Mining for Knowledge


How far would you go to find the answers you’re looking for in your research? For ACEMS (and BRAG) student Nicholas Tierney, it was 500 metres below ground!

Nick travelled to Parkes, NSW with ACEMS Deputy Director Kerrie Mengersen. As part of his PhD project at QUT, he met with health and safety professionals at the North Parkes Mine.  The mine is located near the Parkes Observatory (also known as “The Dish”), which is best known for pulling in televised images from Apollo 11, the first time men set foot on the moon.  Nick (on the far right) and Kerrie (on the far left) had to suit up in full length body suits to travel 500 metres underground into the mine. The suits protected their clothing and skin from the dust in the mine site, but Nick says the suits were surprisingly comfortable.

A lot of work is done in industry to improve the safety of workers. But Nick’s PhD project is more focused on their health. He hopes to model the health of employees in industry environments so that current and future health risks can be identified. His hope is to develop tools for industries to help them provide better health treatments and interventions.

After the trip below ground, Nick said, “The visit reminded me that the work we do has a real impact on real people. This is something I couldn’t have gained without an actual visit.”.

This article has been copied from the February 2015 ACEMS Newsletter


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