Thanks to a recent equipment donation from Mobilaris Americas, the U.S. subsidiary of Sweden’s Mobilaris Mining & Civil Engineering, MGE students and faculty members now have the latest in digital situational awareness technology. Mobilaris Americas donated their Mobilaris Mining Intelligence system, which tracks workers and equipment in real time.
The company provided a demonstration of the system on campus on Jan. 27, 2020. For now MGE students will practice on the software in the classroom, but Mobilaris also plans to install the system in the University of Arizona’s student-run San Xavier Underground Mining Laboratory.
“This is the state-of-the-art safety product in the industry,” said Alex Cortez, Mobilaris Americas CEO. “Having this software available to students will give Wildcat Engineers an advantage when they get their first jobs and are able to bring a level of familiarity and talent with new technologies.”
Situational awareness improves safety in mines. Knowing the exact location of every personnel member is valuable for rescue workers in the event of an evacuation or other emergency.
The software can also help mine personnel avoid situations such as two vehicles traveling in opposite directions meeting on a narrow path. The vehicles could lose time maneuvering past each other and even incur damage. A heavy truck forced to stop on a slope, for instance, runs the risk of a burned out gearbox.
Mining and geological engineering faculty members are incorporating the software into classes on underground mine design, equipment operations and technology, and geopositioning.
“The idea of Mobilaris Mining Intelligence fits into many different courses we teach,” said John Kemeny, former MGE department head. “At the university, we want to embrace these technologies and make sure students are prepared for what they’ll be using in industry.”