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: Mine maintenance management, Mine operations and process control, Mining simulation, Mining equipment automation

Peter Knights is BMA Chair and Professor and Head of the Division of Mining Engineering within the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering.

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.

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.

Capability areas

  • Reliability and planning issues associated with novel mining systems
  • Operational excellence, including optimal component and asset replacement decisions
  • Mine data analytics (making sense of “big” data).


  • Master of Engineering, University of Melbourne
  • Bachleor of Engineering (Mechanical) with Honours, University of Melbourne
  • Doctor of Philosophy, McGill University


View all Publications


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. (pp. 705-715) edited by Joseph Mathew, C. W. Lim, Lin Ma, Don Sands, Michael E. Cholette and Pietro Borghesani.Cham, Switzerland: Pleiades Publishing. 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 .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.New York, United States: Springer International Publishing. 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 ed. (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