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Improving accident investigation with 3D models

Camborne School of Mines (CSM) is celebrating 125 years of pioneering research in the fields of mining and mineral engineering.

To celebrate the milestone the school, which is a centre for mining excellence and has pioneered the best in industry-led teaching, have organised a series of events including a distinctive Live Wall - an interactive forum showcasing CSM's highlights, milestones and achievements since 1888.

To mark the CSM anniversary we are taking a look back at some of their groundbreaking research.

CSM's research focuses on the key challenges of resource sustainability, environmental production and mine health and safety. A key project involved a collaboration between PhD student Matthew Eyre and 3D Mine Surveying International (3D MSI) to explore how 3D modelling can help with accident scene investigation.

Matthew helped the mine surveying company by using his specialist knowledge of creating 3D models from survey data to examine how creating a virtual model of an accident scene can benefit the accident investigation.

Using this software to investigate accidents helps to give a more precise representation of the circumstances; the 3D model tackles the problems of accuracy, time and witness verification and leads to a reduction in human error.

Understanding accidents and learning from them is an essential part of developing robust health and safety management systems and proactive risk assessments.

Effective accident investigation and training is essential in order to accomplish this, while providing a record of the incident in order to help explain the situation to people unconnected to the event itself. The use of 3D data to reconstruct a complex environment for use in training and proactive risk assessment is now being explored.

CSM have built close relationships with local, national and international business; these collaborations help solve business challenges and provide a range of services to promote advances in sustainable mining, geological exploration and renewable energy.

Their work has earned the team a strong international reputation. To help promote the school’s world leading research in 2013 University of Exeter Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Sir Steve Smith went on an intensive two day trip to Kazakhstan to share expertise which will be of use to the next generation of Kazakh engineers and geologists.