mining, train

Meet Knight: pursuing operating perfection and inclusion for all

Knight Kulkaew is a Specialist Data Scientist in the MECoE Asset Management team with great aspirations to bring positive change to the world through digitisation and inclusivity. Knight was born in Thailand and moved to Australia in 2005, where he completed his senior years of schooling. He was first introduced to BHP when assigned to a project in his first job out of uni. He enjoyed working with the team so much that he decided to apply for a role with the company.

If you’re wondering what being a Data Scientist entails, Knight shared some insights.

“My role focuses on identifying and executing continuous improvement projects for the business, which often involves working with data to gain advanced analytical insights and identify root causes of performance gaps, to then come up with actions that could solve or improve the situation — which is essentially what we hope to achieve as a company through the BOS Principle: pursuing operating perfection,” Knight said.

“I prefer to refer to myself as an engineer who has 'data science' in my toolbox.”

Knight’s passion extends well beyond his role, with pursuits in further studies and an active role in creating a more inclusive workplace.

He recently completed a PhD in Mechanical Engineering that focused on how advanced analytics could be applied to the way bulldozers are operated, specifically in the land overburden removal process.

“I am a strong advocate for digital transformation and a firm believer that if we are able to integrate more advanced analytics into the way we live and the way we do work, our planet would be better off,” Knight said.

For the company, his vision is to continue to drive digitisation and the integration of advanced analytical approaches with our mining and maintenance practices.  

Knight is also a champion for an inclusive and diverse workplace, playing an active role in the MECoE Inclusion and Diversity Council, and was recently involved with the development of a new MECoE Recruitment Strategy to attract new candidates from diverse backgrounds.

“Coming from an Asian background and having grown up with only my mother and sister as my immediate family members, I have seen how people from Asian backgrounds are discriminated against and how gender inequality plays out in the society we live in. I want to play an active role in changing that,” Knight said.  

In his spare time, Knight likes to stay active both physically and mentally and enjoys a game of 1-minute bullet chess and playing indoor soccer on the weekends.