Providing Specialized Services in Geomechanics 613.507.7575

Will Bawden, Ph.D., P.Eng. President and CEO

will-bawden-pic“Mine Design Engineering [MDEng] is a niche geotechnical firm offering specialized rock engineering services to the mining and civil sectors for both underground and surface mining as well as for civil excavations and natural rock slopes. Since its inception in 2010, MDEng has undertaken a wide array of projects for a variety of clients world-wide. Services include oriented and non-oriented core logging, geomechanical mapping and rock mass classification, underground geomechanical mine design [i.e. stope design, pillar design, static and dynamic ground support design, stope sequencing, etc.], instrumentation system design, numerical modelling [2D and 3D linear and non-linear], mine induced seismicity analysis, ground control audits, underground civil infrastructure design, rock slope design [open pit mine slopes, natural slope analysis and civil excavations], in-situ backfill instrumentation and optimization, and due diligence studies. MDEng is a sister company to the well-known instrumentation manufacturing company Mine Design Technologies [MDT]. MDEng personnel bring an exceptional level of geomechanical engineering skill and experience to your projects. We strongly believe that the combined sister companies can deliver significant value added services to our clients at the highest degree of applied geomechanics for both the mining and heavy civil sectors. We look forward to working with you.”

Dr. W. F. Bawden has over 40 years of experience in geotechnics and geomechanical engineering in the mining and civil engineering fields. Dr. Bawden has particular expertise in ground characterization, derivation of rock engineering constitutive parameters, the design of underground excavations and their support systems including pillar design, stope dimensioning and sequencing, all aspects of ground support design, rockburst analysis and dynamic support design and numerical analysis. Dr. Bawden performs ongoing consulting services for some of the world’s largest mining corporations while also conducting technical assessments for small to mid-size companies and for M&A and NI 43-101 studies.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Geomechanical mine design
    • Ground characterization
    • Stope dimensioning
    • Stope sequencing
    • Pillar Design
    • Ground support design
    • Ground control audits
    • Pit slope stability
  • Cemented Paste Backfill [CPB] Geotechnical Design
    • Laboratory and field paste bulk parameter characterization
    • Design and implementation of laboratory test programs
    • Field instrumentation of CPB
    • CPB pour design
      • Continuous pour versus plug methodologies
      • Assessment of CPB arching
      • Assessment of CPB barricade stability
      • Design of CPB field recipes
  • Due Diligence Projects
    • Geomechanical due diligence for mining M&A studies
  • Geomechanical Design and Assessment of Underground Civil Engineering Infrastructure Projects

Major Mining Clients:

  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Newmont Gold Mining Company
  • Teck Resources
  • North American Palladium
  • Centerra Gold Corporation
  • Sumitomo Metals


  • 1980: University of Toronto – PhD in Rock Mechanics – Civil Engineering
  • 1972: University of Illinois – Urbana Campus – MSc in Engineering Geology
  • 1970: Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario – BSc in Engineering Geology

Professional Business Affiliations:

  • 2010 –Present: CEO – Mine Design Engineering Inc., Kingston, Ontario
  • 2012 –Present: Professor emeritus, University of Toronto
  • 2009 – Present – Board Member – Wesdome Mines Limited
  • 1997 – Present: CEO & Chief Engineer, Mine Design Technologies Inc., Kingston, Ontario
  • 1989 – Present: President – Bawden Engineering Limited

Direct Mine Experience:

In charge of Geomechanical Design for the Following Deposits:

  • Mines Gaspe E32 Deposit
  • Ansil Deposit – Rouyn Quebec
  • Isle-Dieu Deposit – Matagami, Quebec
  • Winston Lake Deposit – Schreiber, Ontario
  • Golden Giant Mine – Marathon, Ontario

Senior Rock Engineering and Mine Design Review Consultant on Ongoing Basis for the Following Properties:

  • Centerra Gold Corporation
  • North American Palladium – Lac des Isles Mine
  • Barrick Gold, Williams and David Bell mines – Marathon, Ontario
  • Newmont Mining Corporation – Elko Operations [Deep Post mine, Leeville mine and Chukar mine]
  • Newmont Mining – Midas Operations
  • Teck – Duck Pond Operations, Newfoundland
  • Sumitomo Corporation – Pogo Mine Alaska
  • Teck Corporation – Pend Oreille mine Washington State [on care and maintenance]
  • Shebandowan Mine [Until Closure] – Shebandowan, Ontario
  • Golden Giant Mine [until closure] – Marathon, Ontario

Conducted Individual Reviews and Studies for the Following Properties:

