Rennie Kaunda, PhD, PE, Assistant Professor

Rennie Kaunda

Welcome to the home page of the research group of Prof. Rennie Kaunda at the Colorado School of Mines. Professor Kaunda joined the CSM faculty in 2014. He earned his Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in Geotechnics, and B.S. and M.S. degrees from The University of Arizona in Mining Engineering and Geological Engineering (Rock Mechanics) respectively. As a young engineer after his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering, he first worked in a deep underground mine in Zambia, Central Africa where he gained considerable insights and appreciation of ground control challenges confronting deep underground excavations. Dr. Kaunda then pursued Masters of Science studies in Arizona specializing in Rock Mechanics. In addition, concurrent to his PhD program, he held an appointment as an assistant for the State of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality.

After his PhD in collaboration with the US Army Corps of Engineers, he spent seven years in industry working first as a Geological Engineer and then a Geotechnical Engineer for Golder Associates and SRK Consulting respectively. During this time Dr. Kaunda worked on more than 50 global engineering projects in Africa, Asia, South America and North America. He has performed or coordinated geotechnical engineering services related to open pit and underground mines, dams, foundations and landslides. He is also a licensed PE (Geotechnical Engineering) in the state of Colorado.

Professor Kaunda’s broad research interests encompass both fundamental and applied soil/rock mechanics in mining and underground excavations. His research interests include rock mechanics, slope stability, computational and applied artificial neural networks and environmental sustainability.

His career goal is to make contributions to “green mines” of the future through advanced technologies and science. Mines and underground excavations of the future will focus on innovative rock excavation and ground control methods which stream-line their operations and processes as they strive to remain economical and good stewards of the environment, while pursuing scarcer resources in deeper, harsher and low-grade environments. His vision is to pursue this “triple-bottom line” approach through mentoring graduate students, and training motivated undergraduate students to be future leaders and stewards.

Phone: +1 (303) 273-3772, email: