Dr. Richard J. Robbins '56
Inducted into the Academy 1998
Vice Chairman, Board of Directors
Atlas-Copco Robbins, Inc.
Richard J. Robbins graduated from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology (MCM&T) in 1956 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Since 1958, Dick has been a major contributor and a prominent influence in the mining and tunneling industry.
In 1958, Dick joined The Robbins Company which was established by his father, James S. Robbins, a 1933 MCM&T mining engineering graduate. The Robbins Company has prospered and currently employs over 330 workers worldwide. The Robbins Co. became part of the Atlas-Copco Group in 1993 and has remained a world leader in underground mechanical excavation equipment for tunnels, mines, and shafts. The company is known for several breakthroughs and has set records in tunnel boring technology. The Robbins Co. was responsible for manufacturing five of the six boring machines used to create the huge rail tunnels beneath the English Channel connecting Great Britain and France.
Dick has a total of 67 patents granted in the field of underground mechanical excavation, and has numerous publications to his credit. As a result of his worldwide recognition, he has served as U.S. delegate to the International Advisory Conference on Tunneling and on the International Tunneling Association. He was also chairman of the U.S. National Committee on Tunneling Technology.
Dick was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1991, one of the highest distinctions accorded an engineer. He is also a recipient of the MTU Board of Control Silver Medal, the MTU Distinguished Alumnus Award, and received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering Degree from MTU in 1996.
Dick is also a member of several civic and professional organizations and serves on several boards. He donates generously to the MTU community, and he served as chair of the Mining Engineering Industrial Advisory Board..
Last Modified: June 5, 2007
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