The Bluefield team has a plethora of diverse knowledge ranging from varied engineering backgrounds and skills in various industries.
We welcome our new recruit, Helge Jorgensen.
Where are you originally from, and where are you currently living/working?
I was born and grew up in Denmark where I completed high school and a heavy-diesel mechanical apprenticeship. Then I voluntarily joined the Danish army for two enjoyable years where I completed my mechanical engineer certificate. I currently live and work in Perth, Western Australia.
What are your professional and/or trade qualifications?
I am a heavy-duty diesel mechanic by trade and additionally completed mechanical engineer studies.
What industries have you worked in, and what sort of roles have you held in your career?
With over 30 years of experience in the industry, my career started as a heavy-duty mechanic, a role that cemented a great foundation for my future roles in the heavy transport equipment industry. Different roles with OEM’s and mines; from field service mechanic to AHS Global Support Manager, gave me the opportunity to grow and learn and expose myself to the wonders of autonomy from its inception, involved in the first deployment of autonomous trucks in 2004. Since then, I started my new journey with autonomous trucks being deployed internationally from South America (Chile and Peru), Australia, and North America (Canada).
Here is a detailed summary of how I gained my skills and experiences: 1988: I completed my apprenticeship within the transport and construction sector. Worked as a Heavy-Duty mechanic within the Danish military maintaining Tanks and heavy transport equipment. From 1990 to 1994: I worked as a heavy-duty mechanic on a train and rail underground tunnel project in Denmark connecting the island to the mainland, role was very adverse maintaining equipment from A-Z and created a great foundation for my future years. At the age of 25, I moved to Australia to advance my experience, & never looked back! 1994 – 1996: I worked across the Western Australian goldfields as a field service mechanic for an earthmoving equipment distributor and working with smaller mining contractors. Gained experience within a range of mining equipment from graders to excavators and everything in between and at the same time experienced the Australian outback. 1996: I joined my first role as OEM distributor site representative in an Iron Mine in Western Australia. Providing equipment and customer support ranging from technical to parts support. This role was based in a remote and small Pilbara mining town and opened my eyes to the greatness of the Northwest and the lifestyle it brings. 2000: I relocated back to Perth after spending 3+ years in the Pilbara. I started the role as Marc Contract manager for the same OEM equipment distributor at their contract site in the Southwest with a fleet of D575 remote control dozers and also excavators. This role included management of onsite maintainers and technical support and control of Marc Contract budget and cost. At this time the site also became one of the first Autonomous haulage test sites in the world and created and very interesting appetite and curiosity of what technology would become a norm in the future of mining. 2002: I was offered a relocation to Queensland / Blackwater in the role of Marc Contract Manager for a fleet of that time being the first of ultra-class trucks in Australia. This role included Full Marc contract management and supervision of a small technical support group working with BMA supporting this truck fleet. My passion for electric drive truck kickstarted and my passion for customer support and achieving job satisfaction and challenges raised a bigger passion within my own personal ambitions of where I wanted to move forward within my career. Queensland, also at the same time from my family perspective, allowed me to have a more balanced work/life routine by living and working locally.
What do you consider to be your area of specialisation? How does your specialisation add value to the client?
My area of specialization is founded, as a baseline, around my experience with electrical drive truck support and customer site support. The autonomy layer and technology whilst a very specific area of expertise, I don’t think, is fully completed without understanding the core product and the technology and operational aspects all combined (I call it the puzzle)
Tell us about an Autonomy project you have worked on. How did it add value to the client?
All autonomous projects I have worked on have all been unique and very special, with all those being new regions and new customer sites and always the first and initial deployment of new technology and product into the country or region, or site.
This creates the need for an initial focus and value-adding of experience, knowledge, and understanding of what is required to put the big puzzle together and make it work. Autonomy as compared to a standard machine or standard product introduction such as a haul truck – dozer etc, has many different areas that all must align systematically to make autonomy work, such areas include but not limited to, truck and onboard technology – network – GPS - operating system – mine set-up and infrastructure and overall training and upskill. Training and people upskill and experience being some of the most critical parts of successful deployment and operation and require a very high-level focus during the operational readiness process. Whilst one benefit of Autonomy has commonly been referred to as reducing people's interaction with equipment, I would 100% support this as being very true, but would not forget to highlight that people make autonomy work. Focus on strong management of the overall operational readiness and deployment along with the alignment of all critical processes is fundamental for safe and successful deployment and operation.
Which other industries would utilise Autonomy?
Automation is expanding rapidly within the manufacturing – automotive industry and many other commercial sectors. Rail automation is another area where autonomy has been very successfully deployed, but the same as mining; controlling and managing people interactions and how people work within autonomy becomes a very critical factor.
What do you want to achieve while working for Bluefield?
I want to see the growth and the success within autonomy and mining and be part of building a true value stream and autonomous operational readiness framework that can support not just the mining industry but other industries as well.
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