The University of New South Wales has appointed Paul Hagan as its new head of mining engineering, replacing Bruce Hebblewhite.
Hebblewhite is stepping down from the position after 11 years, as he retires.
UNSW dean of engineering Graham Davies thanked Hebblewhite "for all his leadership in bringing the School to prominence throughout the world, and welcome Paul into this exciting role to take the School to the next level".
Hagan, who has spent 16 years in various roles at the school and holds undergraduate and postgraduate mining engineering qualifications, thanked Hebblewhite for his service.
The new head of mining engineering has spent close to 13 years working in the industry, in coal, gold, and iron ore.
Hagan's background includes research into the stability of underground mines, which "is a key area of focus in the school's broader strategy addressing ground control for the hard rock and coal sectors" and includes the establishment of a research centre.
“This is an area that is growing in importance as mining companies are forced to go deeper in search of valuable deposits,” Hagan said.
The school will also delve into the effectiveness newer methods of underground mining such as block caving and longwall top caving.
"There are a host of traditional methods like cut and fill and sublevel open stoping," Hagan said.
In coming into the role Hagan also voiced his positive outlook for the future of the industry, and jobs.
"The industry is still producing record tonnes," he said.
"It’s still growing, and its need for engineers will not lessen in the future."