Fortescue partners with Curtin University to advance digital future for Australian resources sector

Aug 10, 2020

A new partnership between Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) and Curtin University’s WA School of Mines (WASM) will help shape the future of Australia’s mining workforce through a new forward-looking curriculum that meets the needs of the modern resources sector. 

Fortescue Operations Improvement Manager Dr Rob Solomon has been appointed to the newly created role of Professor of Practice in Mining Automation and Data Analysis at WASM, leading a range of research initiatives and shaping undergraduate curriculum to drive the application of data science in mining. 

In his current role with Fortescue, Dr Solomon leads a team looking into the operational efficiency of the Company’s autonomous mining operations using data sets and advanced analytics.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said, “At Fortescue, we have a proud history of embracing technology and innovation which has been fundamental to driving sustained productivity, cost savings and improvements in safety across our business.

“The Australian resources sector is already among the most innovative in the world and through this partnership with Curtin University, we look forward to building a pipeline of job-ready graduates who are ready to challenge the status quo and help guarantee the long-term success of our industry,” Ms Gaines said. 

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Cordery said the Mining Automation Professor of Practice will be integral to embedding WASM’s new future-focussed curriculum.

“Dr Solomon brings a wealth of practical experience in operations, impressive academic credentials and a passion for ensuring that new technologies deliver a sustainable industry future. His appointment will see us better able to deliver both content and teaching in mining automation and data analytics,” Professor Cordery said.  

“The School’s mining and mining engineering courses are already considered among the world’s very best (ranking second in the world by subject) and we are confident Dr Solomon’s input as Professor of Practice in Mining Automation and Data Analysis will see us continue to be global leaders in those fields.”