Universities and mining majors team up for new training centre

Australian universities are to collaborate with major mining companies on a new government-funded training centre called the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre (ARC Training Centre).

The centre’s purpose upon completion will be to use data science for the purpose of improving productivity and asset management in the resources industry.

The project will be led by Western Australia’s Curtin University in partnership with the University of Western Australia (UWA), the University of Adelaide and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Mining partners on the project include BHP, Roy Hill, Alcoa, the CORE Innovation Hub and Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA).

“We are excited to be working with such great industry partners Alcoa, BHP and Roy Hill to develop employees that have analytic skills in data science, needed for jobs of the future in the resources sector,” said UWA professor Melinda Hodkiewicz, a BHP fellow for engineering and remote operations.

Curtin University has been awarded $3.9 million to fund the centre, which was announced yesterday by Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham.

Andrew Rohl, a professor and director at the Curtin Institute for Computation, said that maintenance management practices in the resources sector had changed little in the last 20 years and were “ripe for a digital overhaul that will bring developments in computational methods, statistics, applied mathematics and artificial intelligence to determine how, when and why maintenance is conducted.”

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