McKenna Geotechnical leads short courses on closure planning, landform design, and sustainable mining. These courses provide registrants with the tools and case histories they need to complete their own designs and plans. For nearly 20 years, founder Gord McKenna has been staging the courses at international conferences, academic institutions, and at client locations.

The courses are customized to suit a particular mine or the interests of the group. They can be given at the mine site, lecture hall, office boardroom or hotel meeting room. The courses are typically one to two days, and attendance can range from 10 to several dozen practitioners or students. The courses usually involve working through the basics of design and plans, the state of practice today and the ideal practices of tomorrow, and discussing real-life case histories. One or two exercises accompany the courses so teams can put their learnings into action.   

These courses complement Gord's previous experience as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta and at the University of Saskatchewan. Contact McKenna Geotechnical to learn more about how your staff or students can benefit from the courses.

June Pollard at U of A
June Pollard, an engineering geologist at the University of Alberta who often lectures alongside Gord McKenna at the University of Alberta

Available short courses

Sample of courses given


McKenna Geotechnical recognizes that conventional mine reclamation often falls short of expectations, requires costly rework, and fails to secure regulatory, societal, or First Nations acceptance. Mining becomes a terminal rather than a temporary use of the land. Landform design reduces these risks by engaging stakeholders, establishing clear goals, and producing superior reclaimed landscapes using science, engineering, operational experience, and traditional knowledge. It is an iterative process of conceptualization, construction, and reclamation through interdisciplinary teamwork. Expert landform design is a pillar of sustainable mining.

Our multidisciplinary design teams include mine planners, traditional knowledge holders, geotechnical and geomatics engineers, hydrologists, botanists, and zoologists. We add other specialists, regulators, and community representatives as needed. Our work starts before mining begins and continues through operation and closure to guide sustainable post-mining stewardship. The shared goal is reclaimed landscapes that not only meet declared design objectives but create useful landscapes in which all involved — the mine, stakeholders, residents, First Nations, and expert advisors — can take great pride.

Salt Flats

McKenna Geotechnical specializes in landform design, closure planning, soft tailings, mining geotechnique and teaching. We possess decades of experience in mine operations and provide professional consulting expertise to mines in Canada and around the world.
We offer short courses for students and practitioners on closure planning, landform design, and sustainable mining. These courses provide the tools and case histories registrants need to complete their own designs and plans.
McKenna Geotechnical Inc.
5223 Laurel Drive
Delta, BC, V4K 4S4 Canada

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Illustrations by Derrill Shuttleworth