Hear from our customers - Alison McQuillan

Alison McQuillan.

An opportune meeting sparked a working relationship between Dr Alison McQuillan and Maptek which has lasted a decade.

The Rocscience Australia Director, who was named 2020 Bowen Basin & Hunter Valley Open Cut Geotechnical Society (BOHOGS) Practitioner of the Year, bumped into Jason Richards while he was demonstrating a Maptek laser scanner.

‘The surveyors made introductions and Jason showed me I-Site Studio (now PointStudio) and I've been using it ever since,’ Alison says.

‘Over the 10 years I've certainly noticed the evolution in features. From initially manually picking structures to the introduction of smart select, and then kinematic analysis within the software, and then tools such as colour by distance to analyse changing slopes, and then, more recently, the introduction of Sentry to manage and monitor geotechnical risk.’

A passion for understanding such risk and a desire to find out new methods to assist in slope stability drove the QUT Applied Science graduate to undertake a PhD.

She completed it under the supervision of Professor Ismet Canbulat at UNSW while working for Rocscience, and describes it as one of her career highlights.

Alison on a mine site.

‘The end product of my thesis was a new methodology to predict the likelihood and consequences of slope failure using multiple linear regression and the common features between failed and stable slope cases,’ she says.

Alison has been with Rocscience for about four and a half years, focusing on technical support and training.

‘I've got a keen interest in 3D modelling, and survey data from instrumentation such as Maptek’s laser scanners helps us create near real-time 3D models and also back analyse slope movement.’

She cites technological advancement as having the greatest impact on the industry during her career and says it is crucial for safety and efficiency.

‘Technology can remove people from high risk areas, and technology can be used to automate or semi-automate tasks.

‘However, in saying that, I think that a person, a real person, should be always there validating the outputs of computer generated models.’

When she thinks of Maptek it’s Jason Richards, his colleague Jordan Herrmann and PointStudio which spring to mind.

‘Thanks for your product development and all your technical support over the years.

‘I really appreciate the relationship I've got with Maptek, and particularly through Rocscience now how the two companies are working together to give a better experience to our shared customers, I think, can only be a great thing going forward.

‘Happy Birthday! Congratulations, great milestone. I hope I've hit as many achievements as Maptek has when I hit the big 4-0. You have a great team, you've got some great products, and I look forward to what the next 40 years brings from Maptek.’

Watch the full interview here.