Wednesday, 19 December 2018
GHD Innovation: Smart Seeds

GHD Innovation: Smart Seeds

GHD is a company that embraces innovation to the fullest. It has been running an innovation programme now for nearly 10 years which has resulted in a range of new products and strategies, including:

  • Quiet Truck, a noise attenuation system on a CAT 789C that achieved a noise reduction of 20:1.
  • StormDMT, a unit that cost effectively removes dissolved heavy metals and nutrients from stormwater flows.
  • PumpCheckr, analyses data from pumps for improved operational performance.  
  • TULIP,  an automatic mine hoisting system that carries mine trucks up and down the slope of an open cast mine.
One of their most intriguing involvements on the innovation front however is their support of the Smart Seeds competition for young professionals. This is an annual innovation competition where teams are formed with participants from a variety of organisations, providing diversity and networking opportunities.

Over a 10 week programme they are mentored as they develop creative ideas in response to real world challenges submitted by participating organisations. We're seeing a lot of excitement and publicity forming around shorter hackathons, such as RIIT's Unearthed Events that give teams 54 hours to brainstorm solutions to resource industry problems. This is a marathon version of those!

Once the young professionals team has completed the 10 week programme, each group then presents to a panel of industry leaders at the showcase event.

To date Smart Seeds has been focused on urban infrastructure challenges, but GHD are keen to expand this into the mining and resources sectors and would welcome any support on this. At a time when our industry needs as many new sources of ideas and innovation, this is an excellent avenue. 

2015 Showcase Event Judges:

  • Victoria -  Brian Negus (GM - RACV), Kate Roffey (CEO - Committee for Melbourne), Nial Finegan (CEO - EPA) and Pat McCafferty (CEO - YVW)
  • Sydney -  Mr Tim Reardon (Acting Secretary, Transport for NSW), Lucy Turnbull, AO (Chair Committee for Sydney), Professor Peter Phibbs, (Director of the Henry Halloran Research Trust and Professor of Urban Planning, USyd), Stephen Durkin (CEO, Engineers Australia). Pictured at the top of this article.
  • Brisbane - Louise Dudley (CEO of Queensland Urban Utilities), Simon Taylor (Executive Manager Infrastructure Planning & Capital Delivery Division Unitywater), Dr Geoff Garrett (Queensland Chief Scientist) and Alan Savin (VP, Project Delivery Asia – Bentley Systems).
If you'd like to learn more about GHD's innovation programmes, download the PDF presentation below. 

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