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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Photo of Dr Declan Vogt

Dr Declan Vogt

Senior Lecturer in Robotics and Automated Mining



I am trained as an electronics engineer, spent the first half of my career to date developing geophysical instruments, and the balance managing mining research. My research interests are diverse, including:

  • In-mine geophysics, especially radio-based techniques, including RIM and GPR
  • Underground communications
  • Application of Lean principles to mining 
  • Stand-off remote sensing, particularly the application of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) to in-situ mineral identification
  • Mining automation 
  • Robotics
  • Instrumentation for mine occupational health

I'm driven by a desire to make mines more pleasant working environments that are also more productive, safer and lower cost.


Academic qualifications

  • BSc Eng (Elec), 1989 (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • MSc Eng, 1992 (University of the Witwatersrand)
  • PhD Electronics, 2001 (University of York)

Employment History

  • 1992 - 2009, Chamber of Mines Research Organisation, then CSIR, in-mine geophysical tool development
  • 2009 - 2014, CSIR, Manager of mining research
  • 2014 - 2017, University of the Witwatersrand, Director of the Centre for Mechanised Mining Systems
  • 2017 - present, University of Exeter, Senior Lecturer in Robotics and Autonomous Mining


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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2024 | 2023 | 2021 | 2020 | 2016 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2002 | 2000 |



  • Aguirre Jofre H. (2023) Low-cost Internet of Things (IoT) for monitoring and controlling mining fleet using event classifications and pattern recognition in quarries and small-scale open-pit mines.
  • Carter-Greaves LE, Eyre M, Vogt D, Coggan J. (2023) Algorithm development for automated key block analysis in tunnels from LiDAR point cloud data, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, volume 132, pages 104787-104787, article no. 104787, DOI:10.1016/j.tust.2022.104787. [PDF]





  • Vogt D, Brink AVZ, Schutte PC. (2010) New technology for real-time in-stope safety management, Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, volume 110, no. 1, pages 21-27.


  • Vogt D, Brink VZ, Stewart R, Haarhoff J, Ferreira G, Donovan S. (2009) AziSA: Improving mining decisions with real-time data, Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, volume 109, no. 1, pages 15-21.




  • Vogt D, Van Schoor M, Du Pisani P. (2005) The application of radar techniques for in-mine feature mapping in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa, Journal of The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, volume 105, no. 6, pages 391-399.


  • Vogt D. (2004) The effect of conductive borehole water on borehole radar, Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference Ground Penetrating Radar, GPR 2004, volume 1, pages 217-220.
  • Vogt D, Du Pisani P. (2004) Borehole radar delineation of the VCR: An economically important sedimentary deposit, Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference Ground Penetrating Radar, GPR 2004, volume 2, pages 531-534.
  • du Pisani P, Vogt D. (2004) Borehole radar delineation of the Ventersdorp Contact Reef in three dimensions, Exploration Geophysics, volume 35, no. 4, pages 319-323, DOI:10.1071/EG04319.



  • Trickett JC, Stevenson F, Vogt D, Mason I, Hargreaves J, Eybers H, Fynn R, Meyering M. (2000) Application of borehole radar to South Africa's ultra-deep gold mining environment, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, volume 4084, pages 676-681.

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Further information

Older publications

Some of my harder to get publications that aren't easy to find:

Vogt, D. and Hattingh, T. (2015). The importance of people in the process of converting a narrow-tabular, hard-rock mine to mechanisation, MPES 2015 - Smart Innovation in Mining, Johannesburg, South Africa. - not yet available on SAIMM site.

Van Schoor, M. and Vogt, D. (2013). Airborne ground penetrating radar: practical field experiments, South African Geophysical Association 13th Biennial Conference and Exhibition, Kruger Park, South Africa.

Vogt, D., and Brink, V-Z. (2013). Measuring and monitoring to understand and reduce fall-of-ground risk ICSMRI 2013: 35th International Conference of Safety in Mines Research Institutes, pp65-75, London, United Kingdom.

Vogt, D.  (2010). A renaissance for mining research in South Africa? Fourth International Seminar on Strategic versus Tactical Approaches in Mining, pp 231-246, Perth Australia.

Vogt, D. and Van Schoor, M. (2010). The rise of geophysics for in-mine imaging in South African gold and platinum mines, in Extracting the science: a century of mining research, Brune, J, ed, SME, Colorado USA.

Vogt, D. and Nyareli, T. (2008). Borehole radar directionality in the time domain in small aperture antennas, 12th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, Birmingham, UK

Vogt, D. (2008). Determining radar velocity of rocks in-situ using a modified borehole radar system, 12th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, Birmingham, UK

Nyareli, T. and Vogt, D. (2008). Design of a slimline directional borehole radar antenna using FDTD, 12th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, Birmingham, UK

Vogt, D. and Nyareli, T. (2007). Experimentally achieving borehole radar antenna directivity in the time domain in the presence of strong mutual coupling, 10th SAGA Biennial Technical Meeting and Exhibition, Wild Coast, South Africa

Vogt, D. (2006). A simple method for logging radio velocity in boreholes, 11th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, Columbus, Ohio.

Vogt, D., Donovan, S. and du Pisani, P. (2005)  Improved interpretation of borehole rdar data through interactive 3D forward modelling, Extended Abstracts: 9th Technical Meeting of the South African Geophysical Association, Cape Town, South Africa

Vogt, D. (2004). The effect of conductive borehole water on borehole radar, Tenth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, Delft, The Netherlands.

