60 Seconds With Luke Victor – Discover the people behind Maptek

Luke Victor - Maptek

Welcome to 60 Seconds With…, a new series of blogs where you get to know the people that make Maptek…well, Maptek.
It’s our chance to see what they’re really like and what makes them tick.

Today, we’re sitting down with Luke Victor, a mining engineer from sunny Adelaide, Australia, now working out of our Edinburgh office.

Position: Technical Services Mining Engineer
Expertise: Open pit and metalliferous mines
Maptek Office: Edinburgh, UK
Joined Maptek: 2018
Where am I from? Australia


Hi Luke, tell us, what got you into mining?

Hi! For me one of the main attractions was the sheer scale of mining operations. There aren’t too many industries where you can talk in terms of millions of tonnes of product and not be laughed out of the room.

Good point! And how did you end up at Maptek?

Maptek struck me as being a good fit for me even several years before I applied for this role. 3D modelling, scanning and visualisation appealed to my interests in IT and of course for me, Maptek is the home of highly-regarded mine design and scheduling software. All in all, it’s the perfect place for me to develop my career and to learn skills that are valuable in mining.

for me, Maptek is the home of mine design and scheduling software – Luke Victor

What is a typical day in the working life of Luke?

My work varies so much from day to day that I couldn’t pin it down! I cover everything from technical queries on the support desk, to consulting on mine design or scheduling, to testing new features, to spending days or weeks at a time training our clients. Rarely do I get two weeks which are alike.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Getting to travel to parts of the world I otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to visit, and when I’m lucky, some I’d have gone to anyway. So far this year I’ve been to Switzerland and Mali. I spend a lot of time assisting clients from different cultures and countries, which is really fulfilling.

How do you spend your time outside of Maptek?

Primarily I’m a gamer, but I’m also trying to visit as many countries as I can. I’ve just recently been on holiday to Croatia…such a beautiful place! I also enjoy reading.

What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned recently?

I’ve recently learned how to use the Mining Blocks Generation function in Vulcan 11, which takes basic pit designs (even overlapping and nested shells) and a topography to make bench solids. It then breaks them down into portions roughly the size of individual blasts allowing for trim and ramp blasts as well. I find it allows me to generate testing and demonstration datasets much more quickly. For our users it saves time and it lets them keep a specification, so they can audit their results or run them again with updated designs without re-working the whole process.

Technology is moving so fast, how do you see mining developing in the near future?

In my mind the changes you can see even now in the industry all point towards increasing automation. Not just in terms of self-driving equipment and the likes, but in terms of modelling, design, monitoring and decision making as well.

I’m also blown away by the way [Maptek Evolution] ties together genetic algorithms and cloud computing to produce optimised schedules really quickly. – find out more about Maptek Evolution

Do you have a favourite Maptek product?

My favourite product changes periodically, but at the moment I’m really enjoying Evolution, our latest mine scheduling tool. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with it recently, training clients and exploring the latest developments.

Understandably, our clients are mostly focused on the results generated by Evolution, but I’m also blown away by the way it ties together genetic algorithms and cloud computing to produce optimised schedules really quickly. Fred Busche from our Denver team gives a great demonstration of Evolution in his recent webinar: Bridging the Credibility Gap between Optimisation and Tactical planning. It’s well worth a watch.

Maptek Evolution

Luke’s been spending a lot of time on Evolution recently, creating strategic schedules for gold and coal operations.

Last question, do you have a tip for our readers?

I do. In fact, I’ve got a couple.

For Vulcan users in particular, I’m a big fan of a new tool called the Block Distance Function. It allows you to calculate distances between individual blocks in a block model. Why is that a big deal? It’s super useful for speedy haulage analysis, estimation validation, determining clearance zones among many other things.

I think a lot of our customers could benefit from learning how to use this tool, which is why I recently created a bite-size video on how to use it: Bite-size video: Storing distances in a block model

Lastly, if you use any of our products and you’re unsure whether you can do something in our software, please call us, it pays to ask… We often get questions from our customers which lead to us either showing them something that makes their lives easier or starts us towards an improvement for everyone to enjoy.

Excellent, thanks for your time Luke!


Looking for more tips like Luke’s? 

Explore the links below to improve your mining skills and knowledge.

Maptek Videos – free webinars, bite-size training videos and much more

Local and online Maptek training courses



Joseph Sykes
Marketing Manager EMEA
November 29, 2018

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