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TAILENG RESEARCH CENTER
Increased severity of TSF failures globally
Brumadinho TSF failure Brazil 2019
Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill

The TAilings and IndustriaL waste ENGineering (TAILENG) Center is a research center dedicated to advancing the state of knowledge and practice in the design of tailings and industrial waste storage facilities. Recent catastrophic failures of tailings storage facilities, such as the Fundao dam failure, which killed 19 people and, historically, is considered the largest environmental disaster in Brazil, highlight the need for an improved understanding of the engineering properties of tailings. The 2008 Kingston, Tennessee failure of a coal ash storage facility is another example of the severe environmental impacts of the failure of a tailings or industrial waste storage facility. These and other recent failures highlight the need to better understand the behavior of intermediate, or transitional, soil that include mine tailings, coal combustion by-products, and other industrial sludge to develop robust design, operation, and closure plans for waste storage facilities.

Who we are?

We are a consortium of faculty at four universities: Georgia Tech, Colorado State University, UC Berkeley, and the University of Illinois who work with mine owners and operators that include mining engineers, geotechnical engineers, environmental engineers, geologists, and water resources engineers from industry and academia. 

What we do?

We perform fundamental and applied research on mine tailings and industrial waste (e.g., coal ash) to improve the resilience and sustainability of geotechnical infrastructure required to promote safety in the mining and power industries.

We educate students and professionals on the state-of-art and state-of-practice related to tailings and industrial waste storage facilities.

We engage with mine owners and operators, consulting engineering, regulatory personnel, and interested members of society to discuss important aspects related to mining and industrial waste.

Why do we do this?

We seek to improve the state-of-knowledge related to the behavior of mine tailings and industrial waste to promote safe tailings and industrial waste storage facilities.

We desire to reduce the likelihood and impact of catastrophic failures in waste storage facilities worldwide.

We aim to provide innovative, effective, and economical solutions for the design, operation, and closure of the geotechnical infrastructure required in the mining and power industries.

We seek to provide training and education to practitioners and students through a variety of short courses and other professional development opportunities to share new research and disseminate best practices.