Steve McKinnon, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Professor, Department of Mining Engineering

Chair in Mine Design
Associate Head

Cross-appointed to:
Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Adjunct Research Professor

Department of Earth Sciences

Carleton University

Visiting Professor

Division of Mining and Geotechnical Engineering

Luleå University of Technology, Sweden


Steve McKinnon is a rock mechanics engineer doing research and teaching in the area of mining engineering. He joined the The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University in late 1998, after a career working mostly as a consultant in the mining industry. As a consultant he worked in many countries, in both underground and open pit applications of rock mechanics. A common thread to his consulting and research work is a mechanics-based approach to solving problems making extensive use of numerical stress analysis.

His research is split into two main components: industry driven problems, and fundamental work. He maintains close ties with industry-based rock mechanics practitioners as this helps in the identification of common problems that are the drivers for practical research. However, many problems cannot be solved using current techniques and require a more fundamental approach. Therefore, a significant portion of his current research falls into the category of basic earth science (he cross-appointed to the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering at Queen’s, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Carleton University). He is particularly interested in the effects of geological structures on stress fields, and also mining-induced seismicity.


  • Economic Geology and Geotechnical Aspects of Mineral Deposits
  • Stability Analysis in Mine Design