CMU-A teams win 1st Prize and Young Innovator Award at Unearthed 2016

Posted 30th May 2016

Carnegie Mellon teams took top prizes at the Unearthed Hackathon held in Adelaide on 27-29 May 2016.

Carnegie Mellon teams took top prizes at the Unearthed Hackathon held in Adelaide on 27-29 May 2016.

Unearthed Hackathon is a 54-hour open innovation competition that tackles problems and opportunities in the resources sector. Supported by major corporations such as Cisco, Amazon, Santos, ILUKA, the South Australian Department of State Development and others, the event attracts software developers, engineers, designers and industry players, with the aim of developing innovative prototype solutions. Participants’ solutions are judged on creativity, impact, scalability, viability, and ease of use.

CMU’s Journey Optimisers team won 1st Prize in response to a Santos challenge. Santos, a leading oil and gas producer based in South Australia, operates a network of assets and facilities in Australia, many in remote locations that are not easily accessible by transport and communications. The challenge was to optimise and automate the current Santos work process with its work orders and travel routes.

Composed of Jane Huang (MSIT’14), Harish Girishankar (MSIT’14) Sam Christopher Johnson (MSIT'15) and Sara Huang (MISM’17), the Journey Optimisers were faced with a highly complex task.


L-R Steve Benn, Manager, Exploration & Production Technologies Santos Ltd., Sara Huang (MISM’17), Harish Girishankar (MSIT’14), Jane Huang (MSIT’14), Sam Christopher Johnson (MSIT'15)

As Sam said, "optimising work order allocation for the Santos dataset was complex due to its sheer size and constraints. Considering we only had two days to solve the problem,” he explained, “we decided to focus on the single most important bottleneck we found, which is workers’ time utilisation”.

The team’s winning solution doubled the time utilisation of workers through efficient route optimisation in the workers’ journeys and the prioritisation of work orders using various factors.

A second Carnegie Mellon team, comprised of Akshima Arora (MSIT’17), Shivangi Chugh (MISM’17), Animesh Badjatya (MISM’17), and Aju Elias Basil Attumally (MISM’17), won the Young Innovators Award with their solution to the challenge of building a tenement availability visualisation tool.


L-R Aju Elias Basil Attumally (MISM’17), Saurabh Tripathi (MSIT’17), Christie Gerrard, Manager, SARIG & Online, Resource Information Resources and Energy, Dept of State Development, Akshima Arora (MSIT’17), Shivangi Chugh (MISM’17) and Animesh Badjatya (MISM’17)

An exploration tenement is a site that remains active for a set period of time, during which a license holder can explore it for minerals. When the exploration period expires or is relinquished, this opens up opportunities for other companies to explore. In the website of the South Australian Resource Information Geoserver (SARIG), there is no visualisation or user interface to find out about open or upcoming tenement licenses.

The second CMU team won the award for their scalable, cross-platform app designed to update users on upcoming mining exploration leases.

“Carnegie Mellon is very proud of its students and graduates who participated in the Unearthed Hackathon,” said Prof Emil Bolongaita, Executive Director of CMU Australia. “Their highly innovative solutions reflect their consummate abilities to apply technical and analytical skills taught by our programs to address industry and societal challenges.”