Dirk van Zyl has more than 30 years experience in research, teaching and consulting in tailings, mine waste-rock disposal and heap-leach design, and mined earth structures. Since 2010, he has been a Professor and Chair of Mining and the Environment at the University of British Columbia’s Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining and Engineering. His current research focuses on mining's contribution to sustainable development as well as the application of life cycle assessment to mined earth structures. Earlier, he was a professor at the University of Nevada’s Mackay School of Mines, where he was Director of its Mining Life-Cycle Center, and Chairman of Mining Engineering. Dr. van Zyl is a registered professional civil engineer, and the author of more than 90 publications. Dr. van Zyl is a graduate of the University of Pretoria, and was awarded a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in geotechnical engineering from Purdue University.