60 seconds with Chuck Yarbrough

We created our monthly 60 seconds with series to showcase the great and talented people who make Maptek an incredible place to work. This month we’re proud to introduce Chuck Yarbrough, Senior Technical Services Manager, out of our Denver, Colorado office.

The quick hitters:

Position: Senior Technical Services Manager
Background/expertise: Mining Engineer Consultant
Years of mining experience: 12
Joined Maptek: 2014

Behind the expertise:

Q: What got you into mining?

A: When I was a sophomore in college, the Mining Engineering Department held a presentation about careers in the mining industry. I decided to attend because I was drawn to the possibilities that a profession in mining could offer. A job where I could be outdoors, learn about geology, and work with large equipment and explosives sounded like a great fit for me so I decided to major in mining engineering that day.

Q: Why did you decide to join Maptek? 

A: About 5 years ago, I asked my friend Richard Diaz—who worked at Maptek at the time—if he could tell me about the culture and mission of the company. He had nothing but great things to say, especially about the people that worked there. And after being with Maptek for 5 years now, I would agree wholeheartedly. My colleagues are hardworking, intelligent, and dedicated to their jobs, making it a pleasure to come into work every day.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I get to work with an amazing group of geologists, engineers, and software developers who are incredibly knowledgeable about the mining industry. The best part of the job is getting to use that knowledge and expertise to help our clients find creative solutions to their most pressing issues. Together, the team and I help solve a different problem every week, making a real positive impact on our client’s day to day business practices.

Q: What major projects have you been working on recently?

A: Lately, I have been working with our drill and blast solution, BlastLogic, planning and scheduling implementations and proof of concept for several of our clients. I have also been working with the team to develop custom solutions for several client projects using 3D-DigPlus, administering technical support when needed along the way. In addition, there are several new and large implementations that we have been working on in Canada. For these exciting new opportunities, we provide training, data conversion and setup, as well as scripting to streamline workflows. We also stay in close contact with these clients to make sure we are aware of any custom needs that might arise during implementation.

2019 was a year of growth for Maptek, and 2020 will only be more exciting. I am currently in the process of onboarding several new hires and hope to grow the team even more in the new year.

Q: What do you do outside of Maptek?

A: I have two boys Cole (8) and Calvin (5); my wife, Courtney, and I have fun running around town taking the boys to their sports activities and parties. I also help to coach Cole’s football team—who are now two time champions for the second year in a row! We also enjoy going to Rockies games and traveling as a family. So far we’ve been to Brisbane and Johannesburg and we’re looking forward to next year’s trip to Dubai. When I get some time to myself, I practice my golf game and try not to lose all of my golf balls in the process.

Q: Do you have any key lessons you’ve learned in your career that you’d like to share?

A: Ask questions. But when you do, be sure to really listen to the answers. Listening is the crucial first step to understanding.

As an engineer and manager, I naturally try to find a solution to any problem I come across. I’ve asked questions and without realising, assumed I knew the answer and stopped listening. This resulted in me finding irrelevant solutions to problems that never really existed in the first place. Luckily, I found that engaging in critical listening has really helped me overcome this. Now I ask questions, listen critically, and repeat back what I hear to make sure I understood the answer or problem correctly. Actively engaging in critical listening has also made me realize that in many instances, people don’t need you to hand them a solution. Instead, they need you to listen to them so that they can discover a solution for themselves.

Q: What do you think is the next big thing in mining technology?

A: The amount of data currently being collected at most mine sites is enormous. The data comes from an increasingly large range of different sources too. Not only that, but the speed at which data is being collected is happening faster than ever before. As you can imagine, interpreting and finding value in all of this data can be extremely difficult. I believe the next big thing in mining will be utilising technologies like AI and Machine Learning to better manage these large amounts of data, allowing mining personnel to make better data-driven decisions and improve their processes across an entire operation.

Q: What’s your favourite Maptek product? 

A: Our services group. We are a group of engineers and geologists that, collectively, have seen many different operations in North America and we are also expert users of Maptek software. We are passionate about using this experience to help our clients, so please reach out to us if you have any questions about our solutions.

Q: Any tips for our readers?

A: Please call support if you have any issues. We are here to provide support before any frustrations set in. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help and get you moving towards your end goal.

Marisa Suarez
Marketing Communications Specialist
January 17, 2020

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