The morning sun beats down on Ron Graden, Senior Geologist at Highland Valley Copper, as he loads sensor-filled plastic balls into a blast pattern. The baseball-sized gadgets are part of a new technology used to track the movement of ore.
Since they started blast movement monitoring in Fall 2017, the technology has helped the team divert more than 50,000 tonnes of waste rock that would have otherwise gone through the mill. When asked about where this innovative idea to improve efficiency and performance came from, Ron replied with two words: “Victoria Sterritt.”
Making connections is becoming something of a theme in the career of Teck’s Victoria Sterritt. With more than a decade of experience at Teck, first as a geophysicist and now as Lead, Technology and Innovation, Victoria is focused on connecting people like Ron and teams across the company with transformational new ideas and technologies.
Based at Teck’s Vancouver office, Victoria commutes from Squamish where she recently moved to be closer to skiing, biking and outdoor climbing. While she primarily works in the city, Victoria spends time at operations helping to bring new technologies to life.
“What excites me is helping people solve their problems, removing barriers, and navigating new territory,” said Victoria. “For example, with ShovelSenseTM, it was the first time the technology was implemented in Canada. We had to work through the legal, commercial, safety and technical considerations to prove the technology works and make the pilot a possibility.”
Building on the theme of connections, Victoria is leading Teck’s participation in a new multi-disciplinary initiative called Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster – a groundbreaking consortium of some of the world’s biggest names in healthcare, telecommunications, natural resources and computing. The connections made through the Supercluster will help Teck push the boundaries and put technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality to work in mining.
“From software developers to large industrial firms to all kinds of start-ups, there is a such as range of partners we can learn from through the Supercluster,” said Victoria. “We’re collaborating out of our comfort zone, which I think will take Teck further.”
For Victoria, the future of innovation and technology is not only about productivity, but also about transparency – which of course means making even more connections: “I can see us sharing digital twins of our operations with communities, Indigenous Peoples and other stakeholders to demonstrate we’re making smart decisions that protect the environment.”
Moving forward, Victoria will continue to connect people at Teck and their ideas with technologies and with each other. She’ll also work on behalf of Teck on the Digital Technology Supercluster.
Learn more about the people like Victoria behind innovation and technology at Teck.
First Published on August 23, 2018