Raul Mollehuara Canales

Research group: Oulu MIning School
Research subject: Applied hydrogeophysics for characterization of tailings storage facilities
Researcher profile: http://www.oulu.fi/university/researcher/raul-mollehuara-canales


Official interview

Who are you? Where you come from?
My name is Raul Mollehuara Canales. I am originally from Peru, and I come to Oulu from Australia where I reside.

What you have done before coming to Oulu?
I  have a  background in Chemical  Engineering and  MSc in  Water  Resources  Management - Hydrogeology. Before moving to Oulu, I developed my engineering career in the mining industry in Peru and Australia working in projects and operations in areas related to mineral processing, mining water,  mining waste,  and closure strategies.

Why did you decide to come to Oulu?
In 2017, I was accepted in the I4Future doctoral program, an international and multidisciplinary research program that is aligned with my research interest, which is to target modern characterization methods to evaluate and implement innovations in the fields of environmental research and mineral resources.

What is the name of your research project?
The name of my research project is “Applied Hydrogeophysics for Characterisation of Tailings Storage Facilities”. This PhD thesis will apply geophysical techniques for determining subsurface structural zones and hydrodynamic properties in the TSF and enable a whole-domain representative data for characterisation and performance modelling.

What is the expected main outcome of your research project?
The research expects to bridge interdisciplinary knowledge on remote sensing and hydro-geophysical techniques for mapping and surveying structure, surface and subsurface of mining wastes, tailings storage facilities in particular. Aims to identify these techniques opportunities and challenges for data sourcing with a high level of confidence for analysis and modelling.
Further knowledge of these techniques can develop into techniques and recommendations for a monitoring or surveillance platform of mining waste areas and similar engineered structures with a focus on sustainable environments.

What you would like to do after you have got PhD degree?
After completion of the doctoral programme, I would like to continue working in research with universities and industry and at some point expand these activities with teaching. I would also like to translate my research into business opportunities during and beyond the Doctoral studies.

What I4 Future program has so far given to you? What has been good? Have you missed something?
I am glad I am part of the I4Future doctoral program. The University campus is a buzzing research environment.
The programme is allowing me to connect applied science with technology and industry applications.The interactive envir
onment of the I4Future program enables to interact with other doctoral researchers from various countries and disciplines experiencing new ways of thinking towards innovation and entrepreneurship.

What kind of the atmosphere /weather in Oulu has been in your opinion?
So far I found out that Finland is proud of having one of the best educational standards in the world, and Oulu is proud to be the technological capital of Finland and home to many innovators and entrepreneurs. The weather is special and although not everyone understands it well, Finland brings the beauty of nature with great postcards sceneries.

Have you already published results? If yes, where?
I am working on my first draft.


On my own words

Site of research: Oulu Mining School, Geosciences Research Unit
Major Subject: Geosciences, Mining and Mineral processing
Start date: January 2017 (expect to finish by 2020)
Country: Australia

I hold a Chemical Engineering degree and a Master in Water Resources Management – Hydrogeology.  I have been working in the mining sector (private, public and consultancy) in Peru and Australia and have built in-deep technical knowledge in operations and projects associated with mine water, mine waste and mine closure.

My research aims to connect existing and emerging imaging technologies for the characterization (physical, functional, environmental) of surface and subsurface of tailings storage facilities, a mine waste representing a major liability for the mining industry worldwide. The research will investigate opportunities for developing a multidisciplinary (geophysical, geochemical, hydrogeological) imaging technique to better understand the behavior of these waste facilities and support strategies to identify, control and manage failure risk modes throughout the mining cycle.

I expect my research will contribute with technological development by adopting and integrating cost-effective imaging techniques into tailings management and mine waste management throughout mine planning, operations and closure.

I am proud to be part of the I4Future programme & Oulu Mining School and excited with the opportunity to work and interact with leading researchers at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies. The international collaborations and access to the facilities and infrastructure with interdisciplinary partners in the programme offer a playground that I expect to benefit in my research.

Last updated: 15.4.2020

Main partners