. Industrial collaborators include Rio Tinto, Teck, Xstrata, Vale Inco, Pratt and Whitney Canada, Novelis, ArcelorMittal, the Canadian Space Agency, Natural Resources Canada and the National Research Council, to name a few.
Mission and Objectives
- To educate and train the best engineers for the materials and mining industries by offering two high-quality, co-operative undergraduate programs.
- To prepare graduates for professional careers in the materials and mining industries through two accredited engineering programs.
- To conduct high quality research of international standing in the materials and mining engineering fields.
- To educate and train graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in advanced research areas both in fundamental and applied fields of the discipline.
- To promote strong interaction with industry, other academic institutions and research centres through both cooperative education and industrial partnership in research.