Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Unearthed was bursting with creativity and innovation over the weekend as The University of Western Australia’s Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (EMS) team took out the Young Innovator Award at Perth’s fourth mining based hackathon.

Newcrest Mining, South32 and Unearthed provided an industry challenge for participants to solve, relating to ‘the future of industry sound’. The EMS team from the UWA System Health Group comprised of Alain Bartels (Masters of Professional Engineering student), Kyle Saltmarsh (PhD candidate in acoustics and vibrations), Xuhao Du (PhD candidate in acoustics and vibrations), Ming Jin (Postdoctoral researcher in acoustics) and two students on exchange from Zhejiang University in China, Linda Wang and Qisen Tang. The team were named ‘Guardians’ and mentored by UWA Professor Melinda Hodkiewicz, BHP Fellow in Engineering for Remote Operations (of the School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering).

The team created a hardware prototype that can effectively map and isolate individual equipment sounds in an ocean of noise present on a mine site. The team also created machine learning algorithms to diagnose whether the equipment was operating correctly and developed a mobile user interface to tie it all together.

Alain Bartles, from Guardians, said that competing in Unearthed allowed his team members to apply what they had learnt in a range of disciplines at University, to real-world industry problems.

“The best part for me was the energetic discussion - so many different ideas were debated and we came up with a solution that applies not just to mining but oil and gas, manufacturing, supercomputing labs and much more,” Alain said.

Professor Hodkiewicz said the Hackathons created incredible momentum for the future, providing real-world solutions. Kyle Saltmarsh, Guardians team member said,

“Our proposed prototype, AMI (Acoustic Mapper and Isolator), is a four part solution that comprises of a multi-microphone array, machine learning methods, a sound data cloud library and a user interface to monitor the condition of plant equipment on mining sites.”

“If this solution can be deployed across industry, then a robust equipment sound library can be built, for use within the future of condition monitoring within industry,” said Kyle.

Over ninety participants came together at Unearthed for an intense weekend of hard work with 17 teams pitching their solutions to the diverse challenges. These unique 54-hour long hackathons, are focused on the resources sector where software developers, designers, and industry insiders come together to develop prototype solutions to resources sector problems. Zane Prickett, Director at Unearthed said,

“By working with great partners and great innovators to run these type of events, Unearthed is building an innovation pathway within the resources space that will deliver long-term value.”

Media references

Lauren Humfrey (UWA Faculty of Engineering Mathematical Sciences) (+61 8) 6488 2260


Awards and Prizes — Events — Science — Students — Teaching and Learning
Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences