Dr. Chris Haycocks Remembered

Nicholas T. CamiciaDr. Christopher Haycocks, former C.T. Holland Professor in the department of Mining and Minerals Engineering, passed away Saturday 29 August, 2009. Chris is remembered for his dedication to teaching and for his close friendships with colleagues in the department. He will be sadly missed.

Chris was born in Malta and spent his early years in England and Scotland during World War II. He went to East Africa as a young boy and returned to England to attend college at the Camborne School of Mines where he graduated in 1961. He received his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Mining Engineering from the Missouri School of Mines, and went on to work for DeBeers Diamonds and Anglo American Corporation in South Africa.

In 1969, he accepted a faculty position at Virginia Tech where he taught Mining Engineering for 33 years. During this time Chris was major advisor to 34 students, including 9 Ph.D. students. He published over 100 papers and book chapters on research topics ranging from computer applications in mining, to coal mine ground control, slope stability, and multi-seam mining. He received the SME Rock Mechanics Award for his definitive work on multi-seam interaction and was instrumental in establishing the department’s Rock Mechanics Laboratory. During his tenure, Chris taught over 15 distinct graduate and undergraduate courses, and he was awarded 6 Certificates for Teaching Excellence. His many courses included Stability of Rock Slopes, Mining Law, the History of Mining, Theory of Ground Control, and Underground Mine Design.

He retired as the C.T. Holland Professor of Mining Engineering in 2002 and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife Ramonda. He had many interests and hobbies including rugby, fishing, astronomy, and boating, and he continued to explore and research the history of mining.

Chris Haycocks was preceded in death by his parents, George and Louise Haycocks. He is survived by his wife, Ramonda Haycocks; sons and daughters-in-law, Gavin and Evelyn, Ian and Kristin, and Neil and Jane; grandchildren, Casey, Anna, Cullen, Haydn, and Gus; and his sister, Marsha and Ole Palmann.

Memorial services will be held in Blacksburg, VA, and the date and time of the service are to be determined. A fund will be established in his name at the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering at Virginia Tech.