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Industrial Global Project Leader, Artificial Intelligence Center

Artificial Intelligence Project Leader, Vale, Australia

Dr. Ali Soofastaei is a Research Developer at the Artificial Intelligence Centre of Excellence at Vale and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. Vale is a multinational corporation engaged in metals and mining. It is one of the world’s foremost producers of iron ore and the largest producer of nickel. UQ has been ranked in the world’s top 50 universities and is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions.

Dr. Soofastaei uses innovative models based on artificial intelligence (AI) methods to improve safety, productivity, and energy efficiency, and to reduce maintenance costs. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and has an in-depth understanding of energy management (EM) and equipment maintenance solutions (EMS). The extensive research he conducted on AI and value engineering (VE) methods while completing his Master of Engineering also provided him with expertise in the application of advanced analytics in EM and EMS.

Dr. Soofastaei completed his Ph.D. at UQ in the field of AI applications in mining engineering where he led a revolution in the use of deep learning (DL) and AI methods to increase energy efficiency, reduce operation and maintenance costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in surface mines. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Assistant Professor, he has provided practical guidance to undergraduate and postgraduate students in mechanical and mining engineering and information technology.

In the past 15 years, Dr. Soofastaei has conducted a variety of research studies in academic and industrial environments. He has acquired in-depth knowledge of energy efficiency opportunities (EEO), VE and advanced analytics. He is an expert in the use of DL and AI methods in data analysis to develop predictive and optimization models of complex systems.

Dr. Soofastaei has been involved in industrial research and development projects in several industries including oil and gas (Royal Dutch Shell); steel (Danieli); and mining (BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, and Vale). His extensive practical experience in the industry has equipped him to work with complex industrial problems in highly technical and multi-disciplinary teams.

As a member of research and development teams, Dr. Soofastaei has been actively involved in site inspections, business problem identification, and root cause analysis. He has experience in managing brainstorming sessions with operators, supervisors, managers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the areas of automation (e.g., with electrical and computer systems engineers), maintenance (e.g., with mechanical engineers and maintenance supervisors) and production (e.g., process engineers, metallurgists).

Dr. Soofastaei has more than 10 years of academic experience as an Assistant Professor and leader of global research activities. Results from his research and development projects have been published in international journals and keynote presentations; He has presented his practical achievements at conferences in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Dr. Soofastaei has published three chapter books and is on contract to write two new handbooks that will be published by Springer and CRC Press. He has also been granted three patents and has developed three software products.

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