Cabrera to lead School of Mining and Mineral Resources at University of Arizona

press release

May 18, 2023

Misael Cabrera has been selected as the inaugural director of the School of Mining and Mineral Resources (SMMR) at the University of Arizona. The school was created in 2021 and is jointly housed in the College of Engineering and the College of Science with strong partnerships to additional colleges and centers.

“Our role is to deliver talent and technology through research, but also to change the top-of-mind association with mining. We can create real solutions that both industry and our planet need,” said Cabrera.

Cabrera, who began the position in April, most recently served as director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1993 with a civil engineering degree.

“Misael’s appointment is a milestone for the SMMR, and I’m excited to get the ball rolling with the inaugural director,” said David W. Hahn, the Craig M. Berge Dean for the College of Engineering. “It’s fantastic that an engineering Wildcat has the experience to take on this pivotal leadership position.”

College of Science Dean Carmala Garzione is also pleased to welcome Cabrera to the role, she said.

“Misael brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the SMMR with decades of experience in the public and private sectors. I look forward to working with Misael to broaden the research and impact of the SMMR and bring together students, professionals and communities to meet the complex challenges toward sustainable mining and mineral resource extraction.”

Linking Assets

The SMMR breaks down disciplinary silos and educates the next generation of mining and mineral resource professionals. It facilitates undergraduate, graduate and professional training in areas including not only engineering and science but also data science, business, social sciences, public health and law.

Cabrera’s initial vision ties together the many layers of mining and minerals: “To be the global destination for educational and research excellence in mining and mineral resources that will catalyze economically, socially and environmentally sustainable mineral resources for generations to come.

Cabrera plans to engage the SMMR’s technical advisory committee and other key faculty, leadership and industry partners in further developing a vision that’s shared by these stakeholders.

The SMMR works closely with UArizona entities including the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering and the Department of Geosciences, the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, Geotechnical Center of Excellence, Mining Safety Center of Excellence, Center for Environmentally Stable Mining and the Global Mining Law Program. In addition, representatives from government agencies and nongovernmental organizations advise on curriculum.

Cabrera says SMMR is poised to solve the planet’s mining and minerals challenges. Aggressive collaboration is required to address the fact that demand for mined materials is surging while the industry faces a labor shortage and lower enrollments in mining education programs, he said. The SMMR and its many partners can deliver what few other schools can by combining assets, he said.


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