Vogt, D. and du Pisani, P. (2004). Borehole radar delineation of the VCR, an economically important sedimentary deposit, Tenth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, Delft, The Netherlands.

Van Schoor, M. and Vogt, D. (2004). Geophysical techniques and their application to mechanised mining, SAIMM Colloquium: mechanised mining and support in the Bushveld Complex, Rustenburg, South Africa

Vogt, D. (2002). A slimline borehole radar for in-mine use, Ninth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 4758, Santa Barbara, California.

Vogt, D. R., Tealby, J. M. and Martin, A. C. (1998). Modelling of radio tomography using the finite-difference, time-domain technique, National Conference on Antennas and Propagation, IEE Conference Publication No. 461, York, England

Vogt, D. R., and Reynders, J. P. (1991). An experimental investigation of magnetic fields in deep level gold mines, 7th International Symposium on High Voltage Engineering, Dresden, Germany.

External engagement

I promote mining and geoscience careers and will talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Mining is a great industry with lots of challenging technical, environmental and social problems. Closely related, I am responsible for outreach at CSM, in both geology and mining engineering. Contact me if you'd like to have an outreach activity at your school, society or other venue.


  • Member of the Southern African Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM)
  • Member of the South African Geophysical Association (SAGA)
  • Member and Education Officer of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET)
  • Registered as a Chartered Engineer

I'm on the editorial board of the Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy




  • In-mine geophysics, especially radio-based techniques including Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and the Radio Imaging Method (RIM)
  • Stand-off geology, focussed initially on laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) undertaken from robotic platforms
  • Underground communications
  • Application of Lean principles to mining
  • Supervisory, control and data acquisition for small mines
  • Stand-off remote sensing, particularly automated use of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for geology applications
  • Mining automation and robotics

I am a director of KMO Fleet, a company spun out of the University of Exeter to commercialise intellectual property developed by my student, Herman Aguirre, during his PhD.



I am the Programme Director for the Part Time Degree in Mining Engineering for students not based in England. This is delivered alongside our Mine Management Degree Apprenticeship which restricted to students working in England. 

CSM1259: Electrical and Electronic Principles

I am the module lead for this module that is taken by Renewable Energy Engineering first year students. This hands on module gives students a chance to explore basic electrical and electronic concepts using a combination of theory and a practical approach to applications and troubleshooting. 

CSMM220: Mining the Future

I am the co-lead for this module, together with Prof Frances Wall. The module is offered to MSc geology students and provides insights into the various ways that mining is changing, and some guesses on how it might look in the future. We discuss topics such as automation, space mining, undersea mining, what we will mine in the future, the difficulties of innovation, how we will mine and related issues. We typically have 8-10 speakers, all world experts, who deliver 1 hour lectures as background, which we then discuss through exercises in class.

CSMM418: Mining Automation

I am the lead for this module that introduces MSc Mining Engineering students to automation, what it is and how it is going to influence them in their working lives. We cover topics such as levels of automation, sensing for automation and location, and how to apply them in different types of mines and different locations.

CSMM183: Business Skills As part of the MSc in Mining Engineering (Professional), I teach half of the business skills course, specifically the module on Lean for Mining. Lean is a useful set of management principles and tools that can lead to improved business performance. The course offers an introduction to Lean set in a mining context.   CSM1289DA: Engineering Fundamentals

As part of the Mining Management Degree Apprenticeship for English students, and the part-time BEng Mining Management degree for other UK and international students, I deliver the first-year module on the engineering fundamentals, cover the mathematics required for engineering, and the basics of the physics behind some important mining engineer disciplines: electric power, ventilation and cooling and rock mechanics.


I contribute to the 2nd year geophysics course, CSM2190, and have supervised Mining, Mining Geology and Exploration Geology students on overseas visits, to Namibia, Finland and Ireland so far. 


I am offering to supervise or share supervision of self-funded PhD students in the broad areas of:

  • Application of robotics or automation to the mining process;
  • Stand-off remote sensing for in-mine use, particularly ground penetrating radar, laser-induced breakdown-spectroscopy (LIBS) and 3D scan data;
  • Novel low-cost Internet-of-Things approaches to existing mining challenges;
  • Instrumentation for all types of mine measurement problems;
  • Application of Lean management to mining operations; and
  • Radio propagation in underground environments

Contact me if you'd like to explore other potential topics. If you're looking for funding, this page has info on costs and potential sources of financial support.

Listed below are the students for whom I've been the primary supervisor:


Herman Aguirre Jofre (PhD): using elements of the 4th industrial revolution, including sensors, computing and communication to improve the financial viability of smaller mines. Herman's PhD project became the basis of a spin-off company from the University of Exeter, KMO, active in fleet optimisation through the internet of things.


Lwabanji Tony Lumbwe (MSc Eng): "Assessing the implementation of a low-profile roof-bolter in a platinum mine section based on a systems approach."


Wonderboy Orchard Kekana (MSc Eng) : "Implementation of a GHH roof bolter at Merensky Shaft (Booysendal Platinum Mine) - a case study"

Kgomotso Betty Simango (MSc Eng): "An investigation of factors contributing to low face time at Impala 14 Shaft, trackless mechanised section: case study"

Peter Adam Tendaupenya (MSc Eng): "The application of mechanised technology to South Africa's Bushveld UG2 tabular orebody"

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