The last mining downturn left us with a shortage of mining engineers, and the effects of this are far-reaching. Not only does the industry need to continue to focus on encouraging young people back, but graduate engineers who are at the beginning of their careers are facing a different trajectory of learning while they’re on the job.
How often do great new ideas, tools and technologies have trouble achieving sustainable implementation, adoption and practical application?
The gap between the inherent value of a new technology or idea and the ability to put it to work effectively is significant. It seems that, even with the most groundbreaking technologies and valuable ideas – where the net benefits for a business or an industry are easy to see – the challenge of successfully converting the innovation to application and business standard is exponentially greater than the initial development.
Since the federal government has been bombarding us with political messages about innovation, I started to reflecting on what really drives innovation. I can’t speak for other industries but I would like to tell you my story. Everyone knows that the mining industry is tough right now. Back in 2012, MEC (my consulting company) collectively decided that we needed to be innovative to remain competitive as the mining boom slowed down.