School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering

Ross McAree

Professor Ross McAree

Head of School

Prof McAree joined The University of Queensland as a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering in 2000 and has held various roles within the School.

Ross McAree received his PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1993. From 1993 to 2000 he was a research fellow in the Robotics Research Group at Oxford University and a Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering at Trinity College, Oxford. He joined The University of Queensland in 2000 and has served at various times as the Program Director for Mechatronic Engineering, Chair of the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering Research Committee and currently holds the position as Head of School.

Professor McAree’s research interests are focused in model predictive control, estimation theory, and field robotics in the automation of mining equipment. Current research projects include:

  • Automation and collision avoidance for mining shovels
  • Telepresence for Remote operation of track-type tractors
  • Mission planning for mining machines
  • Skills requirements for mining automation
  • Implementation of functional safety for automated mining systems

Andrej Atrens

Professor Andrej Atrens

Head of Division, Materials Engineering

Professor Andrej Atrens is Head of the Division of Materials Engineering in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at The University of Queensland. His formal qualifications include a PhD from the University of Adelaide as well as a DEng from The University of Queensland in 1997. Professor Atrens is a leading researcher in the service performance of engineering materials and alloy development. He lectures in the area of Corrosion.

Professor Atrens leads research in the areas of:Corrosion of magnesiumMagnesium for biodegradable medical implants


Peter Knights

Professor Peter Knights

Chair of Teaching and Learning Committee and Head of Division, Mining Engineering

Professor Peter Knights is Chair of Teaching and Learning Committee and Head of the Division of Mining Engineering in The School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at the University of Queensland. In addition to this role, he is the Executive Director of Mining Education Australia, a joint venture involving the four largest mining engineering programs in Australia sponsored by the Minerals Council of Australia. Much of his research work related to Equipment Management is conducted in conjunction with the Co-operative Research Centre for Mining (CRCMining).

For the past twenty-five years Peter’s research work has focussed on maintenance and reliability engineering. He is best known for: promoting the now widespread use of logarithmic scatter plots (also known as jack-knife diagrams) to characterize and prioritize downtime events; for his industry training courses on Root Cause Failure Analysis and for developing pragmatic approaches to RCM.

His recent work has focussed on mine data analytics and the reliability and planning issues associated with novel mining systems. He has a number of maintenance publications in prestigious international journals such as the Journal for Quality in Maintenance Engineering and the Journal of Reliability Engineering and System Safety.

From 1996 to 2004 he was employed as an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Engineering of the Catholic University of Chile, based in Santiago, Chile. He was subsequently named as Associate Professor and Canadian Chair in Mining. Peter holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Melbourne, Australia, a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from McGill University, Canada.


Kim Lamb

Mrs Kim Lamb

School Manager

Having joined The University of Queensland as a staff member in 1991, Mrs Lamb has held a diverse range of positions with considerable experience in university administration at the faculty, school/departmental and central administration levels. Mrs Lamb’s formal qualifications include a BSc and MSc from Bowling Green State University, USA and a Master of Business Administration from Cleveland State University, USA.


Han Huang

Professor Han Huang

Chair, Research Committee 

Professor Han Huang is Chair of the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering Research Committee.

Prof Huang is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UQ. He joined UQ in 2005 as a Senior Lecturer, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008 and Professor in 2011. Prof Huang received his PhD from The University of Western Australia in 1996. He has won a number of prestigious research accolades, including ARC Future Fellowship (2011-2015), ARC Australia Research Fellowship (2005-2010), JSPS Invitation Fellowship (2009), Queensland International Fellowship (2012) and Singapore National Technology Award (1999). He has editorial roles in several international journals, including International Journal of Machine Tool and Manufacture (ERA A*). He was elected as a Fellow of International Society of Nanomanufacturing in 2012. He published over 190 refereed journal papers, 2 books and 4 book chapters.

Prof Huang has established a leading group working on nanomechanics and nanomanufacturing, and founded a world-class laboratory at UQ that is dedicated to fundamental understanding of material removal mechanisms and mechanical characterisation of nanomaterials and nanostructures. Professor Han Huang’s research interests are nanomanufacturing, machining technologies, mechanical characterization of nanostructured materials and nanostructures and nanoparticle based lubrication.


Michael Smart

Professor Michael Smart

Chair, Engagement Committee

Professor Michael Smart is Chair of the Engagement Committee in The School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at the University of Queensland.

Professor Smart, who graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) at UQ in 1985 and Master of Engineering Science at UQ in 1987, was awarded a PhD at the Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York, in 1995.

He was appointed an Associate Professor in the Centre for Hypersonics in 2005 after spending 10 years as a research scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia.

He is the chief investigator on the National and International Research Alliances partnership collaboration between UQ, the Queensland Government, Boeing, USAF and DSTO to conduct scramjet-related flight tests as part of the HiFIRE program.

As head of UQ's HyShot Group, Professor Smart leads scramjet related research within the Centre for Hypersonics, with particular emphasis on flight applications.

He received the 2012 International Congress for Aeronatucs (ICAS) Von Karman Award for International Co-operation in Aeronautics.