Hethmon was chosen because of his educational record, extensive experience in safety and industrial hygiene, teaching and research history, and industry leadership.
He will join the faculty of the university’s Mining Engineering Department, in the College of Mines and Earth Sciences.
As the presidential chair in mine safety, Hethmon will provide specific instruction in the technology and practices of modern safety and health management, for undergraduate and graduate students and the community at large.
He will also conduct an active research program, emphasizing worker health and safety, especially in heavy industries like mining, oil and gas extraction and construction.
The $US1.5 million endowment for the chair was initiated by Consol Energy and Barrick Gold North America and has received contributions from many other companies and individuals.
“The University of Utah is uniquely positioned to influence industrial safety and health management in the US and abroad,” Hethmon said.
“The College of Mines has an international reputation for academic excellence, a long and positive relationship with the industry, and its administration is completely supportive of our plans for the chair. I am truly honored to be joining this outstanding institution and look forward to making a positive and sustained contribution.”
Hethmon resides in Sandy, Utah, with his wife Mary and three children, Blake, Devon and MacKenzie.
Chair of the University’s Mining Engineering Department Mike Nelson said Hethmon’s global industrial experience will enhance his ability to work with mining and other industries.
Hethmon has served as senior vice-president for health, safety and environment at Dyno Nobel, vice-president for safety and occupational health at Rinker Materials Corp, and director of occupational health and safety at Phelps Dodge Corp.
Hethmon holds degrees in Kinesiology (UCLA) and Health Science (Cal State Northridge).
He maintains Industrial Hygiene credentials in the US, Canada and Australia.