Being born and raised in Fremantle, the beach and outdoors were a big part of my childhood. One day I saw a careers poster on the wall of a classroom that had a photo of a marine scientist. I couldn’t believe a job existed that would combine my passion for maths and science with my love of the ocean. That was the moment I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
After high school I studied marine science, zoology and mathematics. After several years as a marine scientist, I wanted to learn even more about mathematics. Working part-time, I completed a PhD in advanced analytics and modelling. My PhD is one of my biggest achievements. It was equally about deep learning in maths and science and working hard, having passion and digging deep to really show what I could do. It taught me how to apply data to solve environmental problems. Using advanced analytics, my research aimed to understand if marine protected areas were big enough to help protect fish from overfishing, and to detect significant environmental impacts on coral resulting from dredging for oil and gas development.
Currently, I use maths to help me make a difference in mining. On-site operators mine resources while data scientists digitally mine the data to analyse and report on how companies can improve. New technologies and capabilities like machine learning help me to find ways to mine in more safe and sustainable ways.
Every day brings a new challenge, the road has never been easy, but that’s because the most rewarding things are often at the end of the most challenging paths.
Dr Kylie Hollins has a PhD in Advanced Analytics and Modelling. She is the Technical Director for energy and resources at Aurecon, based in Perth, WA.