Scooping up the UWA Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Impact and Innovation was an unexpected surprise for the Geodata Algorithms Team, who has built outstanding expertise in computational science, geoscience and translating findings back to industry.

Clear vision and positive leadership from UWA’s  Professor Eun-Jung Holden (affectionately known to colleagues as EJ Holden) has earned her team a reputation for solving resource sector data analysis challenges and making an impact in the commercial world. 

UWA’s Energy and Minerals Institute supported the team’s collaborations with the resource industry and EMI Business Development Manager, Rachael Penning-Bourne congratulated the team on their success.

“The success of their innovative end-user focused research is demonstrated by the continuing confidence in research investment from industry and we wish them well with future projects,” she said. 

Professor Holden explained the team had achieved success in delivering research outcomes as software tools for the industry through commercialisation.  They include the CET Grid Analysis and CET Porphyry Detection extensions for Geosoft Oasis Montaj, and Image & Structure Interpretation workspace for Advanced Logic Technology’s Wellcad.

“I am grateful to a willing team who embrace the opportunity to learn different disciplines and then integrate their learnings to engage, translate and find solutions for our industry partners,”  Professor Holden said.

The team, based at the Centre for Exploration and Targeting (CET), consisting of researchers in computer science, engineering and applied mathematics, has now developed numerous new methodologies and tools for the resource industry which have reached commercialisation stage. 

Equipped with a strong capability in computational algorithm design and implementation, the team’s expertise in understanding the nature of geodata and its use in industry workflows, together with understanding the needs of industry for timely outputs and competitive advantages, has created a winning formula.

One of the team’s major project partners, Rio Tinto endorsed the team on a number of years of collaboration, mentioning both a previous collaboration project, resulting in the successful delivery and commercialisation of televiewer image analysis software; and the current collaboration project on data mining.  

The importance of the on-going research collaboration was explained by Rio Tinto Iron Ore Principal Geologist Mark Paine, “The amalgamation of machine learning and geological interpretation we believe is only in its infancy and offers significant value to our collected resource data.  The outcome of this work will transform the way we integrate and model our data.

 “To date progress on our latest project has been excellent and has been expedited by the willingness of the UWA team to embed themselves within Rio Tinto Iron Ore to better understand our needs.”  

Professor Holden said working closely with end-users in identifying their challenges and working closely with them is important for the team’s research as this provides the end-user feedback on the team’s research which is critically important for further developing successful methodologies. 

“I believe that intellectual pursuit is crucial to our team’s development in terms of keeping them engaged and challenged. We are privileged to have strong support from visionary geoscientists from an exciting industry who are willing to work with our team.” she said.  

Image:  Geodata Algorithms Team - Alumni: Peter Kovesi, David Nathan, Eun-Jung Holden, Jason Wong, Daniel Wedge and Tom Horricks. 

Media reference

EMI Communications Coordinator Nicola Holman +61 439 906 200