Volunteer Profile: Cailli Knievel

Cailli Knievel – Chief Engineer, Newmont Leeville Operations – is an incredibly engaged GMG volunteer. She contributed to the Underground Mine Communications Infrastructure guideline that we published recently. We asked her to explain a bit about her involvement in this guideline and with GMG.

Knievel (right) with two colleagues Brian Emge, Mine Operations Foreman/Autonomous SME (centre) and Craig Gammill, Consulting Project Engineer/Autonomous SME (left). Emge and Gammill helped provide information to add to the underground communications conversation.

Underground communications infrastructure project a rewarding experience

It is “largely thanks to geography” that Knievel became involved with the Underground Communications Infrastructure Working Group; she was first exposed to it at a workshop that Newmont hosted in Denver in 2018.

She was concerned that she wouldn’t have much to contribute because she had only been “peripherally exposed” to the topic in her role as a mining engineer.

“As it turns out,” she says, “one of the strengths of GMG is the diversity of the participants’ backgrounds, which is leveraged during discussions by industry-recognized facilitators. Participating in the working group proved to be a very rewarding experience.”

“I learned a lot technically that is proving to be extremely relevant as Newmont moves toward increased automation.” The opportunity to hear from her industry peers and “get an outside perspective on items that have the potential to disrupt the industry in the future,” is also valuable. Topics that came up, such as “the role of the mine planning engineer in an autonomous mine,” she notes are, “really good food for thought.”

A breadth of participation

Knievel has also been an active contributor to several other GMG projects. GMG Program Manager David Sanguinetti first met her while she was working on the Guideline for Impmementing Autonomous Systems in Mining, which is now in its final stages before publication. “Cailli was active in most of the task groups, on most of the conference calls and contributed case studies and frequently provided valuable input,” he says. Not only is she a dedicated participant but also a great GMG ambassador, engaging others from her company to participate.

A fan of global collaboration

Describing why she participates in GMG, Knievel explains that, “Beyond direct participation in the working group[s], another advantage was the chance to witness the operational framework that GMG employs.”

“The collaborative approach used by GMG sees working groups established across four regions globally, with each group picking up where the previous group left off on a particular topic. It is an interesting approach to be exposed to – how to build collaboration in a global team, where some members of that team are never in the same place at the same time.”

“I am proud to have been able to contribute to some of the deliverables from the group–resources that I hope the industry finds useful over the next few years.”