20/04/2021 – Mining / Technology / Geology / Geophysics / Autonomous / SME / Inventor / Award / AIME

Mark Baker recognised for contributions to technical progress in mining, geology, and geophysics
Mark Baker recognised for contributions to technical progress in mining, geology, and geophysics

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) has announced that Mark Baker has received the prestigious Daniel C. Jackling Award, which recognises significant contributions to technical progress in mining, geology, and geophysics.

Established in 1953 and funded by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME), the Award honours Daniel C. Jackling who was an Honorary Member of AIME, and its President in 1938.

Mr Baker is recognised for his contributions to computerised dispatch-system development and automation in open pit mines, resulting in major improvements in safety, productivity and cost in the mining industry. He was acknowledged on SME’s virtual awards video during the Society’s annual conference, held in March.

“I must admit, I was quite surprised when I first received notice of the award,” remarked Mr Baker. “I felt – and still feel – truly honoured and extremely grateful to be added to the list of distinguished awardees who came before me.”

Innovative inventor of autonomous tech

Mark Baker began his career in mining as a founding principal of Modular Mining Systems and later took over the helm. He was responsible for creating the company’s first rolling business plan that set the stage for unparalleled growth. 

During his remaining tenure at Komatsu/Modular, he assumed responsibility for the development and commercialisation of its Autonomous Haulage System. 

He has been awarded several patents for an autonomous haul truck design, among other mining related inventions. 

Upon realising the potential value from both developing and deployed innovative technologies, Mr Baker started CheckMark Consulting to provide strategic advice to mining operators and OEMs.


As an integral team member of the Phelps Dodge/Freeport Mine Technology group, Baker contributed to the development of its in-house Autonomous Haulage and Autonomous Track Dozer systems. 

Subsequently, he engaged in a five-year relationship with Caterpillar where he provided strategic product development and commercial insight to its MineStar® technologies, including a variety of equipment automation programs.


In addition to CheckMark Consulting, Baker is currently a senior partner at Flow Partners and a founding principal of Phoenix Drill Control.

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