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Curtin appoints new Head of School to lead WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering

Media release

Curtin University has appointed Professor Michael Hitch as the new Head of School of the Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering (WASM:MECE).

Professor Michael Hitch

Most recently a Professor of Mining at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, Professor Hitch has worked extensively in industry and academia, with a strong research focus on the design, planning and economics of waste management systems in open pit mines. He will take up the position in January 2021.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Cordery welcomed the appointment of Professor Hitch, and the wealth of experience and practical expertise he would bring to the role.

“Professor Hitch is an internationally recognised mining expert who has had a distinguished career in both the private sector and universities,” Professor Cordery said.

“Having worked in the resources sector for more than 23 years, and in higher education for 12 years, Professor Hitch has the skills and knowledge needed to ensure the WA School of Mines continues to foster successful industry collaboration and produce industry-ready graduates.

“The School’s mining and mining engineering disciplines are already among the world’s very best (ranking 2nd in the world by subject) and enjoy strong relationships with their alumni. We are confident Professor Hitch’s leadership and impressive credentials will see us continue to be global leaders in those fields.”

Professor Hitch succeeds Professor Vishnu Pareek as Head, and Professor Cordery thanked Professor Pareek for his excellent contributions in the role over the past three years.

“Under Professor Pareek’s leadership, since 2018, the School has worked closely with industry to develop exciting new future-focused curriculum, while growing the student cohort and significantly strengthening industry connections”. Professor Cordery said.

Professor Hitch said he was looking forward to joining Curtin and to leading the School.

“I am delighted to be joining Curtin and working closely with its academic, research and professional staff to mentor undergraduate and postgraduate students who are pursuing a future career in the mining industry,” Professor Hitch said.

“The WA School of Mines is ranked among the best in the world, so I am honoured to be chosen to lead it and further build on its outstanding local, national and global reputation.”

Before joining Curtin, Professor Hitch held academic leadership roles at Tallinn University of Technology, University of New South Wales, University of British Colombia and McMaster University.