Professor
Department Head

Application of biotechnologies to mineral extraction, Innovation in mining

Office:
MINE 350 Modeling and Simulation
MINE 553 Modeling of Industrial Processes
Education
Stanford University, 1977, PhD Geophysics and Civil Engineering
University of Toronto, 1973, MSc Geophysics
University of British Columbia, 1972, BSc Geophysics
Biography

From 1975 to 1996 I worked for various engineering consulting organizations. My experience includes mining exploration, geotechnical engineering, mine design, design of tailings dams, water resources engineering and hydroelectric engineering. I worked on projects in Canada, the US, Central and South America, Iran, Africa, and China.

In January 1997, I joined the Department of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia. I taught courses in Mine Economics, Mine Waste Management, Mine Design, Simulation, and Engineering Ethics. I was the founding director of the Integrated Engineering program, an undergraduate engineering program that focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of engineering practice, teamwork in design, independent learning, and communication skills.

My research concerns the development of advanced mining and mineral processing methods. Some basic questions: What will a mine look like 50 to 100 years from now? What innovations are needed to make it happened?

Research Interests

From 1975 to 1996 I worked for various engineering consulting organizations. My experience includes mining exploration, geotechnical engineering, mine design, design of tailings dams, water resources engineering and hydroelectric engineering. I worked on projects in Canada, the US, Central and South America, Iran, Africa, and China.

In January 1997, I joined the Department of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia. I taught courses in Mine Economics, Mine Waste Management, Mine Design, Simulation, and Engineering Ethics. I was the founding director of the Integrated Engineering program, an undergraduate engineering program that focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of engineering practice, teamwork in design, independent learning, and communication skills.

My research concerns the development of advanced mining and mineral processing methods. Some basic questions: What will a mine look like 50 to 100 years from now? What innovations are needed to make it happened?

Publications

  • Curtis SB, Lederer FL, Dunbar WS, MacGillivray RTA, 2016. Identification of mineral-binding peptides that discriminate between chalcopyrite and enargite. Accepted for publication in Biotechnology and Bioengineering
  • Dunbar, WS 2016. Biotechnology and the mine of tomorrow. In press, Trends in Biotechnology
  • Dunbar WS, Moss A, Davies J, McKinnell J, 2016. Paths for innovation in the mining industry. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, accepted pending response to reviewers’ comments
  • Lederer FL, Curtis SB, Dunbar WS, MacGillivray RTA, 2016. Identification of lanthanum-selective peptides for future recycling of rare earth elements from compact fluorescent lamps. Submitted to Biotechnology and Bioengineering
  • Dunbar WS 2015. How Mining Works, Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Denver
  • What is mine waste? Roundup January 27, 2015, Vancouver. Presentation to members of Mineral Resources Education Program of BC (MineralsEd)
  • Ahmed HM, Scoble MJ, and Dunbar WS, 2014. A comparison between Offset Herringbone and El Teniente underground cave mining extraction layouts using a discrete event simulation technique. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment
  • Does a mine have to be a big hole in the ground? Maybe not. Pecha Kucha style presentation given at Innovate 2014, UBC Applied Science
  • A Future of Mining, Global Mining Summit, December 6-7, 2012, Las Vegas
  • Grieco S-HH, Wong AYK, Dunbar WS, MacGillivray RTA, and Curtis SB, 2012 Optimization of fermentation parameters in phage production using response surface methodology, Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 39(10): 1515-1522
  • Curtis SB, Dunbar WS, MacGillivray RTA, 2012 Bacteriophage-induced aggregation of oil sands tailings, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 110:803–811
  • Curtis SB, MacGillivray RTA, Dunbar WS, 2011. Effects of bacteriophage on the surface properties of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), and phage-induced flocculation of chalcopyrite, glacial till, and oil sands tailings. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 108(7): 1579-1590