DATA driven technologies will continue to radically transform how mines are run for decades to come, according to PETRA Data Science managing director and founder Dr Penny Stewart. Ahead of her speaking engagement at the ‘Austmine 2017: Mining’s Innovation Imperative’ conference in May, she says engineered data science is allowing mines of today to predict and prevent downtime.

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PETRA Data Science MD Dr Penny Stewart.

“What happens is our algorithms are put into the system, the algorithm analyses the ‘Internet of things’ data coming out of the machinery and uses it to predict down time in real-time.

“As far as I know, PETRA is one of only a few companies enabling mines to do it successfully,” she says. “For example, one of our FORESTALL® algorithms is being used to predict GEHO slurry pump pressure spikes up to a day before they happen.”

Under Penny Stewart’s direction, PETRA brought together a transdisciplinary team of PhD qualified engineers, mathematicians and programmers whose sole purpose is to engineer data science solutions for the resources industry.

“In the case of digital transformation, diversity is most powerful when we develop transdisciplinary teams who think and act beyond traditional silos of domain expertise,” she says.

PETRA Data Science specialises in engineered data science including machine learning prediction, artificial intelligence and mine-to-mill big data optimisation.

Penny Stewart will present at Austmine 2017’s ‘The Digital Mine’ session, which will feature speakers from Australia and overseas who are making it their personal mission to lead mining into the digital future.

Other speakers include: Teck Resources’ director of Operational Technology Peter Cunningham with ‘The Pillars of Digital Operations at Teck’; MiningIoT.com project director Luke Davey with ‘Mining and the Internet of Things’; and Barrick Gold chief innovation officer Michelle Ash with ‘The Digital Reinvention of the Mine’.

Penny Stewart’s topic ‘Silent Music: Mining Case Studies in Machine Learning’, will provide an insight into engineered data science, and the type of improvements machine learning and big data can bring to the mining industry.

As a person at the forefront of mining’s digital revolution, Penny Stewart says data science will be a vital skill for miners across the length and breadth of the resource extraction process.

She says it will become increasingly necessary for miners to upskill into data science and those with deep industry experience will be best positioned to capitalise on these new opportunities.

“There are so many options for upskilling into these data-driven professions that weren’t around even a decade ago. It’s a lot easier to get the necessary learning and educational programs at low or even no cost than it was 10 years ago.”

The Austmine 2017: Mining’s Innovation Imperative conference is from May 22-24 at Perth Conference and Exhibition Centre.

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