11 Jun, 23

Howdy, my name is Brogan Smith and I’m proud to have recently joined GMEK as a Graduate Geologist.

Originally from the United States, my curiosity for geology led me from my home state of Arizona to the United Kingdom where I completed my bachelor’s degree at Royal Holloway, University of London and my master’s degree at the University of St Andrews. I am now excited to call Australia home as I begin my career with GMEK and continue to develop my understanding of the earth in this naturally endowed country!

With that said it has been less than half a year since I have arrived and I’ve already had the opportunity to experience Australia at the extremes! Within the first few weeks I was lucky enough jump on a program in far north Queensland and experience both the tropical rainforests of Australia and the arid outback that stretches for what seems like forever (coming from the states where a 4-hour drive isn’t too bad as well)!

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That project also helped me fully grasp the industrial uses for QGIS and similar mapping software. Having learned the fundamentals of all the mapping software in school, it made sense why such applications were useful but the full utility of being able to accurately map and locate points in remote regions and compile spatial databases quickly clicks in the field! It doesn’t take too many wanders in the outback to appreciate having an accurate idea of what… and where… your target is!

I was also lucky enough to jump on a similar project in the Southern Alps of Victoria in the late Summer and early Fall of Australia! Seeing the mountains of East Gippsland reminded me of time spent in the American Appalachians. Here I combined what I had previously gleaned from working with QGIS with an increased understanding of Vulcan and other 3D modelling software to not just accurately map, but plan operations in the field.

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Thanks to my mentoring at GMEK, I could utilize Vulcan to recreate vein and reef systems based on historical data… some of which is well over 100 years old from during the Australian Gold Rush! Alongside modelling the veins I learned how to use historical records to create models of old workings in areas of interest. While initially the modelling of historic workings may appear unnecessary given the many new advancement made in geosciences since the peak of the Australian Gold Rush (there has been quite a few developments in all fairness)… the miners of days gone by also had the privilege of working directly with and seeing the rocks on which initial modelling will be based on.

One wouldn’t dig 300 meters into solid rock for no good reason!

It has been a privilege to experience and learn so much with GMEK in my first months of employment, and I am quickly seeing how all the lessons and training is essential to guarantee GMEK remains on the forefront of Geoscientific estimation and modelling. I eagerly look forward to continuing my new career at GMEK and learning more about the world we live on while doing so (and seeing more of Australia won’t hurt either)!

Written by:
Brogan Smith
Graduate Geologist, GMEK