Professor Gus Nathan applauds home grown innovation in the energy sector, especially miners who are increasingly concerned with both supply and consumption of energy. Delivering the power address at the Maptek Users Conference in South Australia this week, Nathan said that while he travels all over the world to see what clean-energy researchers are doing, there is plenty of potential on our own doorstep.

The Maptek conference is being held over three days in the National Wine Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, with more than 100 attendees from Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and North America.

Professor Nathan’s research at the Centre for Energy Technology (CET) at the University of Adelaide includes next generation combustion systems to burn fossil fuels in cleaner and more efficient ways.

CET looks at technologies that enable integration with sustainable Australian energy sources such as coal and solar. By combining them in novel energy systems, the opportunity arises to secure the economic future of our energy intensive mining industry without increasing CO2 emissions.

“We are looking to establish collaborative areas of research into supplying low-cost, base-load energy sources, especially in relationship to mining and mineral processing operations,” said Nathan.

Vulcan 3D mine planning and modeling software segued to 3D laser scanning software, then Maptek made a quantum leap into hardware development to optimize the potential of the software technology.

The result is that the only survey hardware built in Australia is found in Adelaide at Maptek’s Glenside facility. More than 300 laser scanners have been manufactured and sold to mining companies, from the original I-Site 4400 in 2004, to the latest 8800 and 8400 series. Exports account for 60 percent, while 40 percent are making survey jobs easier, faster and safer for Australian mining companies.

At the conference, Maptek is also showcasing its latest software developments. Vulcan 64-bit allows operations to get the most out of their huge volumes of data. Eureka is revolutionizing the use of seismic data in exploration, and BlastLogic is in the final stages of user acceptance testing with development partner BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance.

Maptek will also host a conference October 2012 in Denver, and Viña del Mar in December.