Postgraduate Research Opportunities

Postgraduate Research Opportunities


The W.H Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre (BRC) conducts world-class research to reduce geological and mining risk, and to optimise mine procedure to meet the complex mining and mineral resource challenges that face the global mining sector.  The BRC is focused on developing strategic technologies and engineering solutions, in pursuit of effective and sustainable industry practice. 

The BRC are involved in a number of research and consulting projects and are looking for highly motivated postgraduate students with background in mining engineers, geology or basic sciences. Successful applicants will work with senior researchers and involve engagement with key industry partners. This experience will help in pursuing a successful research or commercial career in the mining industry. Both Research Masters and PhD degrees are offered through The University of Queensland.

 A brief description of some projects is given below:

PhD projects

  1. Large-scale caving flow modelling - discrete and/or continuum (Dr. R. Puscasu + Dr. D. Weatherley - JKMRC)
  2. Caving fragmentation (Prof. G. Chitombo + Dr. D. Weatherley - JKMRC)
  3. Damage due to confined blasting (Prof. G. Chitombo) 
  4. Rock response at depth (Prof. G. Chitombo)
  5. Natural Caving Systems Research (Dr. T. Webster, Prof J. Esterle and Prof G. Chitombo)

    The research program, conceived by Adjunct Professor Dan Wood, applies learnings from natural caving systems, particularly in respect of rock fragmentation and gravity flow, to the induced caving of ore bodies. This research will involve two parts: first, to accumulate an extensive database of measured properties of natural caving systems and of gravity flow (using remote, imagery-based mapping methods), and second, to transform this knowledge into current modelling of primary/secondary fragmentation and material flow in engineered caves.

  6. Gravity Flow in Block Caving Mines - Kinematics & Hydrodynamics (Dr. R. Puscasu)

Masters/Honours projects

  1. High Performance & Immersive Visualisation of Caving Processes and Mine Design (Masters Project; Dr. R. Puscasu)
  2. An Artificial Neural Network Model for Rock Fragmentation (Masters Project; Dr. R. Puscasu)
  3. Combining field data with numerical simulation modelling processes developed at the SMI-BRC to progress strategies to manage ore displacement under elevated blast energy levels (Master Project; Dr. E. Sellers (JKTech) + Dr. T. Webster)
  4. Investigating the implications of increased fragmentation and pit wall damage on long term mine profitability (Master Project; Dr. E. Sellers (JKTech) + Dr. T. Webster)