  • Barrick Gold Cortez Hills Mine – Ground control audit, 2010
  • Barrick Gold Australia Pacific Regional Business Unit – Ground control audits at selected Barrick mines in the APRBU – 2009 and 2010
  • Inmet – Cayeli mine, Turkey – various studies
  • Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting – Trout Lake, Callanin and Snow Lake mines – support optimization
  • GECO mine [Until Closure] – senior rock mechanics consultant
  • Brunswick Mining and Smelting Limited – various studies
  • Barrick Gold – Bousquet II Division – support optimization and dilution control
  • Norita and Matagami Lake Mines [Until Closure] – senior rock engineering consultant
  • Boliden Myra Falls Division – rock mechanics consultant
  • Louvicourt Mine – support optimization
  • Inco Creighton Mine – integrated mine design research study
  • Falconbridge Lockerby Mine – integrated mine design research study
  • Central Canada Potash – rock engineering consultant
  • Casa Berardi Mine
  • Homestake Mining Company – Homestake mine, Lead SD – critical review of mining methods

Cemented paste Backfill Studies:

  • Golden Giant Mine
  • David Bell Mine
  • Williams Mine
  • Xstrata Copper – Kidd Mine
  • Inmet Cayeli Mine


Member, Professional Engineers of Ontario; Member Ontario Society of Professional Engineers; Member International Society of Rock Mechanics; Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Mining Metallurgy and Petroleum; Member Society of Mining Engineers; Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and Technological Sciences

Publications [Last 10 years]:

Refereed Journals:

Grabinsky, M. and Bawden, W.F., 2007. “In situ Measurements for Geomechanical Design of Cemented Paste Backfill Systems”, Bulletin of the Canadian Institute of Mining: Technical Papers February 2007 to November 2007, pp. 151-158.

Crowder, J. J., Bawden, W. F. and Coulson, A. L. “Innovative use of Smart Cable Bolt data through numerical back analysis for interpretation of post-failure rock mass properties”, CIM Magazine, March/April 2007, Vol , No 2, p81

Bawden, W. F. “Risk assessment in strategic and tactical geomechanical underground mine design”, In Orebody Modelling and Strategic Mine Planning – uncertainty and risk management models. The AUSIMM Spectrum Series Number 14, 376 pages; pp 243-253. 2006

Leroux, K., Bawden, W. F. and Grabinsky, M. W. F. “Field Properties of Cemented Paste Backfill at the Golden Giant Mine”, Mining Technology: IMM transactions section A, V. 114, No 2, June, 2005, pp. 65 – 80.

Mercer, R. and Bawden, W. F. “A statistical approach for the integrated analysis of mine induced seismicity and numerical stress estimates, a case study – Part I: developing the relations” Int. J. of Rock Mech. and Mining Sci. (V42), no. 1, pp.47-72, 2005.

Mercer, R. and Bawden, W. F. “A statistical approach for the integrated analysis of mine induced seismicity and numerical stress estimates, a case study – Part II: evaluation of the relations”, Int. J. of Rock Mech. and Mining Sci. (V42), no. 1, pp.73 – 94, 2005.

Mossavi, M. and Bawden, W. F. 2003. Shear strength of Portland cement grout. In Cement and Concrete Composites 25 (2003) pp729-735.

Moosavi, M., Bawden, W. F. and Hyett, A. 2002. A comprehensive study on bond failure mechanism and load distribution along fully grouted cable bolts, Transactions of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, London

Refereed Conference Proceedings:

Bawden, W. F. 2010, “ Thoughts on Quantitative Filed Scale Characterization on Post-failure Rock Mass Conditions and the Influence on Underground Mine Design – Keynote Address. In Proceedings, American Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMA2010, Salt Lake City Utah, June 20 – 30.

Thompson, B. D., Grabinsky, M. W., Bawden, W. F. and Counter, D. B., 2009, “In-situ measurements of paste backfill in long-hole stopes”, ROCKENG09: Proceedings of 3rd CANUS Rock Mechanics Symposium, Toronto, May. 10 pp (Proceedings on CD-ROM).

Grabinsky, M., Bawden, W.F., and Thompson, B., 2008, “Back-analysis of Barricade Performance for a Paste Filled Stope”, Symposium on Mines and the Environment 2008, Rouyn-Noranda, November 2-5, 2008 (proceedings on CD-ROM).

Grabinsky, M., Bawden, W.F., Simon, D., and Thompson, B., 2008, “In Situ Properties of Cemented Paste Backfill in an Alimak Stope”, Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Edmonton, 21-24 September 2008, pp. 790-796.

Grabinsky, M., Bawden, W.F., and Thompson, B., 2008, “Field Instrumentation Studies in Cemented Paste Backfill”, Canadian Institute of Mining Annual Conference, Edmonton, 4-7 May 2008, 8 p. (proceedings on CD-ROM).

Grabinsky, M., Bawden, W.F., and Thompson, B., 2007 “In Situ Monitoring of Cemented Paste Backfill in an Alimak Stope”, Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Ottawa, 21-24 October 2007, Paper #386, 8 p. (proceedings on CD-ROM).

