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New head of department for Mining Engineering at WASM

Media release

Curtin University of Technology’s Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) has appointed Associate Professor Erkan Topal as the new department head of Mining Engineering.

Associate Professor Topal comes to Curtin after many years of working and studying in the United States, Canada, Turkey, Sweden, and Queensland.

WASM Director, Professor Paul Dunn, welcomed Associate Professor Topal’s appointment and said he was exceptionally well qualified to lead the Department and mine planning research team.

“Associate Professor Topal has an impressive track record of original research in areas such as underground and surface mine design and optimisation, and mineral and energy economics,” he said.

“He also has extensive industry experience having been involved in several research and consulting projects with mining companies all around the world.”

Associate Professor Topal said a major factor in accepting the job was Kalgoorlie’s reputation as a major mining town with considerable industry presence.

“WASM has a significant international reputation,” he said.

“When I was working at the Colorado School of Mines in the US, I heard about the good work done at WASM, and when I was offered a position in Kalgoorlie, I jumped at the chance to come here.

“WASM has an excellent reputation internationally and I am looking forward to making a strong contribution.”

Associate Professor Topal plans to focus on research and one of his main goals is to increase the number of academic papers published from his department.

“WASM generates significant research and I want to build on this foundation to further enhance the School’s reputation internationally,” he said.

Associate Professor Topal has Master’s degrees in Science for Mining Engineering and Mineral Economics, as well as a doctorate in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Prior to commencing at Curtin, he was Senior Lecturer in Mining Engineering at the University of Queensland.

Associate Professor Topal has also held various positions at Dicle University and Suleyman Demirel University in Turkey, the Colorado School of Mines in the United States, and McGill University in Canada.

His industry experience includes employment with Rio Tinto in Australia, Modul Marble Company in Turkey and Kiruna Mine in Sweden.