Austmine 2019 Presentation Review: Rag Udd, VP Technology Global Transformation, BHP
Austmine was pleased to be joined at the Austmine 2019 Conference & Exhibition by Rag Udd, VP Technology Global Transformation at BHP.
Rag Udd was appointed Vice President Technology Global Transformation in October 2018. In this role, Rag is responsible for the accelerated deployment and global application of key transformational technology initiatives across all BHP businesses. Rag is an industry champion and was appointed president of the Queensland Resources Council in 2016.
Rag’s presentation topic was “Accelerating Transformational Technology Initiatives in a Global Business.” Within this, he focused on BHP’s key strategic initiatives across the supply chain and workforce to drive innovation and sustainability for their business.
He began by presenting an overview of the current landscape of mining technology adoption and change. He argued that technological change is not new, but it has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary in nature. The next horizon is no secret, the acceleration of transformative technologies across the industry is the only game in town. If we’re not in that game, we will be left behind.
However, the paradoxical situation in the industry dictates that technology doesn’t decide who wins, people do. For this industry transformation agenda, we must be willing to work together and to share challenges. From this, the opportunities can be enormous.
Rag presented some major programs that BHP have implemented to move their transformation agenda forward. BHP recently partnered with TAFE and government bodies to train the workforce of the future. This is especially in the case of automation, where it won’t just mean fewer equipment operators and less jobs, it will mean more control workers and more dynamic and fulfilling careers. BHP has also committed over $55 million to Australian STEM programs.
BHP have undertaken this re-skilling and upskilling initiative internally to train the workforce for opportunities that are now presented to us. 50% of the team at BHP’s IROC and over 400 staff used to drive vehicles and have now been re-trained. In fact, a 30-year mining veteran now monitors their automated fleet at the control centre.
Rag then discussed their desire to work differently with the METS sector. Earlier this month, BHP conducted their first ever METS forum. Leaders in the METS space put their minds together to re-imagine how we can do business, removing the barriers of doing business with large mining companies and creating a common voice and value for all. BHP are also implementing a new platform to provide challenges to METS companies for open-sourced solutions, which has so far been extremely successful in Chilean trials.
BHP have been instrumental in the establishment of a Resources Centre of Excellence in Mackay, in partnership with the Resource Industry Network (RIN) and government. This investment will be a vital nexus between research, education, mining and METS and is another vote of confidence in the commitment to central QLD.
Rag concluded by highlighting two overarching themes:
- People must be at the heart of the sector’s transformation – workplaces, towns, regions and beyond.
- Partnerships are crucial. We will be stronger if we navigate through this disruptive period together. It is not just up to BHP, but everyone in the room.
In a fitting sentiment to his presentation, Rag concluded by saying: “Join me. Let’s create this shared future together.”
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