Coulson, A. L., Bawden, W. F. and Crowder, J. J. (2007) Estimation of the peak and post-peak behaviour of fractured rock masses using spatial and temporal analysis of mine induced seismicity, in proceedings of 1st Canada – US rock Mechanics Symposium – Rock Mechanics – meeting society’s challenges and demands, Vancouver, Canada May 27 – 31, pp 1395 – 1404.

Donovan, J., Dawson, J. and Bawden, W. F. (2007) David Bell Mine Underhand Cut and Fill Sill Mat Test, Minefill 2007 Symposium, Montreal Quebec, Canada, April 29 – May 3.

Grabinsky, M. W. and Bawden, W. F. (2007) In situ Measurements for Geomechanical Design of Cemented Paste Backfill Systems, Minefill 2007 Symposium, Montreal Quebec, Canada, April 29 – May 3 (proceedings on CD-ROM).

Crowder, J. J., Coulson, A. L. and Bawden W. F. (2006) The Field Scale Rock Mechanics Laboratory: Estimation of Post Peak Parameters and Behaviour of Fractured Rock Masses, 41st US Symposium on Rock Mechanics, Golden Colorado June 17 – 21.

Crowder, J. and Bawden, W. F., “Properties and behaviour of field scale fractured rockmasses using numerical simulation and field instrumentation”, 40thUS Symposium on Rock Mechanics, Alaska, June 25 – 29, 2005

le Roux, K., Bawden, W.F. and Grabinsky, M.W. (2004) Liquefaction analysis of early age cemented paste backfill. Eighth International Symposia on Mining with Backfill (Minefill 2004), Beijing, September 2004.

Yumlu, M, and Bawden, W. F. “ Integrated ground support design in very weak ground at the Cayeli Mine”, In Proceedings of Ground Support in Mining and Underground Construction, Perth Australia, September, 2004.

Bawden, W. F.“Risk assessment in strategic and tactical geomechanical underground mine design” in Proceedings of Orebody modelling and Strategic Mine Planning – Uncertainty and risk management – Perth Australia, November 2004

Bawden, W. F.and Jones, S. “The use of mine sequencing controlled through numerical modelling and instrumentation to destress a highly burst prone sill pillar”, Canadian Institute of Mining Annual General Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, April 25 – 27, 2005

Bawden, W. F. 2004. The use of instrumented cablebolts for safety and support optimization in underground mining. In the Proceedings of “Fifth International Symposium on Roofbolting in Mining”, Aachen Germany, June.

McMullan, J., Bawden, W. F. and Mercer, R. 2004. Excavation of a shaft destress slot at the Newmont Canada Golden Giant Mine. In the Proceedings of the 6th North American Rock mechanics Symposium, Houston Texas, June.

Le Roux, K, Bawden, W.F., and Grabinsky, M.F., 2002, Comparison of the Material Properties of In situ and Laboratory Prepared Cemented Paste Backfill, Proceedings of Mines, Minerals and Society – A future in Balance, Proc. CIM Annual Conf, Vancouver 28 April-1 May.

Le Roux, K, Bawden, W.F., and Grabinsky, M.F., 2002, Assessing the Interaction between Hydration Rate and Fill Rate for a Cemented Paste Backfill (CPB). Proceedings 55th Annual Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Niagara Falls Ontario, October 20-23.

Bawden, W., 2002. Instrumented ground support performance in deep mining. “1st Deep and high stress mining seminar”, Perth, Western Australia, October.

Bawden, W. F., Tod, J., Lausch, P. and Davison, G. 2002. The use of geomechanical instrumentation in cost control in underground mining. “1st Deep and high stress mining seminar”, Perth, Western Australia, October.

Bawden, W. F. and Jones, S. 2002. Ground support design and performance under strong rockburst conditions. In Proceedings of North American Rock Mechanics Symposium and Tunneling Association of Canada Conference, Toronto, Canada, July.

Bawden, W. F., Lausch, P. and Taylor, G. C. 2001: Real time monitoring of instrumented ground support from the engineer’s desk: Proceedings of the 38th U.S. Rock mechanics Symposium, DC Rocks 2001. A. A. Balkema Publishers. Washington, July. Pp 1007 – 1013.

Bawden, W. F. , Lausch, P. and Dennison, S. 2000. Lessons in control of mine costs from instrumented cable bolt support case studies: North American Rock Mechanics Proceedings. Seattle, July.

Bawden, W. F. and Lausch, P. 2000: The use of SMART cable bolt instruments toward the design optimization of underground rock support systems. 53rdCanadian Geotechnical Conference, Montreal, October 15 – 18ON.  Awarded Best Presentation in Geotechnical Field.