The University of Wollongong has recently executed a commercial research contract with Longwall Solutions Pty Ltd to support the further development of a predictive animated 3D roadway development simulation system.
A/Prof Ernest Baafi and A/Prof Ian Porter have jointly developed two discrete event simulation models, RoadSIM (funded by ACARP and in association with Simulation Modelling Services, Newcastle) and MineSIM, with their HDR and thesis students to fully model the intricacies and complexities of the roadway development process in underground coal mining. The initial development of MineSIM was part of Dalin Cai's PhD research studies co-supervised by Ernest and Ian. MineSIM offers the capabilities of conducting a series of simulation studies of alternative mine configurations, mining equipment, operating systems and support requirements to better understand the drivers for improved development performance.
The $66,000 commercial research contract with Longwall Solutions is timely since ACARP has recently expressed strong support for the continued development and refinement of MineSIM as the Australian Coal Industry standard simulation model. Other mining companies which have already contributed to this initiative include Anglo American, Premron and ACARP. Both Whitehaven Coal Ltd and Stratacrete Pty Ltd have recently expressed interest in MineSIM.
Dalin Cai who graduates at the end of the year has just accepted an Associate Research Fellowship position to work on the upgrades to MineSIM's capabilities.