Hernán de Solminihac was recently recognized as a Distinguished Engineering Graduate of the Cockrell School of Engineering, the highest honor the school can bestow on its alumni. These graduates have "presented themselves to the world as consummate professionals, dedicated engineers and strong supporters of engineering education."
Hernán is the minister of mining for the government of Chile. Previously he was minister of public works of Chile.
Minister de Solminihac obtained his civil engineer professional title at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in March of 1982, and his M.S. (1986) and Ph.D. (1992) in civil engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He was dean of the School of Engineering and professor of the College of Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Minister de Solminihac was director of the Direction of Technological and Scientific Researches from March 1998 until February 2004. He served as a professor and taught courses in infrastructure management and civil engineering, among others, for undergraduate and graduate engineering students. In addition, he has taught courses and seminars to professionals in different countries. His research has particularly emphasized infrastructure management. Minister de Solminihac has participated in diverse urban and interurban projects in both the public and private sector. He is co-author of the books "Procesos y Técnicas de Construcción" and "Guía para la Innovación Tecnológica de la Construcción" and author of the book "Gestión de Infraestructura Vial."
In February 2010, Sebastian Piñera, the elected president of Chile, invited him to join his cabinet. The new government took office in March 2010 with Minister de Solminihac sworn in as the minister of public works. In July 2011, he took over as minister of mining. Minister de Solminihac has been married to Alejandra Aranda since 1984. They have four children.