Caius Priscu

Adjunct Professor
Priscu head shot


McGill University, 1999, Ph.D, Mining Engineering (Mine Waste Management)

McGill University, 1993, M.Eng, Civil Engineering (Geotechnical)

Civil Engineering Inst. (Bucharest), 1989, MSc Hydraulic Structures


Dr. Caius Priscu, P.Eng, is a Principal Geotechnical Engineer with over 30 years of experience in the mining and water resources industries. He is a Director and Co-founder of Priscu and Associates Consulting Engineers Inc. independent consulting firm in West Vancouver, BC, Canada ( Dr. Priscu’s background is in both Civil and Mining Engineering, working in the past with a general contractor team, in consulting engineering, and as an owner/operator of tailings and water retaining dams. His career focus has been on the planning, design, construction, operation and closure of tailings storage facilities and water retaining dams. Over the last decade, he has been concerned with dam safety, risk management of dams, and the development of standards and guidance for safe design and operation of mine waste management facilities. He has been a guest speaker and has published over 50 conference papers on these subjects.

Dr. Priscu has been a tireless volunteer and true supporter of many technical not-for-profit organizations. He is a past member of the Tailings Working Group of Mining Association of Canada (MAC), and of the International Council for Mining and Metals (ICMM) and is intimately familiar with the standards and guidance documents for tailings dam safety and management, issued by MAC, ICMM, the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), and the Canadian Dam Association (CDA), to name a few. He is a past member on the Board of Directors (2008 – 20011) and Chair of the Honours and Awards Committee (2019 to date) of the CDA, and past representative for ICOLD Chile to ICOLD Committee H: Dam Safety. In December 2020, Dr. Priscu was elected as Honorary Member of the Romanian National Committee on Large Dams (ROCOLD), representing Romania to ICOLD Committee L: Tailings Dams and Waste Lagoons.

Dr. Priscu is a registered Professional Engineer in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.

Research Interests

  • Tailings and water retaining dam safety;
  • Dam monitoring and surveillance technologies;
  • Risk-informed management for tailings storage facilities;
  • Portfolio risk management for tailings and water retaining dams;
  • Governance models for managing tailings storage facilities.

Selected Publications

  • Desjardins, M., Whitaker, S., Trollope, A., and Priscu, C. (2021): “Lessons Learned from Long Term Surveillance of Two Tailings Storage Facilities in the Canadian Arctic”, in Proceedings of the 27th Congress and 89th Annual Meeting of ICOLD, Marseille, France, November 2021.
  • Priscu, C.(2020): “Tailings Dam Safety Management and Governance Framework at Anglo American”. SMI MineExchange 2020 Annual Conference, Society for Mining and Exploration, Phoenix, AZ, United States, 25 Feb. 2020.
  • Priscu, C.(2019): “The Owner’s Golden Triangle in Tailings Dam Safety Management”. Invited luncheon keynote speaker presentation, Tailings and Mine Waste 2019 Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 17-20 November 2019.
  • Bain, A., Motselebane, M., Gardner, T., andPriscu, C. (2019): “Tailings Dam Safety: Is Waste Rock Coming to the Rescue?”. In Tailings and Mine Waste 2019 Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 17-20 November 2019.
  • Priscu, C.(2019): “Tailings Dam Safety: Going Beyond Technical”. Invited keynote speaker, Paste2019, 22nd International Conference on Paste, Thickened, and Filtered Tailings, ACG, Cape Town, South Africa, 07 May 2019.
  • Cameron-Ellis, D.G, Priscu, C., Blaeser, M., and Wright, H.J. (2019): “The Need for Thorough Dam Safety Reviews on Existing Dam Structures”. In 3rdInternational Conference and Exhibition on Water Storage and Hydropower Development for Africa, Windhoek, Namibia, 2-4 April 2019.
  • Priscu, C.(2018): “Geotechnical Engineering and Dam Safety – Future Developments”. Invited speaker, ICOLD Chile. 10th Annual Conference of SOCHIGE, Valparaiso, Chile, 3-5 December 2018.
  • Priscu, C. (2018): “The Need for a Paradigm Shift in Dam Safety Management”. Opening keynote address, in 5thInternational Seminar on Tailings Management, Tailings 2018, Santiago, Chile, July 2018.
  • Priscu, C., Martin, T., Gardner, T., Motselebane, M. (2017): “Operational Dam Safety and the Human Error Element”, in 4thInternational Seminar on Tailings Management, Tailings 2017, Santiago, Chile, July 2017.