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Job ID: 144854

Research Associate/Fellow, ACFR – Perception in Autonomous Mining Equipment
University of Sydney

Date Posted Jul. 24, 2020
Title Research Associate/Fellow, ACFR – Perception in Autonomous Mining Equipment
University University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Department Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), Faculty of Engineering
Application Deadline Aug. 23, 2020
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Research Scientist/Associate
  • Mining/Minerals

Research Associate/Fellow, ACFR – Perception in Autonomous Mining Equipment
Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR)
Faculty of Engineering
Reference no. 863/0720F

  • The opportunity to develop world class field robotics research in perception algorithms for large-scale mining equipment within the Australian Centre for Field Robotics
  • Located on the Chippendale Campus, Join one of the largest robotics research groups in the world with over 120 researchers and engineers, and 1500m2 of laboratory space
  • Full-time Level A/B, 2 years fixed term with a base salary of $96K p.a. – 128K p.a., plus leave loading and up to 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

We are currently seeking an experienced, self-motivated and well-qualified researcher to investigate perception challenges for autonomous and/or remote-control mining equipment within Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation.

The project will involve developing robotic perception capabilities for mining equipment (excavators, trucks, drills, etc) for real-time operational and safety requirements, such as tracking other equipment, people, rock-face geometry, geological features, or safety hazards. A variety of sensor technologies may be employed for the challenging dusty and remote environments, with information fused from e.g. RADAR, LIDAR, visual/hyperspectral cameras, GNSS/INS, etc. This work is intended to integrate with mapping, planning and control systems, and a broad robotics understanding will be invaluable. The role will also involve collaborating with industry to pioneer new capabilities and deploy on real-world systems for automation of mining equipment. This role will provide an exceptional opportunity to work closely with academia and Rio Tinto at the intersection of fundamental research into field-robotics and mine operations. You will work with the Centre’s team of software engineers to facilitate the real-world validation and operational deployment of your academic research. You will be expected to build research areas, engage in academic publication of research, supervise research students, and engage directly with the industry partner. This research-focused role does not require a teaching load, but opportunities may be available if desired.

About you

To be successful you will have a PhD in engineering (or near completion), in computer science, applied mathematics or a related discipline, be a team player with excellent communications skills and satisfy the following key requirements:

  • demonstrated expert knowledge in robotic perception; e.g. machine vision, multi-sensor data fusion, semantic segmentation, robust perception, supported by relevant publications
  • demonstrated understanding of general field robotics and automation; e.g. control systems, planning, and mapping
  • proficiency with Python, Matlab and/or C++

In addition, the following will be advantageous:

  • experience working in a team-based research or engineering project
  • experience working on industry projects and/or collaboratively with industry partners and domain experts
  • demonstrated experience in applying reinforcement learning and/or deep learning to real-world problems
  • work experience in a mining research environment
  • experience with Linux, QNX, ROS or similar for robotic deployments

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity.

About us

The Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation (RTCMA) was established by The Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) at the University of Sydney in 2007. Since its launch, it has become a world-class research group of scientists and engineers, recognised for both fundamental research and delivering technology to industry. The Centre’s research spans automation of equipment, geological interpretation and optimisation of equipment and processes. Funded by the global mining company Rio Tinto, the aim of the Centre for Mining Automation is to develop and implement the vision of a fully autonomous, remotely operated mine.

Since our inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to diversity and inclusion and underpin our long-term strategy for growth. We’re Australia’s first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across our campuses, we employ over 7600 academic and non-academic staff who support over 60,000 students.

We are undergoing significant transformative change which brings opportunity for innovation, progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo, and improving the world around us.

For more information about the role, applicants are welcome to contact the lead of the Rio Tinto Centre for Mine Automation, Dr Andrew Hill, click here.

How to apply

For more information on the position and University, please view the position description available from the job’s listing on the University of Sydney careers website.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. Visit and search by the reference number 863/0720F to apply.

Closing date: 11:30pm, Sunday 23 August 2020 (Sydney time)

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

© The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

  • We are committed to diversity and social inclusion. We welcome applications from women (particularly for senior and non-traditional roles), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability, people who identify as LGBTIQ, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

    © The University of Sydney

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