Gord McKenna: geotechnical engineer, landform designer, & photographer

Gord McKenna in his field mode at the Faro Mine in Canada's Yukon in 2015

Welcome to the personal web page of Gord McKenna, Principal Geotechnical Engineer with BGC Engineering in Vancouver, Canada and Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta. I love to build mining landforms and reclaimed watersheds and I’m hoping you’ll  contact me so we can talk about your experience or about areas that we might be able to collaborate.  See also our BGC Engineering website and the University of Alberta website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECENT ENGINEERING NEWS: Six papers written with my colleagues in 2016…

Gord McKenna presenting a paper at Mine Planning for Closure 2016 -- Santiago Chile.

Gord presenting a paper at Mine Planning for Closure 2016 — Santiago Chile.

 

 

Ansah-Sam M, Hachey L, McKenna G, & Mooder B. 2016 The DBM approach for setting engineering design criteria for an oil sands mine closure plan. Fifth International Oil Sands Tailings Conference, December 4-7. Lake Louise, Alberta. University of Alberta Geotechnical Group, Edmonton. 11p.

Aubertin M & McKenna G. 2016. Tailings Disposal Challenges and Prospects for Oil Sands Mining Operations. Geo-Chicago 2016: Geotechnics for Sustainable Energy. Aug 14-18. Chicago. p359-371.

Cassie J & McKenna G. 2016. Mine closure planning, design and implementation: from hand-waving to reality. Planning for Closure 2016: First International Congress on Planning for Closure of Mining Operations. Santiago, Chile. November 20-22. Gecamin. Santiago. 9p.

McKenna G, Mann V, Fisseha B, Beier N, & Olmedo N. 2016. The geotechnical vane strength of soft tailings compared to soft foods. Fifth International Oil Sands Tailings Conference, December 4-7. Lake Louise, Alberta. University of Alberta Geotechnical Group, Edmonton. 11p.

McKenna G, Mooder B, Burton B, & Jamieson A. 2016. Shear strength and density of oil sands fine tailings for reclamation to a boreal forest landscape. IOSTC International Oil Sands Tailings Conference. Lake Louise. Dec 4 to 7. University of Alberta Geotechnical Group. Edmonton.

McKenna G, Straker J, & O’Kane M. 2016. Custodial transfer of reclaimed mines: barriers and opportunities. TRCR 40th Annual BC Mine Reclamation Symposium. Penticton, BC, Canada. Sept 2016. 12p.

 

 

 

Strength vs solids content compendium from our 2016 Lake Louise paper listed above. Gord McKenna et al 2016.

Strength vs solids content compendium from our 2016 Lake Louise paper listed above.

We’re quite proud of the new graph above which shows the typical range of oil sands fine tailings shear strengths as a function of solids content (a measure of saturated density). The graph is based on publicly available data, most of which is based on the laboratory vane shear strength. Peak undrained shear strengths and densities are highly correlated, but for any given density, there can be plus or minus one order of magnitude scatter to the shear strength data density tailings treated with additives, such as coagulants, flocculants, and cements, will have considerably higher shear strengths than untreated tailings. The relationship between the shear strength and density is largely explained by liquidity index (the lavender lines from Houston and Mitchell (1969) adapted for oil sands tailings).

 

 

 

RECENT PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS: Photos from recent trips….

Pictures from Lake Louise, Alberta (Canada) from December 2016….

Photography by Gord McKenna in 2016.

A December sunset on Castle Mountain, Banff National Park 2016

 

Pictures from Lofoten Norway (Dan Ballard photography course) from August 2016….

Photography by Gord McKenna on a Dan Ballard photography course in Norway in 2016.

Lofoten Norway 2016

 

Hansiatic Warehouses, Bergen, Norway ... planar panorama photography by Gord McKenna August 2016

Bergen, Norway … planar panoramas August 2016

 

Pictures from Scotland and England from Summer 2016….

Tower Bridge, London UK, July 2016. Photography by Gord McKenna.

Tower Bridge, London UK, July 2016

 

 

Pictures from Vancouver, Canada from June 2016….

Night photography by Gord McKenna in 2016.

Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, Canada June 2016

 

 

Pictures from Hawaii USA February 2016….

Late afternoon in Hawaii. Photography by Gord McKenna 2016.

Old volcanic cone, Big Island of Hawaii, February 2016

 

 

Pictures from New York City, USA, Fall 2015….

Long-exposure stitched panorama night photography by Gord McKenna. Manhattan Bridge, NYC September 2015

Manhattan Bridge, NYC September 2015

 

 

 

 

 

This sunrise photograph, taken in 2012, shows Gord McKenna in a peter Lorber photography course at Badwater Salt Flats in Death Valley USA

Gord at the Badwater Salt Flats in Death Valley, California (USA) in 2012. (Photo by Courtenay Gilbert http://courtenaygilbert.com/)