UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources receive ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub grants to bring digital transformation into resource sectors

UNSW ARC Research Hub Grants of $9.9 million enable further research at UNSW into Resilient and Intelligent Infrastructure Systems (RIIS), and Health Connected Sensors.

UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources join ARC Research Hubs to improve global infrastructure and health sectors. Photo: unmanned arial vehicle (UAV) with LiDAR sensor at a mine site

The Faculty of Engineering has been successful in two major Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Hubs recently – the ARC Industry Transformation Research Hub for Resilient and Intelligent Infrastructure Systems in Urban, Resources and Energy Sectors, and the ARC Research Hub for Connected Sensors for Health.

The two Hubs have secured grants of $9.9 million from the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program and will provide research and development in resource, energy, and health industries in order to improve liveability in society.

The staff of The School of Minerals and Energy Resources are making a valuable contribution to the research to be undertaken by these hubs in collaboration with key research institutions, industries, Australian universities, and government agencies.

ARC Industry Transformation Research Hub for Resilient and Intelligent Infrastructure Systems (RIIS) in Urban, Resources and Energy Sectors

This hub aims to capture the benefits of the 4th industrial revolution by using new technologies to improve infrastructure in Australia to improve global competitiveness, boost sustainability and solve industry challenges. The hub has been awarded $4.98 million which will provide a legacy of skilled engineers and researchers who can face the challenges of enhancing infrastructure, transport, water, resources, and energy management in our increasingly urbanised society. This is an urgent need to protect against decaying infrastructure and build resilience in infrastructure systems.

School of Minerals and Energy Resources staff involved in the Hubs

Ismet Canbulat

Professor Ismet Canbulat, Head of the School of Minerals and Energy Resources at UNSW Engineering will be involved in the project with Binghao Li, Simit Raval, Chengguo Zhang and Stuart Clark. “We will be involved in areas of advanced monitoring technologies including lidar, seismic and digital twin using physics” Prof. Canbulat says.

Binghao Li

Senior Lecturer Dr Binghao Li works as the Chief Investigator, leading expertise in indoor/outdoor positioning, navigation, mine IoT and mobile platforms which are administered in the MIoT & IPIN Lab. Dr Li will also contribute to the hub through his involvement with industry partner Roobuck who is contributing $150,000 and will research in IoT, sensors, ubiquitous positioning and connectivity and applications in mining. Dr Li is also affiliated with Roboworks who is contributing $200,000 towards navigation, robotics and autonomous systems for data collection and big data management.

Simit Raval

Senior Lecturer Dr Simit Raval is specialized in the integration of sensing technologies to drive applied innovation in mining, environmental and civil engineering sectors.

Dr Raval leads a group of researchers focused on utilizing data from sensors mounted on various platforms, from satellite through to UAVs, to visualize, identify and monitor operational environments. His experience includes state-of-the-art mobile LiDAR scanning to map GPS-denied environments, sensor technology, hyperspectral drone-based smart sensing, underground mobile laser scanning, image-based automated material characterization, mine rehabilitation/closure, climate change and asteroid mining.

Dr Raval will be engaged with BHP for the hub in testing and developing innovative mobile LiDAR systems for mapping underground environments, investigating sensor designs and relate instrumentation/hardware applied in GPS-denied environments, developing algorithms for automated detections of objects, and developing AI-based data analytics to monitor sensitive assets/infrastructure on surface as well as underground.  

Stuart Clark

Associate Professor Stuart Clark will provide expertise on machine learning and geophysical equipment for investigating structural integrity of infrastructure and rock structures using autonomous vehicles and on-the-fly analysis guided by machine learning.

Chengguo Zhang

Senior Lecturer Dr Chengguo Zhang will contribute to the rock structure stability analysis, forecasting and visualisation in the 4D data context, using his expertise in geotechnical engineering and immersive data visualisation. He will be liaising with some of the industry partners from the resources and energy sector.

ARC Research Hub for Connected Sensors for Health (ARHCSH)

This hub aims to design health sensors that will monitor biophysical and biomedical markers that can be used in clinical devices and lifestyle devices. These sensors will improve overall health of patients by improving chronic disease management and aid in preventative health. The hub was awarded $5 million and will go towards research, clinical development and manufacturing of these sensors which will be made available in the global health market.

Senior Lecturer Dr Binghao Li is also involved in this hub as a Chief Investigator and will use his expertise in indoor positioning to work on fatigue monitoring of personnel in hazardous environments, worker's health monitoring and radiation detection.

‘For any Internet of Things (IoT) related applications, the information of the location of the assets and persons is always essential” Dr Li says.

Dr Li will bring his collaboration with industry partner Roobuck on board. Roobuck is contributing $200,000 to the hub and will aid research on fatigue monitoring.