GBC hires Mining Center director

GBC hires Mining Center director

ELKO – Great Basin College has announced that they have Dr. Appointed Sam Spearing as the executive director of workforce development and the proposed Mining Center of Excellence.

Spearing is an engineer who has worked in the mining and underground civil construction industries for decades, having lived and worked on five continents and traveled to more than 75 countries during his career. He has published more than 65 peer-reviewed journal articles, co-authored three books and successfully commercialized and mine six patents.

“I believe Dr. Spearing is the right person at the right time to lead the new Mining Center, a collaboration between Great Basin College and the University of Nevada, Reno,” said GBC President Joyce Helens. “Dr. Spearing’s career has successfully focused on technical education and training, project management, innovation, safety, research and mentoring, so he understands the importance of a well-educated and trained workforce and collaboration with industry.”

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Spearing holds a mining and civil engineering degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and received his Ph.D. from the Technical University of Silesia in Poland. He has held several directorships at some of the most prestigious mining schools in the world, including Kalgoorlie Regional University, the largest mining school in the world with over 2,000 mining-related students.

In 2022, Spearing was appointed a teaching professor in the Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno as a collaboration between Great Basin College and the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering. In 2023, Spearing was transferred to GBC.

“I am thrilled to be offered this exciting role at Great Basin College,” said Spearing. “We can now offer students and employees more options for their careers, in the communities where they study, work and live.

Spearing said the college’s Career and Technical Education programs are well established with excellent instructors and staff and good industry support.

“The Proposed Mining Center of Excellence will contribute to this by offering geology, mining and metallurgy courses that will transfer seamlessly to GBC and UNR. We hope to attract more people to the mining industry in this way.”

GBC also plans for these programs to be offered both nationally and internationally to help upgrade the mining workforce in a cost-effective manner using hybrid delivery, primarily online classes and contact labs. The first offering will be high school dual credit programs starting on a trial basis in August 2023.

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