Emma has more than 15 years of experience in geotechnical engineering. Her specialties include:
- Rock mass response to excavation assessments, including rockfall investigations and response plans
- Ground support scheme design, including cost analysis and optimisation
- Seismic system design, monitoring and analysis
- Numerical modelling
- Open-pit & underground feasibility studies and failure assessments
- Mentoring and training of geotechnical engineers
- Audits (Hi-Impact and in-house) and third-party review of geotechnical studies
- GCMP and procedural development
- Vertical development and placement design
- Underground mining and development sequencing
What is your role, and how long have you been at MGT?
I am a Geotechnical Engineer and have been with MineGeoTech since 2015. I began working with John on a project basis when my family was based in Barbados and then joined the team when we returned to Australia. I am now full-time with the company and manage the Projects Team. I have known John for a long time, from around the time he was undertaking his PhD studies and just starting the MGT consultancy.
What sparked your interest in this field?
At university, I studied physics but soon swapped to geological engineering. It combined both subjects I enjoy, maths and geology. The excursions also appealed to me, being out of the city and in places that I had not been before.
I completed the industry experience component of my course at Long Shaft Nickel Mine in Kambalda, WA. Working in a seismic environment with challenging ground conditions opened my eyes to a world of mining that I wasn’t aware of and what started out as an adventure became the start of my career in the mining industry.
The mining environment is challenging and I enjoy having to adapt strategies and think outside the box to solve different problems. This job encourages interaction across all companies and disciplines and requires problem-solving, continuous learning and self-assessment. Each day is never the same.
Share a memorable project story.
The amazing thing about mining is the journey you take. I started my career working for KCGM at the Mt Charlotte UG and Fimiston OP (Super Pit). I then later returned working with Barrick where I was involved with the site in a project review capacity and most recently as a consultant with MGT involved in due diligence work. To see how far the project has grown and changed over time has been an amazing experience.
A second was a project in Mexico. The whole site visit experience was a highlight, the beautiful location in the Sierra ranges, experiencing the culture, amazing food and exploring old workings in the project area. Mining can take you to places off the beaten track that are not normally a part of the tourist route, where you get to really experience the culture.
What is a quote that has stuck with you?
Geotechnical engineering is dynamic and as mines get deeper the challenges evolve. This quote has stuck with me, “If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now” which is very reflective of the challenges both personally and professionally in mining.
What advice would you give to aspiring geotechnical engineers?
Enjoy your job first. I have always applied for jobs that were technically interesting, and to work with a good group of technical people that I could learn and develop from. Going the extra mile is what improves processes, systems and influences positive changes and helps you develop. Be flexible; take opportunities as they come up, as you don’t really get many in mining, so grab them.
Who in your team would you like to give a shout-out to?
Colin, one of our younger mining engineers, who is based in Wales and the most isolated out of our entire team during this time of COVID travel restrictions and precautions. He handles tasks exceptionally well whilst being isolated from the rest of our team and looks at ways to improve and do his job better, which I appreciate the most.
Share a picture of you ‘in the field’.
In the Field: Open pit mine site, 2012