Presenter: Professor Robin Burgess-Limerick, Human Factors, SMI-MISHC

Automation offers the mining industry great potential for improvements in productivity and safety. However, introducing increased automation does not remove people from the system, it just changes their roles. A focus on the technical aspects of automation is necessary but not sufficient for success. Unwanted and unexpected consequences arise if the introduction of automation fails to consider the abilities and limitations of people and how they will adapt to new technology. The potential for improvements in productivity and safety promised by automation will only be achieved if the joint cognitive system that emerges from the combination of humans and automation is designed to perform the functions required for system success. The presentation will describe examples of mining automation in use in Australia and explore the importance of taking humans into account during the design and implementation of automation. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of research questions which will guide the development of a future research program in the area at SMI.

Professor Robin Burgess-Limerick has been a UQ Academic staff member since 1995, and was seconded to SMI MISHC as Professor of Human Factors in 2011. Robin has eclectic research interests ranging across the broad scope of human factors and ergonomics fromvisual perception and movement control, through workplace interventions to prevent injuries due to manual tasks, the design of mining equipment to reduce injury risks, and the effective implementation of automation. His research has been funded by grants from the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission, NHMRC, Workcover Queensland, the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Coal Services Health and Safety Trust, and ACARP. Robin has received national and international awards for his research including the Tom Triggs Memorial award and the John Lane award (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia), a Research Excellence award from the Australian Coal Association Research Program, and a Senior Research Associate award from the US National Academy of Sciences. Robin is a Certified Professional Ergonomist, past-president and Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia.


Level 4, Sir James Foots Building (47A) Sustainable Minerals Institute
Seminar Room