Kim Tan


Winner: Technological Innovation Award


Kim is passionate about using robotic technology to find better, more productive and safer solutions in mining, as evidenced by the thermal lance feeder solution she has pioneered for BHP. That solution involved a common industry problem – a crusher jammed by mechanical debris – and Kim’s approach identified technology-enhanced but low-cost innovation that would help keep workers safe by taking them out of the firing line. The remotely operated thermal lance feeder was designed and manufactured in Perth, and has such far-reaching safety potential that BHP has shared the solution royalty-free across industry. The technology’s success reflects the quest for improvement and efficiencies Kim has shown since she started her journey in the male-dominated field of Mechatronic Engineering at Curtin University. In her 20-year career, Kim has been involved in a wide variety of innovative design work and become well-known for her willingness to share knowledge and experience with others, mentoring fellow BHP employees along with high school students and engineering graduates, and taking part in a variety of classroom STEM initiatives.


Kim is a keen advocate for increasing diversity within BHP and more broadly across mining and resources, and hopes to inspire coming generations of engineers to design robots for space.

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