Thomas Camm

Freeport-McMoRan Professor of Mining Engineering
Mining & Geology Building (MG) 117B MG


  • Ph.D., Mining Engineering-Metallurgy, University of Idaho (1995)
  • M.E.M., Master of Engineering Management, Washington State University (1988)
  • B.S., Mining Engineering, University of Idaho (1979)
  • Leadership Studies, Doctoral Program (no degree), Gonzaga University (1998-2004)

Professional Registration

Professional Engineer—Mining Engineering, State of Washington (1986-present)


The existentialists came to the conclusion that life is absurd. Carl Jung wrote that the shadow is a living part of the personality. So—life is dark and absurd. I think both of these ideas accurately describe the human condition, but not completely. There is also light where there is darkness, and the potential to find wisdom even in the most absurd of situations.

I enjoy the challenge of integrating these ideas into teaching the next generation of engineers. As much as I like being an academic engineer, I find the human component of engineering to be the most fascinating. In addition to teaching the important technical aspects of engineering, I also try to prepare students for the trials and tribulations of professional life in an organizational setting.

Currently I teach engineering economics/financial analysis, leadership & engineering management, mineral economics, mine safety & health, and underground mine design. Drawing on my experience as a research engineer for NIOSH and developing prefeasibility studies for the USBM, I incorporate both the underlying theory of a subject and the practical application to actual problems. I am an active member in SME, serving on many committees and often as a session chair and presenter, and also as the faculty advisor to the Montana Tech Anderson-Carlisle Technical Society/SME student chapter.

Career in Brief

Professor—Mining Engineering Department, Montana Tech (2017-Present)
Associate Professor—Mining Engineering Department, Montana Tech (2011-2017)
Mining Engineer—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (1996-2011)
Mining Engineer—U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) (1979-1996)

Courses Taught

  • Engineering Economic Analysis
  • Economics of Mineral Industries
  • Mine Management
  • Mine Management II
  • Underground Mine Design
  • Mine Safety Management
  • Mine Management

Selected Publications

Publications in bold available on Digital Commons–Montana Tech Library:

Camm, T. W. (2019). The dark side of servant-leadership. The International Journal of Servant-Leadership, 13(1), 107-132.

Camm, T. W. (2017). The political lens: Power & conflict in the workplace. The Center for Organizational Reform (COR) Summer Seminar Series (presented June 15, 2017), Spokane, WA.

Camm, T. W. (2017). Luck & skill: Black swans & Machiavelli’s ideas on power, fortune, virtù. SME annual meeting, Denver, CO. Preprint 17-078.

Camm, T. W., Johnson, J. C. & Rosenthal, S. D. (2018, January). Managing engineering talent: Unique challenges to optimize the best and brightest. Mining Engineering, 70(1), 29-30. [Also published as SME preprint 17-080].

Yapo, A. G., & Camm, T. W. (2017, September). All-in sustaining cost analysis: pros and cons. Mining Engineering, 69(9), 16-28. [Also published as SME preprint 17-007].

Camm, T. W. (2016). Pseudo leadership and safety culture. SME annual meeting, Phoenix, AZ. Preprint 16-059.

Camm, T. W. (2015, October). Management challenges in nurturing a safe work environment. Web Exclusive article for Mining Engineering ( [Also published as SME preprint 15-076].

Camm, T. W. (2014, October). Keeping civilization from collapsing. Rock in the Box essay: Mining Engineering, 66(10), 53, 56.

Camm, T. W. (2014). The dark side of leadership: Dealing with a narcissistic boss. SME annual meeting, Salt Lake City, UT. Preprint 14-090.

Camm, T. W. (2013). Power and politics in organizations. SME annual meeting, Denver, CO. Preprint 13-110.