Richard D. Call
2002 Medal of Merit Recipient
Rick Call was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, in 1934. His father was a civil engineer who became involved in Arctic construction, which took the family to Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1946. While in high school and college, Rick worked summers for the Alaska Highway Department and for Metcalf & Eddy in Greenland as a soil mechanics technician.
He received a B.A. in Physics from Williams College in 1956 and an M.A. in Geology from Columbia University in 1960. He attended Washington University to work on his Ph.D., but left to go to work for Kennecott Copper Corporation as a mine geologist at Bingham Canyon, Utah, in 1961. While at Bingham, he participated in the KCC/USBM slope stability study.
In 1966, Rick returned to school in the University of Arizona‟s Department of Geological Engineering, where he obtained his Ph.D. and taught geological engineering classes as an instructor and assistant professor. During this time, he consulted on pit slope design and was a consultant for the Canadian Centre for Mining and Energy Technology on the development of their Pit Slope Manual.
In 1972, he became a principal with the Tucson-based mining consulting firm Pincock, Allen, and Holt, where he formed a rock mechanics group for slope and underground design. In 1979, he and Dave Nicholas started Call & Nicholas, a consulting firm specializing in open pit and underground rock mechanics. Since his retirement as President of Call & Nicholas, he continues to work for the firm as a consultant.
During his career, Dr. Call has been involved in the slope design of over 100 open pits. He is the author of a number of professional papers, including the slope stability chapter of the SME Mining Engineering Handbook.