This month’s instalment of our 60 seconds with blog series introduces Daniel Owen from our Perth team.
Position: Technical Services Consultant
Background/expertise: Underground Geology (Gold) and Geostatistics
Years of mining experience: 9 years
Joined Maptek: September 2018
Q: What got you into mining?
A: I was fortunate that my high school offered Geology as a university pathway course and one of my teachers suggested I should give it a go as she thought I might find it interesting … and she was right!
Q: Why did you decide to join Maptek?
A: Since starting my career as a Geologist I’ve found modelling software and associated workflows to be of particular interest. I used Vulcan GeoModeller in my day-to-day job for nearly 8 years for mine geology tasks such as underground resource definition and grade control drill design and always found the functionality intuitive and easy to use. I also really enjoyed the training elements of my previous roles and found myself striving to automate software related processes where I could. When I saw Maptek was advertising for a Geologist I was intrigued, and when I read the role description I knew it was me to a T.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: As a member of the Technical Services team I like the variety of tasks I get to handle, the exposure to different scenarios and workflows that come with it. I appreciate the opportunity to be involved with the ongoing development of a product I’ve always enjoyed using, combined with access to the resources in Maptek to help bring these ideas to life.
Q: What major projects have you been working on recently?
A: I’ve worked on several automated, conceptual, life-of-mine drilling design tools that can take a task that used to take several days and now do it in a couple of minutes, which is pretty cool. However, the most exciting project recently has been collaborating with a developer on an underground digital mapping solution. Historically, underground mapping is all done on paper. It’s quite a time consuming (and not overly exciting) job to then bring that data into Vulcan, so it can end up sitting on someone’s desk for days, weeks or even months without being used. So being able to quickly and easily map on a tablet directly into that 3D workspace has been on my, and many other geologists’, wishlists for a while.
Q: Do you have any key lessons you’ve learned in your career that you’d like to share?
A: Always be mindful to build a strong industry reputation because the mining industry is incredibly tight-knit and you can’t afford to burn any bridges. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn new things.
Q: What do you think is the next big thing in mining technology?
A: I think machine learning and automation is where a lot of industry practices seem to be heading. The more data capture and manipulation that can be automated and streamlined, the more time users have available to analyse and use their data.
Q: What’s your favourite Maptek product?
A: Vulcan of course! There’s so much you can do with it, from basic CAD digitisation through to highly-automated block model estimation and orebody interpretation work, especially once you start going down the path of scripting and automation.
Q: Any tips for our readers?
A: If you’re unsure of how to do something in our software, or you find doing a particular task cumbersome, I’d encourage you to contact the support team at your local Maptek office. It’s highly likely we’ll have a suggestion for a more streamlined workflow or can devise one for you. Also, you’d be amazed at what’s possible to be automated through scripting. Definitely reach out if you have a process that’s causing bottlenecks in data processing, modelling and reporting.
Did you miss the last 60 seconds with post? You can check it out here: Meet Molly Ison.
Technical Services Consultant
July 4, 2019
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