Mining Contract: Capacity Building in Artificially Intelligent Mining Systems (AIMS) for Safer and Healthier Automated Operations

Keywords: Automation
Contract # 75D30119C06044
Start Date 9/1/2019
Research Concept

The University of Nevada, Reno, is investigating major safety and health issues in mining operations such as ground failure, exposure to hazardous emissions, and collision avoidance by developing artificially intelligent tools. Researchers are studying these issues in relation to emerging technology infrastructures, such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoTs), big data, robotics, teleoperation, immersive technologies (virtual/augmented reality), drones, and mobile crowdsourcing.

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is ongoing. For more information on this contract, send a request to

Ernst & Young, as one of the world’s largest professional services firms, published a report on digital mining in 2018, which became a strategic document for the Australian Mineral Council to study the changing landscape of the skills in mining industry. The study reveals that the industry will be highly influenced by:

  • Robotics and automation through drones, autonomous vehicles and remote-controlled operational systems, and the evolving human-machine interface;
  • The increasing need for data and digital literacy across all phases of the mining value chain;
  • Integrated operating centers using cloud computing, information sharing, and big data to take employees away from hazardous sites in order to enhanced workplace conditions.

Under this capacity-building contract, the University of Nevada, Reno, is exploring these concepts while engaging with numerous industry partners and simultaneously training six Ph.D. students and four master's students. The student researchers and associated faculty will investigate the role and potential of emerging technology systems to advance safety and health practices in mining.

Anticipated or confirmed graduate research thesis/dissertation titles the following:

  • Automated Rockfall Risk Alert System for Open-Pit Mines
  • Tailings Instability Risk Alert System
  • Explosive Energy Distribution Optimization System
  • Comprehensive Intelligent Exposure Monitoring System
  • Immersive Teleoperation of Mining Machines
  • Simulation-based Smart Evacuation of Underground Mines

Page last reviewed: February 16, 2023
Page last updated: February 16, 2023