This course has been discontinued.

MINE 472 was an online course developed by Joshua Marshall, Scott Nokleby, and Heshan Fernando, which was offered at Queen’s University from 2015-2020.  Its development was originally funded by the Ontario Online initiative.


In order to address issues related to safety, productivity, and remote operations, the world’s mineral resources industry has been gradually shifting towards the increased use of automated systems and robotically-enhanced machines.  It is important, therefore, that graduate engineers understand how these new technologies work so as to improve and make best use of them.

This online course introduces senior students to the fundamental tools and techniques of automation and robotics as applied to modern mining practice.  It provides an introduction to the basics of systems control, examples of how methods of automatic control can be applied to mining equipment and associated industrial vehicles, as well as to the fundamentals of sensing and navigation as applied to the design of robotic mobile equipment.


MINE 472 was a fourth-year technical elective in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Queen’s University.  Enrolment was open to students from a range of engineering disciplines, to students from universities other than Queen’s, and even to industry professionals.


Joshua MarshallPictureJosh
Queen’s University
Scott NoklebyPictureScott
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)
Heshan FernandoHeshan_Pic180px
Queen’s University
Teaching Assistant

Sample Lessons

Haul Truck Model

Reality Check: Sensors

Numerical Computing in Julia

In MINE 472 we use the Julia language for numerical computing.  You will learn how to write small programs to simulate the motion of vehicles and robots, and test your control/automation designs by implementing them in simulation to evaluate their potential performance.  Julia is a high-level language, with very simple and familiar syntax.

For those who have used MATLAB, Julia is very similar and the learning curve will be very short.  However, Julia is free and open source, and with Juliabox you can run Julia in a browser, from anywhere, without installing anything on your computer.

If you plan on taking MINE 472 and want to get a tiny head start, check out the links above and the video below.