from UQ LABS to GLOBAL BEST PRACTICE ENGINEERING GRADUATE DAVID NOON NEVER IMAGINED THE IMPACT UQ TECHNOLOGY WOULD HAVE UPON THE GLOBAL MINING INDUSTRY. AS HE CAN ATTEST, DEDICATION TO ONE’S RESEARCH CAN PAY OFF IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE.
<< miners have
gone home safely to their families because of the alarms provided by our technologies
INGENUITY ISSUE 1, 2011
WHAT STARTED OUT as a research project at The University of Queensland’s Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE), in collaboration with the Cooperative Research Centre for Sensor Signal Processing and Information Processing (CSSIP), has since become accepted as global best practice amongst multinational mining companies. Back in 1997 when the research project began, no one imagined the impact this technology would have on the global mining industry, least of all GroundProbe’s Chief Commercial Officer David Noon. “One of our technical specialists was on site in Western Australia when a miner came up to him one night in a bar,” says David. “The miner said “Your radar provided the warning for me to move my excavator away from the slope, hours before it failed. There was no way of knowing that the wall was moving apart from your radar.” “He genuinely thanked our technical specialist for saving his life because he knew that he would have died otherwise. Saving one life
provides the greatest honour. And we have saved many.” In 1996, Dr David Noon, Professor Dennis Longstaff, Dr Glen Stickley, and PhD student Bryan Reeves began collaborating with representatives from the mining industry after identifying a need for radar technology in open cut mines. Mining companies were seeking a remote sensing technology that would allow them to monitor the walls of the mine and detect any movement as it occurred. “We thought to ourselves ‘We should be able to measure a centimetre of movement through use of radar technology.’ So we developed a research project that employed a radar system which could continuously measure a wall moving one centimetre or more.” When the team conducted their research, their initial hopes of measuring one centimetre of movement in a mine wall, quailed in comparison to their final results. “When we implemented the radar system in a mine, we were able to demonstrate that we could actually measure movement in a mine wall to
UQ Ingenuity Magazine - For graduates, alumni, industry and studentsof Engineering at The University of Queensland.