Professor Eun-Jung Holden

Started at UWA: 1989

Unearthing new ways to mine data

My passion is to achieve research impact beyond academia, specifically in transforming industry practice in geodata analysis through innovative and advanced data science applications.Professor Eun-Jung Holden

Professor Eun-Jung Holden is the Director of UWA Institute of Data and the leader of Centre for Data-driven Geoscience (CDG) at the School of Earth Sciences at UWA. She has leading expertise in data science applied to geoscience. Her research develops advanced machine learning, image analysis and visualisation methods to automate or semi-automate the interpretation of geoscientific data (geodata). Professor Holden’s multi-disciplinary research spans the boundaries of computational science and geoscience, and links academia with industry.

Professor Holden came to UWA as an international student from South Korea in 1985. She was trained and worked as a computer scientist at UWA. Her postgraduate and postdoctoral research focused on developing computer vision and visualisation algorithms for human motion recognition.

In 2006, she made a transition to geoscience at UWA. She established and currently leads the Geodata Algorithms Team that fosters a unique level of multi-disciplinary training and end-user focused research. 

Through their innovative, transformational and interpretive data science solutions for geoscience end users, the team’s research achieved global research impact. Three suites of geodata analytics algorithms were commercialised in partnership with the world’s leading software vendors, namely CET Grid Analysis and CET Porphyry Detection extensions for Geosoft’s Oasis Montaj, in partnership with Geosoft (based in Canada); and Image Structure and Interpretation module for Advanced Logic Technology (ALT)’s WellCAD, in partnership with ALT (based in Luxembourg).

These products have been sold globally across the minerals and oil & gas industries.

Professor Holden has been leading major data science projects with Rio Tinto Iron Ore (RTIO) in recent years, including previous Data Fusion Projects (2018-2021, $3.6m) and the current project that applies data science to objectively log geology for mine geology (2022-2025, $6.1m).

This industry engagement resulted in the development of deployable machine learning methods and tools to analyse stratigraphy and their material compositions using diverse types of drill hole data, which resulted in three patent applications.  The CDG team at UWA uses machine learning, computer vision, spatial modelling and optimisation techniques to integrate diverse drill hole data including spectral, image, geochemistry and geophysics data to model material compositions, geomechanical proxies and their spatial distribution.  The team also develops advanced and interactive visualisation methods and tools to assist the mine pit mapping of geology in virtual reality.

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Winner of Artificial Intelligence in Mining, Women in AI Awards, Australia and New Zealand 2022

Women in Technology WA (WiTWA) Tech [20+] Awards, 2019

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The UWA Vice Chancellor’s Award in Impact and Innovation, 2015

Laric Hawkins Memorial Innovation Award - the 23rd International Geophysics Conference and Exhibition, 2013

Commendation in the Innovation Category of the WA Information Technology & Telecommunications Award, 2004

Funding and Research Impact


The total amount of research income is over $8.8 million which includes $8.5 million from industry, mostly since 2008. Some major past and ongoing projects are:


UWA-RTIO Data Fusion Projects

  • Holden, E.J., Wedge D. 2018-2021, ‘UWA-RTIO Data Fusion Projects’, Technological Resources Pty Ltd. (Rio Tinto)


UWA | RTIO Auto Validate Interp Mine Geology

  • Wedge D., Holden, E.J., 2017, ‘UWA | RTIO Auto Validate Interp Mine Geology’, Technological Resources Pty Ltd. (Rio Tinto)


Text Mining of Geological Reports: A Preliminary Study

  • Holden, E.J., Horrocks, T., Wedge, D., Liu, W., 2016, ‘Text Mining of Geological Reports: A Preliminary Study’, Geological Survey of Western Australia


 Geological interpretation support tools for drill hole data using machine learning techniques
  • Holden, E.J., Wedge, D., 2014-2017, 'Geological interpretation support tools for drill hole data using machine learning techniques', Technological Resources Pty Ltd. (Rio Tinto)


Second Generation Regional Targeting Products: Data Generation and Integration

  • Aitken, A., Dentith, M., Holden, E.J., McCuaig, C., 2013-2017, Second Generation Regional Targeting Products: Data Generation and Integration, Geological Survey of Western Australia


Integrated Visualisation of Large Volumes of GSWA Data: Groundwork for the Integrated Exploration Platform

  • Holden E.J., Kovesi, P., Wong, J., Wedge, D., McCuaig C, Hronsky, J., 2013, Integrated Visualisation of Large Volumes of GSWA Data: Groundwork for the Integrated Exploration Platform, Geological Survey of Western Australia


Development of Software for the Geotechnical Interpretation of Televiewer Imagery

  • Holden, E.J., Dentith, M.C., Spadaccini, N., 2010-2013, Development of Software for the Geotechnical Interpretation of Televiewer Imagery, Research Grant from Rio Tinto

Professor Holden has 62 referred publications (journal papers, refereed conference papers and patent publications) across the disciplines of computer science, computational geoscience, geophysics, remote sensing and geology, and one local government report. She collaborated and co-authored with researchers from a wide range of disciplines from academia and industry, locally and internationally. 



Her research outcomes are also disseminated as software products:

Public Domain Software Products:


  • UWA & TRPL joint patent, Submitted in 2018 and Approved in 2019, “A Method And System For Validating Logging Data For A Mineral Sample” (WO 2018/136998 A1) by Wedge, D., Paine, M., Lewan, A., Holden, E-J. & Green, T.
  • UWA &TRPL Australian provisional patent application (AU2018904128), 2019, “A Method And System For Sample Classification” by Wedge, D, Hartley, O., McMickan, A., Green, T. and Holden, E-J



  • Leading the development of the Auslan Tuition System that helps people learning Australian deaf sign language called Auslan. This system won Commendation in the Innovation category of the 14th Western Australian Information Technology and Telecommunications Awards (WAITTA) in 2004.
  • Successful commercialization of three software products (2010, 2011, 2015 - ongoing) in partnership with leading software vendors, which had significant uptake by global resource industry.
  • Establishing and growing the Geodata Algorithms Team that is highly effective in industry engagement and tool delivery, as well as fostering multi-disciplinary training for students and staff.
  • Fostering long-term and growing the scale of research partnership with industry by delivering a clear value to industry partners

External Positions


Board and Professional Memberships
  • Science Advisory Board member of Advanced Mining Technology Centre (AMTC) in Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Associate Editor
    • IEEE Geoscience & Remote Sensing Letters (IF 2.892)
  • Guest Editor
    • Ore Geology Reviews, Special Issue on Machine Learning & Ore Geology, Elsevier (IF 3.868)
  • Senior member, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
  • Member, ASEG (Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists); Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM)
Community Events:
  • Judging panel member for Frank Arnott - Next Generation Explorers Award, 2021
  • Headline judging panel member for ExploreSA Gawler Challenge, 2020
  • Technical judging panel member for Oz Minerals Explorer Challenge, 2019
  • Speaker for Raising the Bar (RTB), Perth, October 2019
  • Panelist on Innovative Exploration Methods at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), October 2019
  • Panelist for the AusIMM Thought Leaders Series, Perth, attended by 130 mining professionals, July 2019
  • Panelist for Women in Data Science (WiDS) WA, March, 2019
  • Keynote speaker (and geodata analytics workshop) for the11th Fennoscandian Exploration and Mining, Finland, 2017
  • Panelist for The Future of Data Science, UWA Research Week Event, September, 2016


Contact Professor Eun-Jung Holden


Research Repository

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