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edu/industry AUSTRALIA CHINA INDIA ITALY MALAYSIA SOUTH AFRICA
The mining and resource industry comprises
businesses in the exploration, development and
production of minerals and energy assets such
as coal, gas, oil and renewables.
Australia’s mining industry is being challenged
by the higher costs of doing business and
falling global commodity prices. The industry is
switching its focus from growing its asset base
to increasing the proftability of production.
The energy sector is seeking more economical
forms of gas production to meet increasing
Monash University seeks to work in partnership
with Australian and global mining and resource
companies to boost productivity and business
success through both technology and workforce-
based innovation. We have a long history in driving
productivity gains in the mining industry, mainly
through two groups – the Maintenance Technology
Institute and the Institute of Railway Technology.
Both institutes enjoy a reputation for excellence
in solving technical issues for the mining industry.
Their innovative solutions have been adopted by
companies all over the world to decrease costs,
increase proftability and improve safety.
Monash recently established a new Bachelor
of Mining Engineering (Honours), which has
the theme “the mine of the future”. This degree
incorporates automation, environment,
sustainability, people and community, safety,
project management and teamwork, economics,
communication skills, innovation and leadership.
Our research strengths in mining and resources
are grouped around six themes:
■ Productivity-enhancing technologies
■ Adding value to production
■ Business operations
■ Sustainable development
■ Cutting energy costs.
seeks to work in
Monash University is a global leader in innovative and
multidisciplinary research. Ranked among the top one per
cent of universities in the world, Monash has grown to
become Australia’s largest university.
Monash’s fve Australian campuses are complemented by a
strong and expanding international presence in Italy, India,
Malaysia, South Africa and China. We also recently established
an alliance with Warwick University in the United Kingdom.
As Australia’s largest university which undertakes ground-
breaking research, Monash University has an enormous
breadth of expertise to assist mining and resources
companies to improve operations and drive business success.
Monash undertakes more contract research with industry than
any other Australian university. The majority of this work is with
leading Australian and international mining companies.
We can connect your organisation with the right people
to meet your needs and put together a research and
development team that works for you. We work with a wide
variety of external partners, in a range of ways, including:
commissioned research, strategic partnerships, consulting
and licensing of innovations.
+61 3 9905 9910
There is a long term trend for a huge
global demand for minerals, in spite of
the recent downturn. However mineral
discoveries are reducing, getting deeper
and harder to fnd. New knowledge is
needed to underpin future exploration.
Monash’s geoscientists conduct research
to understand how, when and where
mineral deposits form in the Earth’s
crust. We are generating predictive
models that guide more economical
The mining industry considers that some
government regulation is impacting its
global competitiveness. Monash has
research and policy expertise across
a range of regulatory areas and has
experience working with the mining
industry on how policy, legislation,
and other regulatory requirements
impact upon mining, energy, and
resources. We can provide academic
and consultancy expertise in cultural
heritage, native title and human rights.
improves the odds
To improve the likelihood of a drill core fnding rich deposits
of nickel, you need an excellent 3D map.
The Vale mining company needed such a map to future
proof its business. It needed to locate underground
ore deposits large enough to extend the life of its
hugely successful surface mining operation at Voisey’s
The Voisey’s Bay area contains about fve cubic kilometres
of a special rock called troctolite, which crystallised from
a magma that rose through the Earth’s crust over a billion
years ago. Nickel-bearing ore deposits are known to occur
in this rock type, often deep below the surface.
Dr Peter Lightfoot, Chief Geologist – Nickel, Brownfeld
Exploration, North Atlantic at Vale underlines “the best
possible combination of geoscience is required to inform
the decision making process” about where to drill “to drive
success within present and future exploration.”
For Professor Sandy Cruden, understanding a billion
years of development of an ore body in the Earth’s crust is
fascinating detective work. As Professor of Tectonics and
Geodynamics at Monash, he studies the pure science of
the processes that have formed the structure and properties
of the Earth’s crust and its evolution through millenia. From
his studies, he creates models for identifying the structural
controls on how magma is emplaced and the likelihood of
creating the right environment for deposits of rich ore.
Professor Cruden describes his work as identifying the right
conditions for fnding the precious “needle in the haystack.”
Dr Lightfoot describes the Monash team’s “valuable
structural analysis and detailed insights into magma
chamber morphology” as “assets to the exploration
programs” at Voisey’s Bay.
The focus of Professor Cruden’s expertise and the source
of Vale’s success lay in the same place - to map and
understand the geology of the area so mining can start in
those places most likely to deliver the vital ore deposits.
Vale predicts its underground operation will start producing
ore in 2019, when the Voisey’s Bay open pit deposit
is supposed to run out, and is expected to remain in
production after 2030.
Monash’s geoscience researchers have a successful track
record of collaborative research with the mining industry. Our
geoscientists are advancing the knowledge of the physics and
chemistry behind how mineralisation occurs in order to develop
better models and targeting tools for predicting where ore
deposits lie deep underground.
Monash’s geoscientists have access to a range of analytical and
technical equipment for mineral exploration and geotechnical
surveys, along with innovative methods. Our capabilities include
the Australian Synchrotron and powerful 3D modelling tools for
developing predictive models that guide mineral exploration.
From 2014, Monash will be running short courses for industry
mineral geologists to train them in interpreting regional
Monash offers education, research and consulting expertise
across many aspects relating to Indigenous communities. We
cover culture, preserving Indigenous archaeology, Indigenous
education, legal issues such as native title law, human rights, and
Indigenous and rural health. The Monash Indigenous Centre can
work with the mining industry to meet Indigenous cultural heritage
legislative requirements and develop culturally appropriate training
for non-Indigenous staff.
Regulations and corporate
Monash’s law academics have research expertise across many
aspects of national and international business law, regulation and
policy. This expertise covers general approaches to regulation,
commercial law, corporate social responsibility, native title, human
rights, energy law, environmental law and regulation of natural
resources. This expertise can be harnessed to assist the mining
industry. Monash has extensive experience in governmental
advisory work, consultancies, and research and training.
The Monash Sustainability Institute can assist the industry
to continue to improve its sustainable development practices
through research, education and action. MSI’s expertise covers
resource management, behaviour change, the interface between
social and environmental sustainability, and legal frameworks
for extractive industries. For legal frameworks, Monash focuses
on research in local content requirements, competitive bidding,
taxation, community engagement and development, framing
and negotiation of investment and community agreements and
leveraging mining investments for infrastructure development.
Our key people
Professor Sandy Cruden
Professor Cruden is an expert in the feld of tectonics
and geodynamics. His expertise can be applied to
developing enhanced exploration models for a variety
Professor Joël Brugger
Professor Brugger is a synchrotron geosciences
expert and investigates the mobility of metals in
the Earth’s crust and environment. This expertise
enables the use of techniques, including the Australian
Synchrotron located next door to Monash’s Clayton
campus, to improve minerals exploration and
Legal frameworks for sustainable development
Ms Mandelbaum’s expertise is in optimising legal
frameworks to promote sustainable development
from mining industry investments, understanding that
industry investments should remain proftable but also
allow the host country to beneft.
Professor Lynette Russell
Professor Russell is an anthropological historian
and director of the Monash Indigenous Centre.
The centre offers expertise in Australian and Papua
New Guinean Indigenous archaeological and
Native title law and policy
Ms Castan’s expertise is in human rights law, native
title issues and Indigenous legal issues. Ms Castan
was a key person in the nationwide Aurora
Project, a capacity building initiative for native title
law and practice.
Associate Professor Adam McBeth
Associate Professor Adam McBeth is a deputy
director in the Castan Centre for Human Rights
Law. He has expertise in international human
rights law including the application of this law to
corporations and the social impact assessment of
Associate Professor Pamela O’Connor
Associate Professor O’Connor’s expertise is in
regulation of resources and land management.
Her current research activities relate to regulation
of carbon, property rights, and regulation of urban
To improve the
likelihood of a
drill core fnding
rich deposits of
nickel, you need an
excellent 3D map.
The mining industry is responding to
challenging market conditions by reducing
costs, increasing productivity and
operating more effciently. The industry is
moving to remote operations, increased
automation and predictive maintenance
of mining assets. Monash can help the
industry to improve productivity with
new technologies and developments
in equipment performance, railway
technologies, optimisation and scheduling,
big data analytics and robotics.
trains on track
The Institute of Railway Technology (IRT) has been
improving the reliability and safety of mining companies’
railway systems for over 40 years. One of IRT’s
competencies is improving the interface where wheel
meets rail. The director of IRT, Mr Ravitharan says the
wheel-rail interface is the foundation of any rail operation:
“Get this wrong at your peril.”
The institute has modifed wheel and rail profles to
optimise the contact conditions. This innovation is helping
companies to cut costs in wheel and rail maintenance
and renewal. Among those to implement the new profles
is Rio Tinto.
Rio Tinto’s superintendent of asset management Michael
Courtney says the design changes suggested by the
Monash team make it easier for the trains to steer correctly
along the track. This also reduces damage. In the past fve
years the company has rolled out a reshaping program,
grinding rails to match a new profle design provided by
IRT. The result has been a drop in defects and broken rails
along its 1200-kilometre network.
Another IRT innovation championed by Mr Courtney is
the instrumented ore car. Monash frst trialled monitoring
equipment ftted to an ore car at BHP Billiton Iron Ore
in 2002. IRT has now retroftted more than 70 ore cars
around the world with instrumentation. These instrumented
cars are linked via GSM and satellite networks to offces
at Monash, providing continuous, near-real-time track
monitoring without interrupting production.
Mr Ravitharan says ftting the equipment to a standard
operational car means the dynamics of the trains’
performance on the tracks can be assessed as they are
running. Potential problems are communicated to railway
operators in near real time.
PRODUCTIVITY-BOOSTING TECNOLOGIES 8
Australian and international coal mines have been able
to increase the productivity of their draglines, thanks to
Monash’s Maintenance Technology Institute.
Draglines are used primarily in surface mining for the
removal of overburden above coal. These huge machines
can move over 100 cubic metres of material at a time
in their bucket, at a rate of one bucket per minute. This
means even minor improvements in dragline productivity
can lead to large increases in mine proftability.
The managing director of MTI, Gerard Chitty, says that
MTI has completed dragline capacity assessments and
production improvements for over 75 draglines.
“We have calculated the safe working capacity at
various operations including BMA, Rio Tinto, Anglo
Coal, Wesfarmers, Glencore and BHBP Energy Coal
South Africa. Following these assessments and
implementation of structural upgrades, most draglines are
operating at 110 to 125 per cent of the original design RSL
(rated suspended load) within a safe working envelope.
MTI uses high tech monitoring systems and applies a fve
step process to maximising the performance of draglines.
MTI is developing and trialling real time monitoring systems
for other mining equipment such as excavators, shovels,
large mining trucks and drills.
Mr Chitty said “we are able to remotely monitor in real time
and stream data to our Melbourne base from all mobile
equipment on site to provide feedback on issues such
as damage or poor performance. We are able to identify
operators who might need further training and highlight
specifc areas where improvements are needed.”
MTI prides itself on providing comprehensive,
independent advice that makes a real fnancial impact
on the mining industry.
“We estimate that we have helped our clients achieve
business benefts of about $10 million to $25 million
dragline per year,” said Mr Chitty. “Considering the large
number of draglines that have been upgraded on MTI
recommendations, the total estimate of fnancial benefts
runs into several hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Large scale businesses constantly review their end to
end processes to identify opportunities for cost savings.
In highly complex businesses, there are many variables to
be assessed before the right decision can be made. Using
the variables to generate the right solution requires out of
the box thinking and tremendous analytical capabilities.
Greater effciency in operations returns signifcant
rewards as a collaboration between Monash, Constraint
Technologies International (CTI) and Qantas has underlined.
At the heart of the Monash approach to optimisation is
a gifted analyst/algorithm designer/mathematician; an
expert in modelling and solving combinatorial optimisation
problems. Together with his colleagues Professor Maria
Garcia De La Banda and Dr Guido Tack, Professor Mark
Wallace leads a team of PhD researchers focused on
fnding solutions that take into account numerous variables.
They have a proven track record in designing state of the
art software solutions in travel, transport and logistics.
CTI has been delivering airline optimisation systems for 20
years. Since 2005, the Head of Research and Development
at CTI, Ian Evans has worked with Professor Wallace and
his team to “drive the evolution of transport and logistics
systems.” CTI knows the value of working with a lead
researcher who “is aware of the latest advances as they
occur” as this means their business can access new
approaches “rather than having to wait years for them to be
written up and published.”
One CTI project was to develop a fexible crew rostering
system to address complex business rules, safe working
requirements, workplace agreements, leave and training
allocations and crew preferences as well as technical
requirements. Professor Wallace and his team delivered a
solution that CTI was able to customise for sale to Qantas
and major airlines in Asia and India.
Professor Wallace’s skilled research team solves these and
other complex resource planning and scheduling problems
using a range of algorithms, constraint programming and
hybrid techniques. Their applications create cost saving
solutions in managing terminals, maintenance programmes,
crew rostering and equipment management.
PRODUCTIVITY-BOOSTING TECNOLOGIES 9
“ We estimate that we have helped
our clients achieve business
benefits of about $10 million to
$25 million per dragline per year”
Monitoring the condition of major mining equipment can detect
a problem before failure, allowing maintenance to be scheduled
and maximising production output. Condition monitoring is also
a critical aspect of asset management to control operational
expenditure and predict future capital expenditure.
Monash has extensive research expertise in monitoring of
equipment and complex structures:
■ structural, mechanical and electrical system health monitoring,
including in diffcult-to-inspect places
■ fracture and fatigue analysis
■ vibration monitoring and assessment
■ modelling of mechanical properties
■ sensors and wireless networks
■ data mining and management of monitoring data
■ condition forecasting
■ visualisation of complex data
■ optimisation of maintenance scheduling.
Big data analytics
Mining companies increasingly depend upon advanced
computational infrastructure. This means the volume of data
being transferred and stored quickly becomes vast, known as
big data. This data can be used to great advantage – if it is
correctly compiled, analysed and evaluated. Monash can assist
companies gain a competitive advantage by better exploiting their
data assets. For example, analysing big data can improve the
understanding of factors that affect productivity or time between
required maintenance, meaning processes can be refned to
decrease operational expenditure.
The Maintenance Technology Institute (MTI) is dedicated to
improving the performance and reliability of plant and equipment
using the latest technologies and state-of-the-art analysis
techniques. MTI has been delivering research and consulting
services to the mining industry for over 14 years. Its clients include
BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glencore Xstrata, Anglo Coal, Peabody,
Wesfarmers and Caterpillar.
■ productivity and capacity assessments
■ safety and integrity assessments
■ new designs, design reviews and modifcations for
improving reliability and performance
■ operator behaviour assessment and training for
■ process optimisation over the long term
■ life extension of ageing plant
■ real time monitoring and operator feedback systems.
Monash’s Institute of Railway Technology (IRT) has been delivering
technology-based solutions to the railway industry, including
heavy haul, for over 40 years. IRT provides research and
development services to BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals
Group and Vale (Brazil), and more than 100 other railway-based
entities. IRT has developed instrumented ore care technology
to support track reliability. This in turn has increased productivity
and safety for industry.
IRT’s primary areas of expertise are track structure design and
maintenance, rail welding, wheel-rail interface, vehicle and
track instrumentation, vehicle and train performance, condition
monitoring, component testing, failure analysis, quality control
and auditing, standards development and personnel training.
Our key people
Mr Chitty is the director of the Maintenance
Technology Institute, which has 15 specialist
engineering and research staff to deliver
research services to the mining and heavy
Mr Ravitharan is the director of the Institute of Railway
Technology, a leading technology service provider to
heavy haul and mass transit railway systems.
Professor Wing Kong Chiu
Professor Chiu is an expert in structural health
monitoring and structural integrity. His expertise
has been applied to improve monitoring aircraft
structures, freight trains, buried water pipes and
Big data analytics
Professor Geoff Webb
Professor Webb has expertise in data mining,
knowledge acquisition, machine learning and user
modelling. He creates new technologies to make
sense of data and his work with industry has improved
process control and crew scheduling.
Optimisation and scheduling
Professor Mark Wallace
Professor Wallace’s expertise spans different
techniques and algorithms for optimisation and
their integration and application to solving complex
resource planning and scheduling problems.
Professor Kate Smith-Miles
Professor Smith-Miles leads a new initiative called
MAXIMA, which uses high end mathematical expertise
to solve complex challenges in research and industry.
Professor Smith-Miles has consulted widely to
industry in the areas of optimisation, data mining and
Professor Bijan Shirinzadeh
Professor Shirinzadeh’s research interests are in
robotics, automation, sensing and control. His work
can be applied to mining processes by improving
robotic systems in an industrial environment.
Optimisation and scheduling
Monash is developing optimisation and visualisation technologies
to solve complex problems. These technologies are helping
organisations to improve the quality and effciency of their
operations and services. Monash has partnered with industry
and government in transport, logistics, production planning,
resource allocation and scheduling. The potential benefts of using
optimisation in the mining industry include:
■ crew rostering, equipment allocation and task scheduling to
meet production requirements
■ production scheduling to maximise supply at minimal cost and risk
■ strategic planning to schedule large numbers of investments to
maximise net present value.
and autonomous systems
There is a growing role of automated machines and robotics in the
mining and resource industry as they are able to perform highly
repetitive tasks quickly and safely, with less wear on trucks and
other equipment. Monash’s expertise in this area includes:
■ robotic systems
■ sensing and control, including remote sensing
■ long reach manipulators
■ automation and automated handling systems
■ autonomous aerial vehicles and swarm methodologies for tasks
such as area coverage, exploration, monitoring and surveillance
■ haptics and virtual reality
■ mechatronic systems
■ process planning and control.
PRODUCTIVITY-BOOSTING TECNOLOGIES 12
ADDING VALUE TO PRODUCTION
In addition to new and innovative
technologies to boost productivity, Monash
expertise can help the mining and resource
industry improve its operations and
add value to raw commodities through
advanced engineering and industrial design.
Our areas of expertise in the production
and post-production phases include:
■ mining engineering
■ extraction and recovery of metals
■ brown coal technologies
■ unconventional gas extraction
■ adding value to metals – high
performance materials and corrosion
■ industrial design.
Adding value to production
Monash is helping to improve the conditions for workers in
Australian underground coal mines. Using a combination
of engineering and industrial design, researchers have
been developing practical solutions for vehicles that
transport workers in underground mine tunnels.
By global standards the mining sector in Australia has
an enviable mine safety record. However safety audits of
Australian coal mines in the mid-2000s identifed safety
issues relating to the use of underground transport
equipment, which contributed to injuries amongst mine
workers. The emissions from these diesel powered
vehicles also represent a considerable health hazard.
With funding from the Australian Coal Association
Research Program, the Australian Research Council
and industry partners Kestral Coal and GE-Industrea, a
multidisciplinary team at Monash used a human-centred
approach to research the safety, operation and function of
underground transport equipment.
The team developed a set of guidelines and specifcations
for a new compact and lightweight concept vehicle
for underground mining, with improvements to seating
ergonomics, impact attenuation and occupant safety.
Associate Professor Arthur de Bono, Head of the
Department of Design, said the multidisciplinary approach
and strong links with the mining industry through
Monash’s Maintenance Technology Institute (MTI) was
the key. “Our design solution was informed by the
requirements of industry and our engineers giving us the
structural and technical parameters.”
Dr Daya Dayawansa head of research at MTI said
“working with industrial designers led to design outcomes
far in excess of those that could have come from
The impressive results of this research led the industry
partners to again join with Monash and new partner
Swinburne University of Technology on a new project
aimed at developing an alternative electric power system
for mining vehicles. This system will not only be zero
emission but will meet the challenging environment found
in underground mines.
Associate Professor Damon Honnery, a lead researcher
on the project and an expert in pollutant formation
says “our long term goal is to remove diesel powered
vehicles completely from mines and improve the working
environment for underground miners.”
ADDING VALUE TO PRODUCTION 14
Monash can help Australia’s mining industry achieve its aim to
generate more proftable production from its enlarged asset
base. In 2013 Monash established a fagship Division of Mining
and Resources Engineering in response to industry demand.
The division will leverage Monash’s position as Australia’s leading
engineering university and provide the mining industry with high
quality education and research.
Monash has a long history of advancing fundamental knowledge
in the felds of civil engineering, rock and soil mechanics, waste
management and environmental management. Monash has
worked with global mining and resource companies to improve
their operations, including improving the stability of large open
With the establishment of a dedicated mining division, Monash
will expand its current expertise to other critical areas in mining
engineering such as mine health and safety, ventilation, mine
automation, drilling and blasting and mining methods. We are
also currently exploring rapid and mass mining technologies
to enhance production. Researchers are developing expertise
in applying tunnel boring machines and other mechanised
excavations in mining and discrete and dynamic numerical
modelling techniques of mass mining.
Extraction and recovery of metals
Monash is undertaking exciting research in ionic liquids and
electrochemistry which offers unique horizon opportunities
in improving electrowinning processes for extracting copper,
titanium, magnesium and precious metals. This expertise could
be applied to investigate the recovery and recycling of gold and
other precious metals from mining and electronic wastes.
Australia has vast reserves of low-rank brown coal. Monash
is exploring how cleaner energy can be produced from these
reserves by reducing the energy required for dewatering of the
coal and also through the use of new approaches to gasifcation/
combustion, such as oxy-fuel, chemical looping and fuel cells.
Monash also investigates the creation of value added products
from coal, such as liquid transport fuels, blast furnace coke,
bitumens and carbons.
In the energy resources sector, unconventional gas sources such
as tight sand, coal seam and shale offer low-carbon alternatives
to coal. The global consumption of gas has been increasing
at a rate of three per cent a year since 2000 and there are
huge untapped unconventional gas reserves across the world.
Expansion of the unconventional gas industry will require new
technologies to make this energy source economically feasible
and have minimal environmental impact.
Monash is researching new environmentally friendly and effective
techniques for reservoir development and gas extraction
from unconventional sources. We have unique capabilities for
development of new techniques, including one of the world’s
largest high pressure, high temperature testing chambers.
High performance metals
Monash has major activities underway in the science and engineering
of metals and alloys, which can add signifcant value to the
raw material. These include intelligent design and development
of high performance light alloys, development of innovative
processing technologies such as additive manufacturing, material
characterisation, and modelling and simulation of metal processing
and resulting mechanical properties.
The bulk of Monash’s research is in light alloys based on aluminium,
magnesium and titanium. We also have signifcant activity in steel
and copper. Monash has state-of-the-art experimental testing and
characterisation facilities to underpin this research.
Monash’s expertise in corrosion research can protect infrastructure
and equipment and extend the working life of mine assets. Monash is
researching the monitoring, mechanism and mitigation of corrosion.
Our researchers have experience in solving corrosion problems for
mining and mineral processing companies. Monash’s corrosion
expertise is broad and includes corrosion-assisted cracking of steels,
microbially-induced corrosion, coatings for light alloys and steels,
modelling of corrosion, and corrosion of concrete reinforcements.
Monash’s industrial design researchers generate ideas and undertake
practice that lead to the creation of new paradigms, novel approaches
and fresh insights. They are working with mining, transport, medical
and manufacturing industries to integrate design thinking and world-
class design practices into businesses. Professional services offered
by Monash include:
■ ergonomic and usability analysis – assessment of tools, equipment
■ product documentation – computer aided design for design
■ three dimensional visualisation – a comprehensive range of services
such as 3D images and animations
■ prototyping – the latest digital making technologies such as rapid
prototyping and laser cutting.
ADDING VALUE TO PRODUCTION 15
A multidisciplinary team at Monash used a
human-centred approach to research the
safety, operation and function of underground
Professor Alan Chaffee
Professor Chaffee is researching new and more
effcient uses for brown coal, including its conversation
to chemical and other value-added products. He is
developing improved approaches to and materials for
carbon dioxide capture and utilisation.
Gas extraction technologies
Professor Ranjith Pathegama Gamage
Professor Pathegama Gamage is an expert in
the movement of fuids through rock. His team is
developing stimulation methods for recovery of gas
from unconventional reservoirs.
High performance metals
Professor Chris Davies
Professor Davies is an expert in the
thermo-mechanical processing of metals. He designs
new alloys and new processing routes by combining
advanced modelling and experiment with physical
simulation of industrial processes.
Professor Nick Birbilis
Professor Birbilis is a leader in corrosion research
and corrosion control in a variety of metals and using
different protective coatings.
Associate Professor Arthur de Bono
Associate Professor de Bono and his team of
industrial designers look at innovations in design
for major research and corporate organisations.
Professor Jerry Tien
Professor Tien is Head of the Division of Mining and
Resources Engineering. His speciality areas include
mine ventilation, diesel particulate matter emissions,
mine fres, coal mining, mine planning and mine
Professor Jian Zhao
Professor Zhao is an international expert in rock
mechanics and rock engineering, including
mining applications. His research and engineering
practice covers tunnel boring machine (TBM)
excavation, rock cavern construction, oil storage
caverns, rock fracturing, earthquake effects and
Professor Jayantha Kodikara
Professor Kodikara has expertise in the stability of
compacted soils. He has undertaken fundamental
research into modelling of unsaturated soil behaviour,
atmosphere/ground/structure interaction, and soil and
rock fracture and water fow.
Extraction and recovery of metals
Professor Doug Macfarlane
Professor Macfarlane researches ionic liquids and is
a leader in the Australian Research Council Centre of
Excellence for Electromaterials.
Our key people
ADDING VALUE TO PRODUCTION 16
The mining industry’s productivity
drive applies to business processes
and workforce management as well
as technological enhancements. The
industry is looking to increase production
without increasing costs by enabling
people to do their jobs better and
improving the effciency of operations.
At the same time, the health and safety
of mine workers is an ever present issue.
Monash can help in these areas by
improving workplace safety and injury
outcomes, equipping the workforce with
the skills to build a more effcient and
productive workplace, and improving
business operations and services.
BUSINESS OPERATIONS 17
Safer light vehicles for the
Thousands of mining workers use light four wheel drive
vehicles to check gas lines, travel off road to carry out
maintenance or simply travel from site to site as part of
their working day. Dr David Logan, Senior Research Fellow
at the Monash Injury Research Institute recently worked
with Rio Tinto to support a review of their vehicle feet
including what vehicles types were most suited to certain
Dr Logan says that understanding the unique safety features
of each model of a vehicle feet is critical to improving the
driving safety performance of an organisation. In particular
features such as electronic stability control can assist greatly
in reducing the likelihood of losing control of a vehicle.
Regional Health and Safety Superintendent at Rio Tinto,
“Alex Rutter said “we engaged Monash to help us review
the features and applications of our light vehicle feet
because they are highly regarded in research into this feld.”
Mr Rutter said that Monash was professional throughout
the engagement and the research and advice provided
was easy to apply to the development of new guidelines for
vehicle purchasing and application. “Monash assisted us to
ensure important policy decisions were grounded in up to
Rebecca Perrett, Health and Safety Manager from Rio Tinto
Iron Ore said the work that Monash did provided up to date
research and information to support business strategy.
“The results helped us to develop a purchasing strategy
for safety requirements that were well received within the
Dr Logan strongly suggests that mining companies follow
Rio Tinto’s lead and consider safety features when they
are replacing their feet. He notes that “electronic stability
control has been shown to reduce single vehicle driver injury
crashes in four wheel drives by around 65 per cent.”
Healthy workers in
the aluminium industry
Over the past 10 years Monash University, together with
the University of Western Australia, assisted the aluminium
industry to protect the health of workers.
In 1994, Alcoa of Australia initiated Healthwise, a research
program looking at links between work and long-term
health in its employees. At the time, Alcoa employed
approximately 6000 people and produced 30 per cent of
Australia’s aluminium. Healthwise investigated the health
of workers in Alcoa’s bauxite mines, alumina refneries,
aluminium smelters, power stations, rolling mills and
Professor Malcolm Sim, the director of the Monash
Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health was
a lead researcher in Healthwise. Professor Sim says
“we monitored the health of thousands of Alcoa workers
and applied robust epidemiological research methods to
examine the relationship between exposure to substances
such as bauxite, sulphur dioxide, polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons and particulates and the health outcomes
“Our research in the Healthwise program helped to clarify
the causative agents for occupational asthma and lung
cancer. Importantly we showed that mortality rates for
circulatory disease, respiratory disease and cancer are
statistically signifcantly lower for Alcoa employees than the
general population” he said.
To enhance occupational health and safety practices within
the company, Alcoa regularly communicated the research
fndings from Healthwise to its employees.
Alcoa reported that the Healthwise program leads the
way in occupational health research. The company has
highlighted the importance of engaging internationally
renowned experts such as Professor Sim, in the feld
Monash University, together with the University of
Western Australia, assisted the aluminium industry
to protect the health of workers.
BUSINESS OPERATIONS 18
safety and injury
Monash University is internationally renowned for its injury, safety
and occupational health research. We are focused on using our
research expertise to deliver actionable workplace improvements
with partner organisations. Monash’s expertise in these areas can
monitor the health of workers, identify any factors causing ill health
or injury and help to inform control measures.
The major areas of research are:
■ Workplace safety, injury outcomes, transport safety and
disaster resilience at the Monash Injury Research Institute.
The institute’s clients have included Australia Post, VicRoads,
Orica, Exoon-Mobil and OneSteel Newcastle.
■ Vehicle safety at the Monash University Accident
■ The Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental
Health investigates the health effects of occupational and
■ The Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety
and Productivity, headquartered at Monash, will develop
the next generation of shift scheduling and workplace
design techniques, alertness assessment devices, better
sleep programs, and a range of innovative strategies to
Human resource management
and workplace relations
Monash has the largest group of management educators and
researchers in the Asia-Pacifc region. Monash’s pioneering human
resources and workplace relations research informs teaching and
makes a signifcant contribution to management knowledge and
professional practice, across a range of areas including:
■ organisational change
■ human resource management
■ leadership skills
■ change management
■ employee and industrial relations.
Monash offers research and consulting services in these areas and
has been engaged by mining and resources companies to identify
effective practices for recruiting and retaining engineering and
scientifc talent, as well as to encourage and foster innovation.
Innovation in workplaces requires managers and other
employees to change their mindsets and ways of working.
Workplace based training is a specialised skill and Monash
provides development programs for trainers in diverse industry
settings to enable them to attain teaching and communication
skills. These skills will translate into better on the job learning that
ultimately builds more effcient and productive workplaces.
Monash has successfully conducted programs for Visy Industries
and Nova Systems Aeronautical Engineering. Learning programs
■ leadership, including organisational and executive
■ workplace learning and communication skills development
in a variety of work contexts
■ train the trainer
■ coaching and mentoring for different workplaces.
Global business operations
In order to operate effciently and effectively, companies in the
mining industry need to adopt global standards and integrate
end to end business processes internally and in their supply
chains. Monash has expertise in:
■ analysing supply chains and developing appropriate strategies
■ total quality management and organisational performance
■ planning and integration of advanced technologies
■ internationalisation strategy and its components
■ business to government relationships
■ business regulations.
Monash University is internationally
renowned for its injury, safety and
occupational health research.
BUSINESS OPERATIONS 19
Our key people
Occupational health, safety and injury
Professor Malcolm Sim
Professor Sim is an occupational physician and
epidemiologist who leads the Monash Centre
for Occupational and Environmental Health. He
researches the human health effects of occupational
and environmental exposures and has worked
extensively with bauxite mining, aluminium production
and petroleum refning companies.
Professor Lesley Day
Professor Day is the deputy director of the Monash
Injury Research Institute. She has expertise in injury
epidemiology, surveillance, and the design and
evaluation of injury interventions. Her research spans
diverse topics including falls prevention, workplace
injuries, program evaluation and research translation.
Professor Shantha Rajaratnam
Professor Rajaratnam is an expert in sleep and
circadian science. His research aims to understand
how shift work and sleep disorders impact alertness,
safety, productivity and health. He has used innovative
technologies to monitor alertness in occupational and
Human resource management
Professor Greg Bamber
Professor Bamber researches human resource
management, workplace relations and international
industrial relations. He researches with and advises
governments and private sector organisations across
many industry sectors.
Dr Philip Riley
Dr Riley is an expert in adult learning and development
and is course leader for leadership and training programs.
Global business operations
Professor Amrik Sohal
Professor Sohal’s expertise includes operations and
supply chain management, logistics and technology
and innovation management.
with Rio Tinto
to support a review
of their vehicle feet.
A commitment to sustainable
development is critical for mining and
resource companies to maintain their
“licence to operate” in the community over
all stages of a mine or well’s life. It also
makes good business sense. Responding
to sustainability challenges is a key
research priority for Monash University.
Our innovative and cross-disciplinary
work in sustainable development is
having a real-world impact in Australia
Sustainable development includes
pursuing opportunities to be more energy
effcient. It is estimated that energy costs
currently constitute as much as ffteen
per cent of total mining and mineral
processing input costs. Monash’s
strengths in the area of energy research
are in energy storage, energy systems,
renewables and clean energy. Such
solutions can help the mining industry
to become more energy effcient, and
therefore manage operational costs and
achieve corporate sustainability goals.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 21
Tough stuff for tough
Monash researchers are helping to design safe and reliable
containment facilities for mining wastes.
To identify the right lining for the disposal of hazardous
waste in a mining environment pushes the performance
of geosynthetics beyond the limits typical for other
environmental and engineering applications. It requires highly
specialised research conducted in custom built facilities.
Geofabrics Australasia Pty Ltd (Geofabrics) is a
manufacturer of geosynthetic products used in road and
railway construction, mining and resources projects, landfll
and coastal engineering.
Brendan Swifte, Managing Director of Geofabrics supports
research into this area, stating “design engineers are asked
to provide effcient and effective solutions to address the
problems faced by their clients. The more the engineer
understands about the interaction between the waste and
the lining system, the better the design outcome.”
He says that mining wastes will vary widely, depending upon
the ore to be mined and processed. “Some wastes are
very aggressive and the chemical interaction with the lining
systems can be very complex. To understand the nature of
the interaction requires technical expertise” he says.
Professor Malek Bouazza is a world-leading researcher
in geosynthetics. He is a civil engineer, internationally
renowned for his research in geosynthetics and
At Monash, Professor Bouazza’s team has the facilities to
run highly sophisticated laboratory tests and specialised
modelling of thermo-hydro-chemical permeability of liners to
refne the design of liner systems used in mining operations.
Brendan Swifte, says working with Professor Bouazza is
“an excellent investment” because “Professor Bouazza’s
focused research delivers practical outcomes that are
readily implemented within our industry.”
Monash researchers are helping
to design safe and reliable containment
facilities for mining wastes.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 22
Working principally through the Monash Sustainability Institute
(MSI), Monash University is partnering with academia, government
and private institutions to fnd new solutions to today’s
sustainability challenges. Monash draws together the best minds
from the felds of science, economics, law, engineering, health and
psychology. MSI offers a range of sustainability programs:
■ Green Steps, a multi-award winning program that gives
students and people in the workplace the practical skills
to make their workplace practices more sustainable
■ BehaviourWorks Australia, a behavioural change research
centre for environmental sustainability
■ ClimateWorks Australia has substantial experience in working
with industry to identify opportunities for energy effciency
■ Carbon Decision Making and Risk Management tool to enable
businesses to best manage and mitigate their carbon liability.
Mine waste management
The mining industry often produces large quantities of solid waste.
For example large-scale open-cut coal mining requires the removal
of large amounts of overburden. With a general trend of declining
ore grades for most commodities, more waste is being generated
because higher quantities of ore need to be processed. The issue
of mine waste provides a number of opportunities for innovative
engineering solutions for solid waste management.
Our research areas are:
■ application of industrial ecological tools to waste issues
■ creating wealth from mining wastes
■ sustainable resource management
■ carbon sequestration in mine tailings
■ abatement and prevention of acid rock drainage
and metal leaching
■ use of mining wastes in downstream economic activities
such as civil engineering construction.
Water treatment and management
Water is integral to most mining activities and is typically the
prime medium that carries pollutants into the wider environment.
Monash’s capabilities in water research span many areas.
■ geosynthetic liners for containment and mine site remediation
■ aquatic chemistry and measuring the impact of human activity
■ environmental analytical services in a NATA accredited laboratory
■ groundwater – management, sustainability and impacts
■ stormwater treatment and control and water recycling
■ sustainable chemistry – horizon opportunity to treat waste
water and improve chemical processes.
Mining chemicals and reagents play a vital role in mineral
extraction, but the costs of chemicals are increasing and many
are potentially damaging to the environment. Monash has been
leading green or sustainable chemistry for more than a decade.
We are designing new chemical products and processes that are
non-toxic, energy effcient, waste free and more economical.
Green Chemical Futures is a large-scale program at Monash
for supporting research and education in sustainable chemistry.
It includes a new purpose-built facility at the Clayton campus.
Green Chemical Futures also encompasses the Victorian Centre
for Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing (VCSCM) at Monash
and CSIRO, a research and training centre dedicated to assisting
industry to deploy more sustainable manufacturing processes
through sustainable chemistry. The VCSCM can help the mining
industry to change mining processes such as replacing solvents
and improving the treatment of tailing dams and waste water.
Monash University’s engineering researcher
Professor Ana Deletic is helping Australian
businesses adopt new technologies and
systems to manage water more sustainably.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 24
Monash research expertise
can help mining and resources
companies plan and implement
their energy procurement and
Monash’s energy research program is focused on advanced
materials and technologies for highly effcient energy harvesting
and energy storage. Areas of strength are:
■ electromaterials – preparation and characterisation of ionic
liquids and other materials for energy storage including
batteries, electrodes, solar cells and electronic textiles
■ photovoltaics – new solar cell concepts, from development
to commercialisation, including dye-sensitised and hybrid
organic-inorganic solar cells
■ solar fuels – catalytic inorganic materials for use in water
splitting and carbon dioxide reduction
■ membranes – polymer based membranes for gas separation
and fuel cells
■ graphene – investigating converted graphenes for batteries,
solar cells, fuel cells and superconductors
■ high temperature energy materials.
Mining and resources companies have signifcant energy needs.
Monash research expertise can help mining and resources
companies plan and implement their energy procurement and
management strategies. This includes:
■ energy systems modelling, including a unique capability to
accelerate simulation speeds with high performance computers
■ smart grids with mobile sensors, and wireless
■ power systems analysis and design and intelligent plant remote
monitoring and management
■ a short course for industry about the business benefts of smart
grids demand management.
Renewable energy sources
Monash researchers are working to improve the effciency of
renewable energy sources to make them a viable alternative to
coal-powered electricity and petroleum. Monash’s core areas of
expertise in renewables are:
■ alternative fuels – biofuels/bioenergy in different feedstocks
and production methods
■ wind energy – fundamental aerodynamic research, wind
farm placement, wind turbine aerodynamics, and the
Monash Wind Tunnel – fracture properties of rocks, energy
production, continent and basin scale modelling and energy
■ solar cells – development of low cost and light weight dye
sensitised cells and organic cells as alternatives to silicon
Monash researchers are investigating ways in which clean energy
can be produced from coal and pioneering technologies for
capturing carbon via geo-sequestration.
Our research includes:
■ brown coal drying technology, combustion and gasifcation,
combined with co-processing with minerals
■ process effciency improvement through integration and simulation
■ geo-sequestration of carbon dioxide
■ pre and post combustion carbon dioxide capture technology.
Professor Milton Hearn
Professor Hearn is the Associate Director, Green
Chemical Futures and Director, Victorian Centre for
Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing. He has been
instrumental in expanding the feld of sustainable
chemistry at a national and international level.
Professor Udo Bach
Professor Bach focuses on the development of novel
nanostructures for their application in solar cells and
sensors. Dye-sensitised solar cells are a major focus
of his work.
Energy systems and renewables
Dr Ariel Liebman
Dr Liebman’s expertise is in modelling and simulation
of electricity markets using high performance
computing platforms. He also specialises in simulation
and analysis of the economics of smart grids and
Professor Sankar Bhattacharya
Professor Bhattacharya’s research includes advanced
coal and biomass utilisation for power and fuels
production through gasifcation and combustion.
He has undertaken research for multiple energy
companies and resource government departments.
Professor Dave Griggs
Professor Griggs is the director of the Monash
Sustainability Institute which delivers solutions to
sustainability challenges using a multidisciplinary,
Mine waste management
Dr Mohan Yellishetty
Dr Yellishetty’s researches the development and
implementation of industrial ecological principles to
mining and minerals industries for the management of
environmental impacts. He has expertise in life cycle
assessment to achieve raw materials effciencies and
acid rock drainage and mine waste management,
offering innovative solutions to mine site rehabilitation
and mine waste management.
Corporate responsibility and sustainability
Professor Bryan Horrigan
Professor Horrigan is Dean of the Faculty of Law
and has both academic expertise and professional
experience in the regulation and practice of corporate
social responsibility and sustainability in Australia
Water treatment and management
Professor Ana Deletic
Professor Deletic is a leading international researcher
in water. Her specialties are innovative designs for
stormwater harvesting systems and sustainable
Professor Malek Bouazza
Professor Bouazza is an expert in geosynthetics and
environmental geotechnics and gives specialist advice
to industry in Australia and overseas, particularly into
improving waste containment systems.
Our key people
Monash Solar Group. Photo: Eamon Gallagher.
Maintenance Technology Institute
The Maintenance Technology Institute was established in 1999
as a joint initiative between BHP Billiton and Monash University
to provide comprehensive industry-focused research and
development. The focus of MTI is to optimise plant and equipment
performance for mining companies in Australia and internationally.
The Australian Synchrotron is one of Australia’s premier research
facilities, used to undertake cutting edge geosciences research.
The facility enables the use of techniques unavailable via
conventional methods, leading to research discoveries which
impact all aspects of resources production, from exploration
and mining through to minerals processing.
CAVE2 is a virtual reality environment that enables scientists to
manipulate ultra-high-resolution visualisations of data. It is the
most advanced facility of its type in the world, an immersive
hybrid 2D and 3D visualisation tool comprising 80 LCD panels
in an eight metre, 320-degree, curved-wall formation. These
capabilities are underpinned by an ultra-high speed 10 gigabit
per second connection to the Monash network to support
Monash’s centres and institutes conduct ground-breaking
research across a diverse range of areas. We have a strong,
integrated network of world-class technology research platforms
to underpin our research effort, as well as provide access to our
industry and collaborative research partners.
See monash.edu/research/centres and platforms.monash.edu
Division of Mining and Resources Engineering
This division provides mining engineering education and research.
It was established in 2013 in response to industry demand for
mining engineering graduates. The division builds on Monash’s
reputation for high quality teaching and research in engineering.
Newcrest Mining Limited and MMG Limited are founding
supporters of the division. The division is based at the Clayton
campus, with opportunities to link into Monash’s campuses in
Malaysia, India and China.
Institute of Railway Technology
The Institute of Railway Technology (IRT) is the premier track and
vehicle railway research centre in Australia. IRT is one of the main
technology service providers to heavy haul railway operations and
leading mass transit railway systems, and provides a one-stop
technology access point for the international railway industry. IRT
evolved from BHP’s Melbourne Research Laboratories in January
2000, and has been advancing the railway industry through
technology for over 40 years.
research excellence and facilities
CAVE2. CONNECTOME image courtesy of University of Illinois. Photo: Philip Chan.
Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy
The centre provides advanced instrumentation, expertise and
training in electron microscopy and atom probe microscopy,
enabling researchers to solve key problems in the physical
sciences and engineering. The centre’s suite of instrumentation
can determine the composition, structure and bonding of materials
down to the atomic scale.
Monash e-Research Centre
The centre provides specialist advice and customised e-research
solutions, including high performance computing, modelling and
simulation facilities, storage and management of research data,
advanced collaboration platforms, visualisation platforms and
specialised server hosting.
Monash Wind Tunnel
The Monash Wind Tunnel is a low-speed aerodynamic testing
facility. It is the largest wind tunnel in the southern hemisphere and
is open to industry partners, academics and students. The Wind
Tunnel undertakes aerodynamic and wind noise research and
development services for various industries.
MAXIMA – Monash Academy for Cross and
Interdisciplinary Mathematical Applications
MAXIMA uses high-end mathematical expertise to solve complex
research, societal and industrial problems via collaborative
research and consultancy projects. MAXIMA expertise includes
modelling and simulation, optimisation, probability and stochastic
processes, design of experiments, data mining, numerical
analysis, continuum mechanics, particle mechanics and
Green Chemical Futures
The Green Chemical Futures program will bring together cutting-
edge educational spaces with Monash University’s world-
leading capacity in green chemistry research and innovation.
The initiative also focuses on partnerships including helping
businesses fnd ways to lower energy consumption, use less
water, produce less pollution, and achieve greater sustainability
in their production processes.
Peter Meurs BE (Mech) (Hons) 1981
Director Developments, Fortescue
Mr Meurs commenced at Fortescue Metal group in 2010 and
became an executive director in February 2013. Before joining
Fortescue Mr Meurs held the position of Managing Director
at Worley Parsons.
Mr Meurs has a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering
from Monash University. He said “I have great memories of my
years at Monash. As a result of the example and encouragement
of great teachers like Professor Kenneth Hunt I developed a
passion for innovation and challenging current practice which
has continued with me.
During my career I have been blessed with many opportunities
to try new things – including the application of new techniques
for installing offshore pipelines, strengthening offshore oil and
gas platforms, new approaches to designing and documenting
instrumentation systems, alliance style relationship contract
development and most recently delivering a major iron ore
expansion for 30 per cent less capital and about half the
schedule of established industry norms. I’ve also had the
opportunity to play a part in the development of two of Australia’s
great companies – Worley Parsons and now Fortescue Metals.”
Peter Coleman BEng, MBA
CEO and Managing Director, Woodside
Peter Coleman has 29 years’ experience in the global oil
and gas industry. He joined Australia’s largest independent
oil and gas company, Woodside, in 2011 as CEO and
Prior to joining Woodside he held a range of executive roles at
ExxonMobil including Vice President Development, which saw
him responsible for leading all development and project work in
“My time at Monash University provided me with the gift of
knowledge and the drive to constantly inquire and better myself
– thank you for helping me fulfl my potential.”
“Monash University provided
me with the gift of knowledge”
Mining and resource companies can engage with
Monash University through a variety of mechanisms.
Specifc contract research
We have expertise across many areas of research. We can provide you with direct access to
Monash researchers and their facilities and develop a tailored research project that works for
you. In a research contract, you can specify the research to be carried out that will help you
obtain a commercial outcome for your business.
■ identify and facilitate meetings with Monash research teams
■ provide advice and negotiate the commercial aspects of an agreement
■ review legal documents and coordinate legal advice.
You may wish to purchase the skills and expertise of university staff and equipment to help
resolve a specifc problem or gain competitive advantage.
■ technical expertise and advice
■ specialist testing facilities
■ bespoke management development and training
■ expert witnesses
■ academics for advisory boards.
Monash Consulting Services can connect your organisation to internationally respected experts
across a diverse range of felds including science, engineering, health sciences, economics,
sustainability and education. Monash Consulting Services simplifes the process of companies
engaging with Monash by locating required expertise, managing all contractual negotiations and
the administrative details related to consulting.
Collaboration through leveraging government funding
The Australian Government has a range of funding programs such as the Australian Research
Council (ARC) schemes to foster and support collaborative research and development between
university researchers and external partner organisations.
For organisations with research-related challenges and opportunities, these programs are a
cost effective way of engaging in research with Monash University.
Monash is recognised for its success in developing new products and services with our
commercial partners including the commercialisation of inventions and development of
Industry Engagement and Commercialisation
Clayton, Victoria, Australia 3800
The information in this brochure was correct
at the time of publication (April 2014).
Monash University reserves the right to alter
this information should the need arise.
CRICOS provider: Monash University 00008C
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