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Two receive an award for best thesis from The Björn Wahlström Foundation

Published: 1 December 2021

Students Daniel Nygård and Johan Winsa were awarded a prize for the best degree project from the Björn Wahlström Foundation. They both studied The Master Programme in Civil Engineering, with a focus on Mining and Rock Engineering. The two prize winners receive SEK 25,000 each.

Daniel Nygård and Johan Winsa have both done their degree projects with application to rock mechanics for LKAB's mines, but with different issues and specializations. In Daniel's case, the work has a potentially great significance for being able to use more advanced and representative material models for brittle quarries in rocks. Johan's work constitutes an important basis for improved damage mapping and data collection for forecasting purposes of stability problems in rock.

"I have had the privilege of supervising both degree projects. It is extra fun that they chose degree projects with a focus on mining. The mining industry is facing major challenges with a high need for engineering in the future, and good degree projects are an important component in the supply of skills for the industry. It has been fun and educational, even for me, to supervise Johan and Daniel, and with a good end result. That they are also now rewarded for their work is just icing on the cake," says Jonny Sjöberg, adjunct professor in Mining and Rock Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

Motivation | Daniel Nygård

Daniel has studied a material model for brittle fractures in rock, which can describe typical rock behavior in hard rock under high load (high stresses). The work has included producing representative parameter values for this material model via evaluation of performed laboratory tests, linked to numerical model analyzes of selected tests. Data from previously performed tests have been collected, and supplementary tests have been performed within the framework of the degree project. Numerical analyzes have been performed with a three-dimensional material model. A number of guidelines for how parameter values can be selected have been developed, at the same time as uncertainties have been identified. Daniel has done a good job, in a subject with a fairly high theoretical difficulty. The work is potentially of great importance for being able to use more advanced and representative material models for brittle fractures, especially for mining applications.

"I feel honored and think it is very fun that I won Björn Wahlström's award for best dissertation. I want to thank everyone who helped me and gave me support during the work," says Daniel Nygård

Motivation | Johan Winsa

Johan has studied damage to underground infrastructure in LKAB's mine in Malmberget, and how these can possibly be forecast. The work has included compiling a large amount of data (damage mapping, geology, seismic data, etc.) which is then structured and interpreted. The work has focused on an ore body (production area) in the mine, but developed methodology can be developed and applied to other areas at a later stage. The work showed some shortcomings in the existing data, which makes forecasting more uncertain. A preliminary forecast, in the form of a boundary angle employed from the production level and within which damage can be expected, has been produced. Recommendations for how data collection can be improved and the forecasting methodology refined are also given in the report. Johan has worked closely with LKAB's staff both in the field and in the office during the work. The work forms a good basis for improved damage mapping and data collection for forecasting purposes.

"Incredibly fun to receive this award. This was, to say the least, the icing on the cake for my work," says Johan Winsa.

Supervisor for these degree projects was Jonny Sjöberg, adjunct professor at Luleå University of Technology, and consult at Itasca.

Jonny Sjöberg

Jonny Sjöberg, Adjunct Professor

Organisation: Mining and Rock Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering