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ME - review/update maintenance overhead costs for mining equipment

Downer MEI

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Closed Posted: 29 Nov 18. Closes: 09 Jan 19 Available: Semester 1 (Feb - Jun)

Semester 1 2019 project (February start)


This project will suit a final year Mechanical Engineering student - with an interest in asset management / heavy machinery. Enrolment in final year thesis project - Sem 1 2019. 

The successful applicant will receive a $3,000 scholarship + academic credit - thesis project enrolment (24cps-QUT, 6units - UQ, 2units - USQ).

APPLICANTS NOTE - you must be available to work on this project 3 days / week during Semester 1 2019 (working around your lecture timetable for Sem1). This project will be your final year thesis topic - enrolment/assessment in Semester 1 2019.

APPLICANTS MUST INCLUDE (in your CV): student ID number, your unofficial academic transcript/s on final pages of your CV, including Semester 2 subject list (and results when available). 

Location: Milton QLD
Category: Mechanical Engineering

Project Background / Description

A core part of the Downer MEI business and reputation is our ability to accurately estimate the cost of delivering services to clients. To be able to do this, the ability to accurately predict the cost of maintaining Downer MEI fleet is essential.

The Downer MEI plant estimating team is responsible for this with respect to Downer MEI’s Mining and Mobile Maintenance services. The team has three core business platforms to achieve this. One is an in-house estimating software package (PES) which is used to model the asset and maintenance costing. Two is the JD Edwards business software suite, acting as the primary business software, providing, HR, payroll and supply. JD Edwards is the means by which all costs are captured. Three is the Asset Management Tool (AMT) where maintenance management functions are carried out.

The plant estimating team at Downer MEI have the responsibility of providing costs to own and maintain various fleets of plant. There are many means to accurately predict the cost to run major plant. One of the plant estimating team’s methods is to track the actual costs of the plant and projects that are currently operating and apply this knowledge to future tenders and estimates.

This project will prepare recommendations for actual Maintenance Overhead costs and compare those to the existing assumptions that have been used.


Downer Mining Energy & Industrial (MEI) is Australia's leading diversified mining contractor with around 4,000 employees working across 50 sites in Australia, Papua New Guinea, South America and South Africa.

We support our coal and metalliferous mining customers at all stages of the mining lifecycle through a wide range of services including: 

  • Open cut mining
  • Underground mining
  • Asset management
  • Tyre management (through subsidiary - Otraco)
  • Mine planning and design
  • Mobile Plant Maintenance
  • Construction and mine related infrastructure
  • Blasting services, explosives manufacture and supply
  • Mine site rehabilitation and mine closure
  • Exploration drilling
  • Crushing
  • Training and development for ATSI employees


While we pride ourselves on the excellence of our work, we recognise that it is also our industry-leading approach to sustainable development that gives us a competitive edge. Sustainable development means having an unwavering focus on Zero Harm and a commitment to environmental sustainability, as well as being a valued member of the minerals industry and of the communities in which we operate.

Objectives / Tasks / Project Outcomes

The project on offer is to review the maintenance overheads costs on Downer MEI’s current projects and put forward a recommendation for cost estimation for future tenders.

Primary Outcomes: 

  • Review and summarise actual non-financial asset and workshop overhead costs.
  • Finalise minor plant rates for use in future tenders.
  • Collate reviewed cost data in a simple format ready to be uploaded into PES Database and utilised in future tenders.


Guidance provided:

The student will be based in the Brisbane office (located Milton) and will work closely with the Plant Estimating Team to ensure the adequate progression and technical input into the project.

The project itself is planned to commence in semester 1 (late February), the CEED student may have the opportunity to start in early February in order to be onboarded and to further refine the scope and project plan. 

A student undertaking this project can expect to gain a solid knowledge of the maintenance management support elements required to execute effective and efficient asset management policy for major mobile mining equipment. The student will also gain an insight into business processes and the application of software packages. Coupled with working with one of Australia’s leading mining contractors, it will provide the student with a solid platform of engineering skills and experiences for entering the workforce.

Skills / Experience Required

  • Current student - Mechanical Engineering (final year thesis - Sem1 2019)
  • Interest in heavy machinery, maintenance and asset management and the mining industry.
  • Proficient with computer packages, primarily Microsoft Excel.
  • Ability to work in a team environment and communicate effectively.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and write reports.

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