Wei Victor Liu, PhD, PEng

Assistant Professor

School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering
6-263 Donadeo Innovation Cntr for Engineering
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 1H9
Phone: (780) 248-5649
E-mail: Victor.Liu@ualberta.ca
Personal website:  http://www.ualberta.ca/~wvliu/

Research Interests

I was born in a lead-zinc mining town, with a long family history in mining engineering.  My research interest in mining was initiated by pieces of colorful minerals and rocks collected by my father when I was a little kid.

My research interests lie in the fields of Arctic mining and safe mining techniques.  Due to the influence of cold and extremely cold climate, the Arctic mining is facing unique challenges of ground freezing and thawing besides the regular mining/geotechnical considerations.  The accurate description of the thermal process in the North is of great interest.  For example, the ground-air interface under heat exchange are affected by complex climate conditions, such as air temperature, wind speed, snow density and thickness, solar radiation, evaporation as well as the long-term influence of global warming.  I am a key member of several large projects for Arctic mine water and mine waste (tailings, waster rock and overburden) management.  In these Arctic projects, research problems are, but not limited to, geothermal modeling, waste rock pile internal heat generation and convection, cement heat generation under low curing temperature, mine backfill with tailings, and tailings beach slope prediction.  My future research projects are expected to promote new knowledge and techniques to Arctic mining industry and help the Northern engineering community by experimental and numerical studies.

Another important research interest of me is the exploration of safe mining techniques, focusing on the technical mining occupational hazards assessment and prevention, such as the topics of mine/tunnel fire, mine heat, mine dust, mine methane explosion and outburst.  For the mine fire, I was one of the main investigators of the study on low temperature coal oxidation kinetics model of spontaneous combustion (self-heating) and mine fire.  In this study, the gas chromatography (GC) was used to analyze the gaseous oxidation products from bituminous coal samples under the constant temperature oxygen flow and nitrogen flow, respectively.  In the mine heat topic, I developed an insulation shotcrete layer on the rock surface of mine openings serving as a thermo-barrier to partially block the heat flow from hot rocks to the mine atmosphere.  This insulation shotcrete was preliminarily proved to have the capacity to lower the requirements of ventilation and cooling system in deep hot mines.  Future research projects will be brought in to control these dynamic mine hazards and provide the technical support to the mining occupational health and safety (OHS).


  • Ph.D., 2013, Mining Engineering, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Post Graduate Program., 2009, Mining Safety Technology and Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, China
  • B.Sc., 2008, Fire Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, China

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, 2014- present, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Geotechnical Engineer, E.I.T., 2013-2014, Arctic Region at Tetra Tech EBA, Canada
  • Graduate Student Researcher, 2009-2013, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Research Assistant, 2007-2009, State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining, China