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How to write an Abstract for the New Leaders Summit

16 Feb 2023 · 560 words, 4 min read

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For the first time in over a decade, AusIMM is providing students and new professionals with an opportunity to submit an abstract for Australia’s premiere event for emerging resource professionals. Before we delve into how to structure an abstract, let's answer some of the fundamental questions.

What is an abstract?

An abstract is a short summary of a longer work, describing the focus of a study or research paper. Think of it as the trailer for a movie. An abstract must be fully self-contained and make sense by itself. For the New Leaders Summit, your abstract should be 200-300 words. Abstracts highlight major points of your research and explain why your work is important; what your purpose was, how you went about your project, what you learned, and what you concluded.

Why do abstract exist?

As an abstract provides a quick overview of a paper, it helps the reader decide whether to continue reading. A paper usually contains a lot of detailed information, so an abstract also acts a guide to assist the reader with following the content. Afterwards, the abstract is a summary to help the reader retain key information from your paper.

How are Abstract themes chosen?

"How we decided on the themes was really what was most relevant at the moment," says Viv Naidu, member of the New Leaders Summit 2023 organising committee and mining engineer. "So the collaboration between suppliers and other companies I feel is critically important at the moment. There's a lot of innovation, new technology, decarbonisation. All these new things in the industry are great but they can only be enabled through the collaboration with other suppliers, other OEM. Mining is not about one company trying to do one thing, it's a collaboration between suppliers and networks tyring to make the mine more efficient, more effective, greener."

Expert tips

"What I look for in an Abstract is really trying to be specific on what you're talking about and really try to grab the reader's attention." 
"If there is something quite innovative and new in the industry, that's always a good eye catcher as well."
Alongside his role supporting the organisation of the New Leaders Summit, Viv is also the new professionals ambassador for Adelaide. "Outline the overarching industry problem, coming down to how that is more of a specific issue in the discipline and then the solutions or findings you've done to that problem," he says.  "If you're not sure about submitting an Abstract, I would definitely recommend just to give it a go. Anyone in mining would know it's quite a close-knit community, so presenting at the New Leaders Summit would immediately give you exposure, personal branding, get your name out there and potentially open a few more doors for yourself. But also it's a chance to impart your knowledge on others in the industry. There are a lot of benefits that come out of it and you really have nothing to lose." 

Common Abstract structure

Abstracts typically include the following:

• Reason for your research [1]
• Research problem [2]
• Method [3]
• Findings [4]
• Implications [5]

For example, when we look at this Abstract presented at the Australian Mine Ventilation Conference in 2022, we can see it includes these elements:

[1] Determining the mechanical properties of rocks is important for various civil engineering fields, including the mining of raw materials for aggregates used in the construction and paving industries. Traditionally, the mechanical properties of rocks are obtained through in-situ and laboratory tests during geotechnical surveys.

[2] However, these time-consuming surveys involve many resources. In contrast, hyperspectral remote sensing methods make it possible to identify the mineralogical composition and crystallographic structure of the rock; properties that control the mechanical properties of the rocks.

[3] In this work, we characterize the mechanical properties of carbonate rocks by using a hyperspectral sensor in laboratory conditions. We collected about 150 cylindrical samples of carbonate rock, with a wide range of strength values from several rock outcrops in Israel. We used a point spectrometer in the range of 0.4 – 2.5 m and a spectral image sensor in the range of 3.0 – 12.0 m, scanning the samples to obtain the signature of their light reflections and spectral emissivity. We then measured the samples’ density, porosity, water absorption, and uniaxial compressive strength (UCS). We used sophisticated data mining to find statistical relationships between the hyperspectral signatures of the samples and their mechanical properties. We used this data to identify the most dominant wavelengths for predicting mechanical properties.

[4] We found that the density, porosity, and water absorption of carbonate rocks could be confidently predicted based on spectroscopy data, while the UCS of the rock could also be predicted, but less significantly.

[5] The results of the study pave the way for the development of measuring tools for the mechanical properties of rock, based on non-destructive tests of quarrying materials.

When writing your abstract, try to avoid:

  • Excessive jargon
  • Undefined abbreviations or acronyms
  • Excessive background information

You could win one of three $1000 cash prizes when you submit your Abstract for the New Leaders Summit 2023 – AusIMM’s premiere event for emerging mining professionals. Find out more here.

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