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13 Apr 2016 - Event News

Ideas flow at Unearthed’s biggest resource sector hackathon

Unearthed Perth 2016, held over the weekend at Spacecubed from 8 to 10 April, was the biggest hackathon event to date in the Unearthed innovation series. More than 110 competitors gathered to offer their perspective on real and current issues in the resources sector.

Unearthed Perth Pitches

Image source @RIITUnearthed

Unearthed innovation events, supported by acQuire, are unique 54-hour long activities focused on developing prototype solutions to resources sector problems. Software developers and designers – with all levels of experience – and industry insiders are amongst the many participants attracted to these events.

It was the first Unearthed event with an oil and gas focus, with Woodside Energy becoming an inaugural sponsor and providing all four petroleum industry challenges.

The challenges

The four challenges presented in Perth were:

  1. Vessel Optimisation – Woodside was looking for innovative approaches to better utilise deck space of offshore supply boats.
  2. Fitness for Work – This challenge called for innovative approaches to the continuous appraisal of a person’s Fitness for Work.
  3. Direct purchasing – This challenge sought innovative approaches to effectively manage supply chain reliability to avoid material holding and storing and improve integrity of supply chain.
  4. Returns Rationalisation – Woodside was seeking innovative approaches to reduce the return rate of materials delivered to site (approximately 30%) and achieve the industry average of 10%.

The winners

Image source @RIITUnearthedBoth 1st and 2nd prize recipients offered solutions for utilising deck space on Woodside’s offshore supply boats.

Team ‘Fat Controller’ took out first prize for their dynamic system that optimised vessel packaging and scheduling through looking at demand, route planning and ship packing times. Team ‘Fat Controller’ was comprised of Thomas Smoker, Dylan Johnston, Ilyas Ridhuan, Michael Ford, Alexander Khor, Adrian Petersen and Mark Shelton.

Many of the solutions focused on savvy data visualisation tools to make hidden and siloed data more accessible and included dashboards. A common vein through many of the submissions was the importance for all people on a working team to be able to visualise and share data.

Data silos and accessibility of data is not, of course, limited to the oil and gas industry, with similar issues also found in mining and exploration. Open innovation events such as Unearthed show how the issues faced in different industries are quite similar and also identify potential solutions already used in other industries even outside of natural resources.

Several teams tackled the Fitness for Work challenge. Participants came up with a variety of solutions that focused on health issues including employee mental health, fatigue, and stress. Many of these solutions could be utilised for other industries and organisations, not just oil and gas.

The prizes

Amongst the many benefits that come from being involved in such a hothouse of expertise and innovation, the participants also stand to win prizes including cash, Amazon Web Services credits and free access to the Cisco IoE Centre.

The Unearthed series continues for 2016 with the next event, BHP MineHack Perth, commencing in May. For more information visit

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