Computing Skills Required of Today’s Mining Engineer

Chongqing University Campus where this seminar was delivered.

Recently, I was invited to give a series of seminars at Chongqing University, Chongqing, China. On December 14, I gave a seminar with the above title to a group of mining engineering undergraduate students. My hosts and I had agreed on the topic because they wanted me to talk to these students (mainly juniors and seniors in mining engineering) about the need to learn computer-aided mine design. I thought, though, that we could expand the talk to cover computing skills in general. You can find the slides below…

Basically, I set out to provide the motivation (industry is turning to technology to meet the demands of stakeholders) behind industry’s turn to technology. I then outlined the computing skills I see as necessary for today’s mining engineer. Specifically, I listed:

  1. CAD skills
  2. Mine planning & design software (Surpac, Vulcan, MineSight, Whittle, MineSched etc.)
  3. Programming (TCL, Python, etc.)
  4. Database management skills
  5. Ability to handle large data sets (data science)
  6. Numerical modeling
  7. Optimization
  8. Simulation

The last three skills I believe are advanced skills that are not necessarily acquired at the undergraduate level.

Having given this list, I discussed with these students how they may acquire these skills and sharpen them for their careers in industry. I thought I will share it here and see if you agree or not. What other skills do you think are necessary for mining engineers today?