1988_SPOTLIGHT_on reliability based mining engineering design_Mccracken

1988_SPOTLIGHT_on reliability based mining engineering design_Mccracken

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SPOTLIGHT on reliability-based mining-engineering design by A. McCRACKEN* Probabilistic methods for assessing the reliability of engineering systems in mining are the way of the future. So agreed the delegates of a recent short course on the subject, entitled 'Reliability-based Approach in Mining- engineering Design'. This was a very successful five-day technical course sponsored by The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and held at Mintek from 7th to 11th March, 1988. The main lecturer for the course was Milton E. Harr, Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at the School for Civil Engineering of Purdue University, In- diana, USA. Professor Harr was ably assisted by Dr Dirk van Zyl, a former student. The course was very well attended, with 52 delegates from a broad spectrum of the mining industry, encom- passing mine planning, production, and ventilation, rock mechanics, geology, geotechnics, and computer applica- tions. Mine and mining-house head-office personnel and consulting engineers were well represented but, unfor- tunately, the same could not be said of research organiza- tions and universities. The course was a follow-up on an earlier series of lec- tures by Professor Harr, entitled 'Mechanics of Particu- late Media', which was held in 1979. The science has come a long way since then, as those who were fortunate enough to attend both courses will verify. Opening The course was opened by Mr Ben Alberts, President of the SAIMM, who highlighted the applicability of the probabilistic approach to rock engineering in particular with its inherent complexities, and mining engineering on the whole. At this point, few of those in attendance could have anticipated just what an impact the next five days were to have on their way of approaching problems old and new. Details of the Course Professor Harr's lecturing style is excellent. He gave the difficult subject refreshing life and held his audience. He achieved an attention span from them outstripping that of most speakers and lecturers. The subject matter certainly does not make for easy comprehension for the statistically uninitiated. But he led one slowly, explain- ing the concepts in general terms, gradually increasing the technical content and using everyday examples, and built up the probabilistic principles that left the course participants nodding with understanding and apprecia- tion. His touches of humour, which abounded, en- hanced the course generously and served as effective aides . Principal Engineer, Steffen, Robertson (Consulting Engineers) Inc., p.a. Box 8856, Johannesburg 2000. @ The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1988. SA ISSN 0038-223X/$3.00 + 0.00. memoires.
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1988_SPOTLIGHT_on reliability based mining engineering design_Mccracken

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