In 1990, the Mining Engineering Department at the University of Alberta was targeted for closure due to declining enrollment, and other mining programs were in decline in North America. The mining industry recognized the future potential of the sector and the criticality of a strong mining program to support the growth. Industry and university representatives committed to work together and were able to save the program.
The Mining Industry Advisory Committee (MIAC), with the Alberta Chamber of Resources (ACR) as a lead sponsor, was established to provide oversight to the mining program.
Since that time, the program has grown from a total of only six undergraduate students successfully graduating in 1991 to about 40 in 2011. The graduate and research program now engages 50 students.
These results are directly attributable to the excellent relationships that exist and collaborative efforts between industry and academia. Key elements underlying this accomplishment include:
· Increased focus on marketing of the program and industry.
· Improved processes for recruiting and placing students.
· Greater success in attracting quality professors.
· Continued improvements in facilities, including laboratories.
· Ability to effectively engage senior level industry representatives.
More information about the committee and MIAC's background can be found in the following document - "ACR and the Mining Industry Advisory Committee Presentation"