Professor Peter Knights


School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 53915


Prof Peter Knights’ research interests are in: engineering asset management, mine maintenace and systems engineering applied to mine safety and mine planning.

Professor Knights is Discipline Lead for Mining within the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering..

From 2006-2015 he held the BMA Chair in Mining Enginereing with the University of Queensland. 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 for the University of Melbourne, Australia, a Masters degree in Systems Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from McGill University, Canada.

His recent work has focussed on incorporating ESG concerns into early stage mine planning and electrification systems for decarbonising mine haulage. He has a number of publications in prestigious international journals such as the Journal for Quality in Maintenance Engineering and the Journal of Reliability Engineering and System Safety.

Capability areas

  • Asset management and mine maintenance
  • Incorporating ESG into eary styage mine design
  • Systems safety.

Research Impacts

Prof. Knights has an extensive history of research collaboration with industry. In Chile, Prof Knights produced a series of pioneering papers that applied statistical cost modelling to quantify unscheduled/scheduled maintenance ratios for mobile mining equipment. He developed the Jack-knife approach for classifying chronic unplanned maintenance downtime events, now incorporated into GE Wabtec’s APS software which is in regular use by a number of large mining companies. Whilst Program Leader for the Smart Mining Systems group for CRCMining (2005-2014) Prof. Knights led the development of ValueTree software that was later adopted for use by Rio Tinto Iron Ore and is now available as a software product from Concerto Analytics. Prof. Knights also led a team evaluating the use of fully mobile in-pit crushing conveyor systems (FMIPCC) in large surface mines. This includes the development of an integrated Time Usage Model and a novel algorithm for determining ultimate pit limits for metalliferous mines employing FMIPCC systems. More recently, his work has focused on how to incoporate ESG concerns into easrly stage mine planning and safety improvements related to wheel and tyre handling for mining haul trucks, a leading cause of fatalities and accidents in surface mining.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, McGill University
  • Masters (Coursework) of Engineering, University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Engineering, University of Melbourne


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision



Book Chapter

  • Wilcock, Greg and Knights, Peter (2019). Configuration management — why asset management can’t do without it. Asset intelligence through integration and interoperability and contemporary vibration engineering technologies: Proceedings of the 12th World Congress on Engineering Asset Management and the 13th International Conference on Vibration Engineering and Technology of Machinery. (pp. 705-715) edited by Joseph Mathew, C. W. Lim, Lin Ma, Don Sands, Michael E. Cholette and Pietro Borghesani. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-95711-1_69

  • Soofastaei, Ali, Knights, Peter and Kizil, Mehmet (2018). Application of advanced data analytics to improve haul trucks energy efficiency in surface mines. Extracting innovations: mining, energy, and technological change in the digital age. (pp. 163-179) edited by Martin J. Clifford, Robert K. Perrons, Saleem H. Ali and Tim A. Grice. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group.

  • Soofastaei, Ali, Karimpour, Elnaz, Knights, Peter and Kizil, Mehmet (2018). Energy-efficient loading and hauling operations. Energy Efficiency in the Minerals Industry: Best Practices and Research Directions. (pp. 121-146) edited by Kwame Awuah-Offei. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-54199-0_7

  • Terblanche, Petrus J., Kearney, Michael P., Hearn, Clay S. and Knights, Peter F. (2018). Technology selection and sizing of on-board energy recovery system to reduce fuel consumption of diesel-electric mine haul trucks. Energy efficiency in the minerals industry: best practices and research directions. (pp. 301-333) edited by Kwame Awuah-Offei. Cham, Switzerland: Springer . doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-54199-0_17

  • Knights, B and Kizil, M.S (2012). An analysis of the SAFEMine Global Positioning System Collision Avoidance System. Mining education Australia: research projects review 2011. (pp. 23-29) edited by Paul Hagan. Carton, VIC, Australia: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

  • Kumar, Uday, Knights, Peter and Kuruppu, Mahinda (2011). Mine infrastructure maintenance. SME mining engineering handbook. (pp. 825-838) edited by Peter Darling. Colorado, USA: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration.

  • Shafiee, Shahriar and Knights, Peter (2009). Australian coal driving international development. Coal and the Commonwealth: The greatness of an Australian resource. (pp. 77-99) edited by Peter Knights and Michael Hood. [Brisbane, Qld.]: University of Queensland.

  • Knights, P. and Hood, M. (2007). CRCMining: Un Modelo para la investigación colaborativa en la industria de minería. Innovacion en mineria. (pp. 181-192) edited by G. Lagos. Santiago, Chile: Ediciones universidad Catolica De Chile.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

  • M. Hood, P. J. A. Lever and P. Knights eds. (2006). 2006 Australian Mining Technology Conference "Value through cost control ". 2006 Australian Mining Technology Conference "Value through cost control", Hunter Valley, NSW, Australaia, 26-27 September, 2006. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision