Nicholas Beier, PhD, PEng

Assistant Professor, Geoenvironmental Engineering

Office: 6-215 Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering
Phone: 780 492 8183
E-mail: nabeier@ualberta.ca

Dr. Beier’s research interests encompass various aspects of tailings and mine waste management for surface mining operations, such as the oil sands in northern Alberta, in addition to base and precious metals. Dr. Beier’s research focuses on development and evaluation of new tailings dewatering and management strategies through simulation and subsequent physical testing in the laboratory and field. This research entails further development of a novel analytical tool, TMSim (tailings management simulation), which can be used to evaluate hypothetical or specific operating strategies and design alternatives that will support technology assessment, scenario-analysis and mine planning. Through the Oil Sands Tailings Research Facility, he leads research to investigate the depositional and long-term geotechnical behavior of filtered whole tailings, chemically amended and/or freeze-thaw dewatered fine tailings. Other research includes cold regions engineering and its application to mining in northern climates and permafrost regions including control of acid mine drainage from waste rock piles and behavior of frozen fine grained tailings deposits.

Education

  • Ph.D. in Geoenvironmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, 2015
  • M.Sc. in Geoenvironmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, 2006
  • B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, 2002

Professional Experience

  • 2015 to present, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta.
  • 2011-2015, Research Associate, Oil Sands Tailings Research Facility, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.
  • 2011-2013, Technical Advisor: Projects and Research, Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), Edmonton, AB.
  • 2006-2011, Facility Manager, Oil Sands Tailings Research Facility, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.
  • 2002-2006, Remediation Engineer, WorleyParsons Komex, Edmonton, AB.

Professional Affiliations

  • Professional Engineer, Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA)
  • Canadian Geotechnical Society
  • Geotechnical Society of Edmonton
  • Canadian Institute of Mining
  • Canadian Dam Association

Refereed Publications

  • Beier, N.A., Wilson, G.W., Dunmola, A., and Sego, D.C. (2013). Impact of flocculation-based dewatering on the shear strength of oil sands fine tailings. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 50(9): 1001-1007.
  • Beier, N. and Sego, D. (2009). Cyclic freeze-thaw to enhance the stability of coal tailings. Cold Regions Science and Technology. 55(2009) 278-285.
  • Beier, N., Sego, D., Donahue, R., and Biggar, K. (2007). Laboratory investigation on freeze separation of saline mine waste water. Journal of Cold Regions Science and Technology. 48(2007) 239-247.
  • Beier, N., Sego, D., Donahue, R., and Biggar, K. (2007). Trickle-freeze separation of contaminants from saline waste water. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment. 21(2): 144 155.

Select Conferences and Symposia

  • Beier, N., Sego, D. and Morgenstern, N. (2014). Assessing a novel technology using a tailings management simulation model. 4th International Oil Sands Tailings Conference, Lake Louise, Alberta, December 7-10, 2014, 10 pp.
  • Wilson, G.W., Fair, A.E. and Beier, N.A. (2013) New Technologies for the Management and Reclamation of Fluid Fine Tailings in Oil Sand Tailings. World Mining Congress, Montreal, QC, August 11-15, 2013.
  • Fair A.E. and Beier, N.A. (2012). Invited Keynote Paper: Collaboration in Canada’s Oil Sands: Fluid Fine Tailings Management. 3rd International Oil Sands Tailings Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, December 2-5, 2012. 3-12.
  • Beier, N., Sego, D. and Morgenstern, N. (2012). Simulation of Tailings Management Options. 3rd International Oil Sands Tailings Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, December 2-5, 2013. 83-92.
  • Beier, N.A., Wilson, G.W., Dunmola, A., and Sego, D.C. (2012). Geotechnical Aspects of Flocculation-based Technologies for Dewatering Mature Fine Tailings. 65th Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 30 – Ocotber 3, 2012. 8 pp. Accepted July 24, 2012.
  • Beier, N. (2012). Freeze Separation of Contaminants. The David C. Sego Symposium, April 26-27, 2012, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 73-82.
  • Beier, N., Sego, D. and Morgenstern, N. (2009). Dynamic Simulation of Tailings Management Options. Tailings and Mine Waste 2009 Conference, Banff, Alberta, November 1-4, 2009. 441-450.
  • Zhang, C., Alostaz, M., Beier, N., and Sego, D. (2009). Cross Flow Filtration of Oil Sand Tailings. Tailings and Mine Waste 2009 Conference, Banff, Alberta, November 1-4, 2009. 799-812.
  • Beier, N., Alostaz, M. and Sego, D. (2009). Natural Dewatering Strategies for Oil Sands Fine Tailings. Tailings and Mine Waste 2009 Conference, Banff, Alberta, November 1-4, 2009. 845-858.
  • Beier, N., Sego, D. and Morgenstern, N. (2008). Developing a Dynamic Simulation Model for Tailings Management and Planning. 1st International Oil Sands Tailings Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, December 7-10, 2008. 192-199.
  • Beier, N. and Sego, D. (2008). Dewatering of Oil Sands Tailings Using Cross Flow Filtration. 61st Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 9th joint IAH-CNC Groundwater Specialty Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, September 22-24, 2008. 8 pp.
  • Beier, N. and Sego, D. (2007). The Oil Sands Tailings Research Facility. 60th Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 8th joint IAH-CNC Groundwater Specialty Conference, Ottawa, Ontario, October 22-24, 2007. 8 pp.
  • Beier, N., Donahue, R., Sego, D., and Biggar, K. (2007). Freeze Separation of Saline Mine Waste Water. Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sites in Arctic and Cold Climates, Edmonton, Alberta, May, 2007. 10 pp.
  • Beier, N., Biggar, K., Donahue, R., and Sego, D. (2005). Freeze Separation of Contaminants from Salt Contaminated Water. 58th Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 6th joint IAH-CNC Groundwater Specialty Conference, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, September 19-21, 2005. 8 pp.
  • Beier, N., Biggar, K., Donahue, R., Sego, D., and Mikula, R. (2005). Freeze Separation of Oil Sands Waste Water. Poster Presentation. Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sites in Arctic and Cold Climates, Edmonton, Alberta, May 2005.
  • Beier, N., Biggar, K., Donahue, R., Sego, D., and Mikula, R. (2004). Freeze Separation of Oil Sands Mine Waste Water. Poster Presentation. CONRAD Tailings Seminar, Alberta Research Council Auditorium, Edmonton, Alberta, November 8, 2004.