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Universities and industry benefit. The institutions can attract students with practical courses and produce graduates with industry-ready knowledge. Maptek helps prepare the next generation of mining professionals.
Engineering students are queuing to take the popular course in Engineering Geomatics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the United States.
Students migrate data to a globally geo-referenced coordinate system using various geodetic models and learn about ellipsoid and geoid models, 3D scaling, translation and rotation in analytical and matrix formulation. They also explore the mathematics behind geodetic reference frame models of Earth.
Their final project involves capturing a multi-epoch dataset over several weeks in an area with changing topography, typically a construction site. I-Site Studio is used to register multiple scans, filter data and create surfaces for contouring and mapping changes. This year the students also constructed virtual models of campus buildings using I-Site Studio spherical surface modelling tools.
‘Our graduates have a sophisticated skill set in modelling engineering sites for construction and change,’ said Dr Robert Kayen, Professor of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at UCLA.
‘I-Site Studio is an extremely important module of our Engineering Geomatics course. It has been critical for learning aspects of geodesy, terrain modelling and civil engineering construction planning.’
The UCLA campus is used as a field laboratory throughout the course. Practically the entire campus has been mapped, with a virtual fly through available here
‘We make Vulcan licences available. It’s a great way to convey theoretical and technical knowledge to the next generation of mining professionals,’ said Senior Vice-President of Maptek in South America, Marcelo Arancibia.
He enjoys passing on his expertise to 50 students each semester in Introduction to Geostatistics with Exploratory Data Analysis. The course covers Kriging and other estimation techniques.
‘The key for students is getting to use the same state-of-the-art tools as mining companies. In Chile, knowledge of Geostatistics and Vulcan are both essential for graduates when they’re looking for a job. It improves their opportunities as they start their careers,’ said Marcelo.
Narvik approached Maptek in early 2014 about using Vulcan mine planning software in their Engineering program, particularly in Introductory Mining Engineering and Principles of Surface Mine Design.
Mahdi Shabanimashcool, Associate Professor in Rock Mechanics and Mining, chose Maptek for the best combination of software performance and technical support.
In April Narvik acquired 30 academic licences and Carles Xandri from Maptek Edinburgh office trained the lecturers in the software, with a focus on block modelling and open pit mine design. The ability to write scripts to generate customised panels particularly appealed to them.
Narvik University College students will use Vulcan for geological modelling, grade estimation, mine design and much more. Maptek looks forward to an ongoing relationship with Narvik University College on future projects.
More than 780 students study across 3 professional streams: Metallurgical Mining Engineering, Geological Engineering and Environmental Science.
‘The University focuses heavily on academic research, and we are delighted to be linked with industry and the latest mining technology,’ said Hermes Robles Berumen, Professor of Earth Sciences.
‘Incorporating advanced software packages such as Vulcan in our training courses helps individuals to achieve their personal goals.’
‘It also adds value to the preparation of competent professionals who can contribute to the development of our state and national mineral resources industry.’
Staff from the Maptek office in Mexico City help with training in the Earth Sciences laboratory.
Established in 1900, the Institute offers a city-based simulated underground mining environment which allows students to be trained in mine safety, geology and face mapping techniques.
I-Site laser scanning demonstrations and data processing with I-Site Studio software form part of a subject called Monitor Complex Engineering Structures. Students are exposed to laser scan technology so that they can make informed decisions on data capture in their future workplaces.
‘Our students are likely to be employed in mining or engineering construction where they will have some influence on survey equipment selection and acquisition,’ said lecturer, Martin Robinson.
‘It is essential they have a good working knowledge of laser scanning, and understand the advantages and limitations of this technology.’
This year, 74 fourth year students are taking the Hard Rock Mine Design and Feasibility module, with 90 third years studying Resource Estimation.
Vulcan is applied specifically to a block caving consulting project; open pit design, underground design and ring design; and resource estimation for metalliferous deposits.
Students develop their knowledge of mine design through data analysis and interpretation, optimisation, geotechnical and economical design parameters, mine layout and scheduling, and development and production planning.
‘The technical knowledge they gain is as important for the mining companies as are the general skills in advanced problem solving, analysis and synthesis. Their ability to tolerate ambiguity is the indicator that our course helps produce engineers who can take a creative approach while applying rigorous principles to mine design,’ said Associate Professor Serkan Saydam, Research Director, School of Mining Engineering.