Mining technology developer Maptek has donated over $100,000 to improve the learning experience of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering students.

The donation has funded the purchase of 29 high-performance laptops and wireless mice, which will be used during third and fourth year Mining courses. The laptops are given to the students as a loan, facilitating hybrid mode learning.

During COVID-19, many students were studying from home or working remotely, where they did not have access to high performance computers and industry-specific programs.

“With restricted access during COVID, we tried connecting to specific software remotely on our own laptops. But without high performing computers, some programs did not load or work consistently. This added to the already challenging environment,” said fourth year Mining student Phoebe McAuliffe. 

Professor Maurice Pagnucco, Deputy Dean of Engineering, expressed his gratitude for the donation to Maptek representatives Peter Johnson, Keith Lee, Daniel Lewis and Mike Winfield.

“Thanks to Maptek, our students will now be able to access programs remotely. This will significantly improve the teaching and learning experience of all students,” he said.

Phoebe reaffirmed this, saying: “These laptops will be around for years and will affect multiple cohorts of students. It will make their lives easier and will allow them to engage with the software on a much higher level.”

Professor Ismet Canbulat, Head of School at Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, reiterated a quote that has always stuck with him. “Our most valuable commodity is not oil, not gas, but people. That is why we need to invest in people and equip our engineers with the best possible tools and technology,” he said. “And that is exactly what Maptek has done.” 

Maptek chairman Peter Johnson receiving the donation acknowledgement from UNSW Professor Maurice Pagnucco.

Maptek provides innovative software and services for the global mining industry. Starting out as a small geological database services team in Sydney around 40 years ago, the company has grown into a major technology business with more than 25,000 users spanning 95 countries. Maptek’s cornerstone tool Vulcan is the world’s premier 3D mining software solution.

“Vulcan is used by the whole mining industry, and our school has used it for many years as part of teaching,” said Professor Serkan Saydam of the School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering.

He thanked Maptek not only for their generous donation but also for their tremendous support over the years.

“We have had an excellent relationship with Maptek for over 20 years. They have been a research partner, sponsored UNSW conferences and delivered lectures and training both here on campus and online.”

Earlier this year, Maptek Chairman Peter Johnson attended an award ceremony at the School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering. He spoke to several students about the problem of accessing programs remotely.

“Maptek Account licensing is a key enabler to facilitate remote learning and access,  making it easy for users to operate the latest Maptek software anywhere, any time. Our close relationship with the School made it easy for us to help,” said Mr. Johnson.

‘’Students are the future of the industry. We’re happy to do what we can to facilitate their success.”

Staff and students of the School with Maptek representatives at the acknowledgement event.