Steven Micklethwaite

Assoc Professor

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Personal profile


My research focuses on;

(1) dynamic processes such as earthquakes, earthquake swarms and volcanic eruptions and how they potentially inform us about the formation of the natural resources vital to sustaining humanity.

(2) how we may mimic earth processes occurring at minute scales (e.g. nanoparticles, grain boundaries), to develop new and sustainable methods for extracting natural resources.

(3) the use of drones and artificial intelligence methods map and monitor the Earth in real-time, collecting unprecedented amounts of data and address scientific problems.

I work across the broad fields of structural geology, tectonics, minerals exploration, advanced field mapping technologies and ore deposit petrology. Innovations include a predictive 3-D numerical exploration tool based on earthquake mechanics (commercialised into the Midland Valley MOVE software for mining and petroleum), and the testing and development of drone technology to achieve real-time, automated geoscience data capture in underground and surface environments. We have been able to integrate data captured by drones into industry-standard 3-D modelling workflows (e.g. Leapfrog Geo) and we are accelerating approaches to analyse the data and extract useful geoscience information in real-time.

I am an experienced field geologist and have mapped in southern and western Africa, Indonesia, Australia, Europe and North America. I typically integrate geological, geophysical and geochemical datasets across microscopic, drill core, underground, surface and regional scales, and my research has led to the discovery of new resources in Western Australia. 

I am currently leading establishment of the Centre for Resource Engineering, Science and Technology at Monash University, which is a cross-disciplinary initiative to deliver solutions for exploration, geological engineering, production, ore processing and remediation. 


  • ore deposits
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
  • minerals
  • structural geology
  • photogrammetry

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2016 2020

UAV Sensing and Data Discovery for a Changing Planet

Micklethwaite, S., Walker, J., Clarke, R. H., Tapper, N. J., Sullivan, L., Drummond, T. W., McClusky, S., Lu, G., Dahlhaus, P., Florentine, S., PopStefanija, I. & Rawling, T.


Project: Other

Research Output 2004 2017

An interactive image segmentation method for lithological boundary detection: a rapid mapping tool for geologists

Vasuki, Y., Holden, E. J., Kovesi, P. & Micklethwaite, S., 1 Mar 2017, In : Computers and Geosciences. 100, p. 27-40 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Evidence for two stages of mineralization in West Africa's largest gold deposit: Obuasi, Ghana

Fougerouse, D., Micklethwaite, S., Ulrich, S., Miller, J., Godel, B. M., Adams, D. T. & McCuaig, T. C., 1 Jan 2017, In : Economic Geology. 112, 1, p. 3-22 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Ore shoot formation in an orogenic gold deposit

Vollgger, S. A., Tomkins, A. G., Micklethwaite, S., Cruden, A. R. & Wilson, C., 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractOther

Rapid, semi-automatic fracture and contact mapping for point clouds, images and geophysical data

Thiele, S. T., Grose, L., Samsu, A., Micklethwaite, S., Vollgger, S. A. & Cruden, A. R., 21 Dec 2017, In : Solid Earth. 8, 6, p. 1241-1253 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

An elevated perspective: dyke-related fracture networks analysed with UAV photogrammetry

Dering, G., Micklethwaite, S., Barnes, S. J., Fiorentini, M., Cruden, A. & Tohver, E., 1 Oct 2016, p. 54-55. 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractOtherpeer-review

Activities 2015 2015

  • 1 Editorial responsibility

Cogent Geoscience (Journal)

Steven Micklethwaite (Associate editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility