SURE: Mining & Materials Engineering

Click on the title for full description of SURE 2017 projects in Materials and Mining Engineering.

Note: MIN-001 and MIN-002 are also offered to ECSE students.

MAT-001: Multi-objective short-term mine planning considering multi-variate ore characteristics
Professor:   Mustafa Kumral
E-mail:  mustafa [dot] kumral [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-3224

Research Area:  Mine planning and data mining


Description:  Low commodity prices force mining operations to put more emphasis on planning practices in a manner that operation performance and efficiency are increased. In this context, a short-term mine planning model suiting multi-variate nature of rocks will be developed. This research will include (a) multi-variate analysis (principal component, discriminant analyses and logical data analysis), (b) a new ore-waste discrimination module considering blending specification of ore, (c) interaction with truck dispatching system and (d) minimization of deviation from long term mine plans. Correlations and dependencies among variables to be understood by multi-variate analysis will assist to classify ore and waste. This will be incorporated into the optimization model, which will be formulated as a multi-criteria optimization problem. The objectives could be maximization of mine life, maximization of profit or maximization of equipment utilization. At the end, a mine plan fitting mine management’s specific objective will be generated.

Tasks:  The student will collaborate with a graduate student on the data processing, model development and benchmarking. The student will attend meetings, join to write a scientific article and prepare a poster at the SURE poster session.

Deliverables:  Considering multi-variate and multi-objective characteristics of ore, a new short term mine planning formulation will be proposed.

Number of positions:  1
Academic Level: No preference

MAT-002: Thermodynamic modeling of metallic and ceramic systems for advanced materials
Professor:   In-Ho Jung
E-mail:  in-ho [dot] jung [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-2608

Research Area:  Materials Engineering


Description:   In order to develop new alloys and analyze complex chemical reactions for multicomponent alloy and ceramic system, the Gibbs energies of all phases in the given system are necessary. In the past several decades, CALculation of PHAse Diagram (CALPHAD) technique has been developed to build up accurate thermodynamic database. This database can be used for materials design and process optimization. The student will learn (i) how to use the FactSage software (www.factsage.com), (ii) how to develop thermodynamic database and (iii) how to apply the database for materials design and process optimization.

Tasks:  Learn FactSage software. Literature review of all available thermodynamics and phase diagram data. Critical evaluation of experimental data. Deriving the best Gibbs energy function to reproduce thermodynamic data and Phase diagram. Writing final report.

Deliverables:  Thermodynamic database and report

Number of positions:  3
Academic Level: No preference

MAT-003: The Design of CO2 Scrubbing Technologies Through Quantum Methods
Professor:   Kirk Bevan
E-mail:  kirk [dot] bevan [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 514-398-2680
Website

Research Area:  Computational Materials


Description:   A B.Eng./B.Sc. student is sought to carry out quantum mechanical modeling research on designing CO2 reduction technologies. The project will encompass the modeling of liquid phase electron transfer reactions, via state-of-the-art computational physics/chemistry software packages. The goal of this research is to devise new methods for removing green house gases from the atmosphere, using physically based models, to tackle the important problem of climate change. The applicant will work under the close training guidance of an experienced doctoral student, as well as the faculty member, and gain materials modeling, physical chemistry, electronic devices, and high performance computing expertise.

Tasks:  Computational materials simulations.

Deliverables:  The applicant will work under the close training guidance of an experienced doctoral student, as well as the faculty member, and gain materials modeling, physical chemistry, electronic devices, and high performance computing expertise.

Number of positions:  1
Academic Level: Year 3

MIN-001: Development of a Human Machine Interface (HMI) for Supervision of Semi-Autonomous Drills
Professor:   Ferri Hassani
E-mail:  ferri [dot] hassani [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 5143988060 or 5147775767

Research Area:  Tele-operation and wireless control of blast hole drilling machines


Description:  Project descriptions follow: 1) Automatic operation of multiple drilling machines in open-pit mining requires an efficient human machine interface for operator interaction with the automated system. Drivers are removed from the drilling machines and a wireless communication network streams the data from machine to a remote operating center. The operator needs to supervise several machines at the same time and provide supervisory commands. To this end, the HMI needs to present the data in a sensible way to ease the supervision process. Operation of the HMI in real-time is of great importance as it is required to respond in a timely manner to the process variations and operator’s commands. This project needs basic knowledge in software development and network programming.

Tasks:  (i) Studying the project documents to understand the characteristics of data stream (ii) Reviewing the techniques for visual presentation of parallel data/video feeds (iii) Development of the human machine interface using C++, Java or Python (iv) Test and validation of the HMI platform with hardware interface (already designed) (v) Iteratively improving the HMI platform by receiving feedbacks for team members/operators (vi) Writing detailed progress/final reports.

Deliverables:  The source code of a tested and validated software platform which performs real-time presentation of the data stream to the operator and receives operator’s commands.

Number of positions:  1
Academic Level: Year 2

MIN-002: Providing Wireless Network Connectivity for Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
Professor:   Ferri Hassani
E-mail:  ferri [dot] hassani [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone: 5143988060 or 5147775767

Research Area:  Tele-operation and wireless control of blast hole drilling machines


Description:  Tele-operation of heavy machinery involves dealing with wireless network connectivity of the machine control unit. Traditional control units are not built for wireless network connections and hence, are not equipped with corresponding wireless adapters/modems. However, these units have USB/LAN ports which can be connected to a wireless network interfaces adapter like WiFi adapters. This project aims at connecting a PLC/Control Unit to a wireless network by adding a wireless adapter and programming the unit to send and receive data through wireless network. Process variables are being sampled by the control unit and need to be sent to a remote control station. Also, commands are being generated by the operator at the remote control station and sent over wireless network. The control unit needs to receive the command stream safely, and forward the process variables in a secure fashion.

Tasks:  (i) Studying the project documents to understand the characteristics of required wireless network connectivity (ii) Reviewing the requirement techniques for secure transmission of data streams over wireless network (iii) Testing wireless adapter hardware with the control unit and connecting the control unit to the remote control station (iv) Development of codes and drivers for the PLC/control units to safely send and receive data over wireless network (v) Test and validation of network connectivity in different environment/physical conditions (vi) Writing detailed progress/final reports.

Deliverables:  Proof of secure and sound operation of wireless network connection between the machine control unit and the remote operating center.

Number of positions:  2
Academic Level: Year 2

MIN-003: Laboratory investigation into pressure-induced rock fracturing
Professor:   Hani Mitri
E-mail:  hani [dot] mitri [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Telephone:514-398-4890
Website

Research Area:  Rock Engineering


Description:  This project involves the preparation and testing of rock samples subjected to external and borehole radial pressures. The goal is to better understand the rock fracture evolution and propagation under such loading conditions and the influence of applied pressure, borehole pressure, borehole diameter among other parameters.

Tasks:  Work with graduate students in the lab to help with sample preparation, testing, analysis of test results. Literature search into rock fracturing mechanisms and physical experiments.

Deliverables:  Weekly progress report and presentation. Final presentation. Final report

Number of positions:  1
Academic Level: Year 1

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