Professional engineers need to be able to apply university learning to practice. In particular, they have to take responsibility for interactions between technical systems and the complex social environments in which they operate. The most effective way of building this competency is through active experiential learning. The School of Mining Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has developed and deployed immersive, interactive simulations for both the Australian mining engineering education and the mining industry. The School has developed an advanced educational integrated simulation system to provide mining engineering students with an interactive and immersive learning experience that is not otherwise possible. This provides students an authentic experience in working with industry software packages, while also contextualizing the learning in terms of the broader and longer-term impact of technical decisions. Interactive computer-based visualisation of mine environments has the potential to improve safety through improved understanding of mine environment hazards, procedures and processes relating to day-to-day operations. This technology has been used in undergraduate courses in order to establish its effectiveness in building systems thinking competencies for mining engineering. For postgraduate students and professionals, the same tools and methods can support studies of more challenging and complex scenarios where mining engineers have to place their decisions within complex global industry contexts. This paper will discuss the contribution that has been made by the School of Mining Engineering in the education sector.
|Keywords:||Mining Engineering, Education, Virtual Reality|
Senior Lecturer, School of Mining Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Associate Professor, School of Mining Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia