2019 SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES
Professor Goran Roos,
Strategic Advisor. Defence SA Advisory Board
Göran Roos is a visiting Professor at Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Flinders University, Adelaide; a Stretton Fellow appointed by the City of Playford at University of Adelaide; Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Economics and Management, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University. Hi is a chair of CSIRO Manufacturing Business Unit Advisory and has been a member of METS Ignited Australia Limited’s Innovation Advisory Council (MIAC). Göran is a fellow of both the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).
Dr Osvaldo Urzua, Former External Affairs,
BHP Billiton, International Mining Expert
Osvaldo Urzua PhD has more than 25 years of experience, which comprises the development of shared value strategies, stakeholders engagement processes and implementation of collective strategies to deliver economic, social and environmental value in resource-rich regions and economies.
Since June 2019 Osvaldo is working as an international independent consultant. Before, he worked for more than 11 years in BHP in a variety of roles. He has been engaged in the approvals and assessment processes of large mining projects, industry committees and several private-public partnership initiatives.
His thorough knowledge of productive, technological, economic, socio-environmental and regulatory issues, and his strategic and innovative vision of the industry's challenges, led him to work on defining the recently approved BHP´s Social Value global strategy.
Dr Alan Bye, Director
Alan has more than 20 years experience in operational and strategic roles in the mining industry focused on the innovation and integration of the value chain. During his career, Alan has worked in 15 countries covering 9 commodities.
Alan was most recently Vice President Technology at BHP, in his global role he was accountable for the execution of major innovation programs across 5 commodity value chains adopting digital and extractive technologies.
Prior to this Alan founded and led the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) as Chief Executive. CRC ORE is a $100m venture involving 34 partners with the purpose of ‘Transforming Mining to an Advanced Manufacturing Industry’. He was previously, Professor and Director of the Bryan Research Centre at the University of Queensland.
Alan spent 10 years with Anglo American where he held senior operational and executive roles in underground and open pit mines.
Alan has a PhD in mining engineering and is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology Science and Engineering (FTSE). He is a Non-executive Director at Scitech and a member of the CSIRO’s Minerals Resources Flagship Advisory Council.
Global Mining Standards and Guidelines and former CIO Barrick Gold
Michelle Ash is the Chair of GMG as well as on the Advisory Board of a number of start-ups such as Indimin, MineSpider, Off World and Petra Data Science. GMG is a member driven industry association working with members and industry participants to develop best practices and guidelines for the implementation of technology and socially enabled changes in the industry.
In her role with Barrick, Ash oversaw the company’s Innovation program looking both at how innovation can drive productivity in the existing business as well as how it can be harnessed to deliver alternative business models. Ash joined Barrick in January 2016 to lead Operational Excellence and later oversaw the establishment of their digital program and brings with her more than 20 years of experience in the mining and manufacturing sectors with a focus on business improvement and change management. She began her career as a blasting engineer with Rio Tinto.
She also worked for Acacia Mining in Tanzania as Chief Operating Officer, having served earlier as Executive General Manager, Business Improvement and Planning. In these roles, Ash drove shareholder value by spearheading business improvement programs that resulted in operational improvements and cost-savings. Prior to this, she served as the Head of Alliance Planning and Co-ordination at the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance where she was accountable for the leadership of strategic projects. Ash has held similar operational leadership, business improvement and strategic roles at other companies including the Minerals and Metals Group and Australian Vinyls.
Ash was named to the 2016 list of “100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining” by Women in Mining UK. Ash holds a degree in Civil Engineering and an Executive MBA from the Melbourne Business School; she also holds degree in psychology from Deakin University.
Hon Bill Johnston MLA, Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy: Industrial Relations, Western Australian Government
Bill Johnston was sworn in as the Mines and Petroleum, Commerce and Industrial Relations, Electoral Affairs, and Asian Engagement Minister in March 2017.
This occurred a week after the WA Labor Party’s landslide victory against the Liberal Government.
As our State’s first Asian Engagement Minister, Minister Johnston’s focus was to capitalise on the rapid population and economic growth in Asia to create more job-boosting opportunities in Western Australia.
The Minister has a particular affinity with Indonesia, having spent time in West Java as a high school exchange student, and he maintains a working proficiency in both written and spoken Indonesian.
After almost two years in those roles, Minister Johnston was appointed Energy Minister on December 13, 2018.
Co-founder and Partner
Graeme is a founding partner of VCI which focuses on strategy, organisational architecture and innovation in the resources, energy and associated services sectors.
He has an extensive track record of creating innovative strategic transformation in business. His work has been referenced in the book “The First 11” as a benchmark case study in strategic transformation, and he has been awarded the Curtin Medal for Innovation from the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK.
Assignments have encompassed CEO level strategic transformation across the resources industry, strategic development for major engineering and services companies, and policy assignments for Universities and Industry bodies.
Graeme holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Imperial College University of London, a First Class honours degree in Engineering from the University of Adelaide, and an MBA from Monash University.
BE MBA(Fin) FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus) FAusIMM(CP) GAICD, NED
Alex holds two BEng Degrees from the University of Queensland and WA School of Mines qualifying her as a Mining Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer & Geologist. She holds First Class Mine Manager’s Certificates for WA & Queensland, has an MBA(Finance), is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Chartered Professional Fellow of Engineers Australia and The AusIMM.
Alex has 25+ years’ multi-commodity experience through the full mining value chain in roles that find, design & run mines, regulate mines & in the Big4’s auditing mining companies.
Alex is a Non-executive Director of Ausdrill Ltd (ASX:ASL), Founder of her own mining risk consultancy, Director of International Women in Mining (London) & Senior Director of Canadian Mining Sustainability. In 2018 Alex was named one of the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining by WIM UK in London and in 2019 was inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame.
Justin Brown, Managing Director
Justin Brown is a geologist with extensive experience in global minerals exploration and mining. He has a strong technical background with experience in the full spectrum of mineral exploration and mining from grass roots target generation through to resource definition and mine production.
Mr Brown has held a number of board positions and is an experienced company director in both executive and non executive capacities. He has a strong track record of closing successful commercial transactions and brings a well rounded set of skills to the management of the Company's activities.
Dermott Costello, WA Regional Advisor
Clean Energy Council
The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for the clean energy industry in Australia. They represent and work with over 800 leading businesses operating in the Australian Renewable Energy and Storage industry, along with more than 6000 accredited rooftop and ground mounted solar installers.
The Clean Energy Council is committed to accelerating the transformation of Australia’s energy system to one that is smarter and cleaner.
They provide a variety of services to our members, but the primary role is to develop and advocate effective policy to accelerate the development and deployment of all clean energy technologies.
As Western Australian Advisor for the CEC, over the past 5years, Dermot represents the organisation in Perth and across the state focused on policy development that enables the emergence of renewable energy.
Previous to working with the CEC, Dermot was CEO of the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA)
Dermot, a mechanical engineer, has had an extensive career in the Renewable Energy industry with 15+ years’ experience across 5 continents
He has held director, advisory, commercial and technical roles with companies and projects in wind, solar, storage, energy-from-waste and bioenergy throughout these regions.
Emilie Mortensen, Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Standards Australia
Emilie is the Stakeholder Engagement Manager for the mining sector at Standards Australia. In this role, she is responsible for engaging and managing relations with government, regulators, industry groups and other key stakeholders to support the development of relevant Australian Standards within the mining sector. She holds a Master of Science degree in Economic and Business Administration. Her professional background is focused on consultancy and international relations. She has previously worked for The Danish Foreign Ministry and The United Kingdom Government Department for International Trade. Emilie has over a decade of experience with Interacting with a diverse and broad level of stakeholders in a range of international business and political areas.
Her extensive international background – as an Australian and Danish citizen who has lived in five countries – has given her a wide perspective, understanding and skillset when it comes to different stakeholders, projects, cultures and sectors.
Brett Cunningham, Managing Director,
Mining Leaders Group
Brett Cunningham is the Managing Director and founder of the Mining Leaders Group. Brett works with a range of executive teams and high potential leaders in mining companies, METS and industry bodies in Australia, South America, Asia and Africa focused on driving individual, team and organisational performance. He was formerly the General Manager of the Technology and Knowledge Transfer Groups at JKTech responsible for the transfer of leading edge research into practical applications of technology and knowledge onto mine sites around the world. Brett believes passionately about integrating people and technology to solve complex mining challenges.
Prior to Joining JKTech, he was the Deputy Director – Operations at the Sustainable Minerals Institute. Brett has delivered MBA and executive programs to FTSE and FORTUNE 500 companies, developing participants from over 130 countries across all sectors including the minerals industry. Formerly from the London Business School and Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) based in Hong Kong, he is experienced in working with governments and companies from both emerging and developed markets.
Brett’s education includes a BA from Griffith University and an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.
Melinda Hodkiewicz, BHP Billiton Fellow for Engineering for Remote Operations, University of Western Australia
Professor Melinda Hodkiewicz has impressive experience in both industry and academia. Completing a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Metallurgy and Science of Materials at Oxford University in the 1980s, Professor Hodkiewicz began her career in the mining sector.
After working in operations and maintenance roles in both the US and Australia, Professor Hodkiewicz joined UWA in 2005 after completing her PhD, but has kept close ties to her industry contacts.
Professor Hodkiewicz was Australia’s nominated representative on the ISO 55000 Asset Management System Standard committee between 2010 and 2014. In 2016, she was awarded the MESA Medal, a lifetime award for services to the Asset Management community.
In 2015, Professor Hodkiewicz became the BHP Billiton Fellow for Engineering for Remote Operations at UWA. In 2016, she was appointed to the METS Ignited Advisory Council, and the following year she joined the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority Advisory Board. In 2018, Professor Hodkiewicz was awarded a Visiting Fellowship at the Alan Turing Institute in London with the Data Centric Engineering group to work on the ‘Siri for Maintenance’ project.
Her other research projects include ‘Maintainer of the Future’, ‘Prognostics validation’ and various MEMs-IOT and startups supporting student-led projects through the UWA System Health Lab. Professor Hodkiewicz is known for teaching award-winning Open and In-company programs in Asset Management for Government and Industry.
Steve is currently an Associate Director in KPMG’s Management Consulting service line. He specialises in consulting to the energy and natural resource sectors. Prior to KPMG Steve spent 20 years in the Oil and Gas industry in Australia , North America and Asia. He has over 30 years’ experience in multiple business functions including more than 20 years extensive experience in Project Management with business process improvement, system implementations, data management and supply chain improvement initiatives.
Over many years of managing numerous major business and IT transformation projects across a wide range of industry sectors he has developed a passion for understanding why data quality impacts so many projects and business outcomes. The accelerating trend to digital transformation, automation and Artificial Intelligence places a greater emphasis on data integrity. Steve brings a wealth of practical experience in managing data issues and the impact on the bottom line.
He is a Certified Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) and holds a Diploma in Supply Chain Management. He is also a member of the Supply Chain Management Association, the Project Management Institute and a registered Prince2 practitioner.
General Manager, TiMining SPA
Has spent the last 5 years leading the development of solutions around Industry 4.0 (Augmented Reality, Big Data, Analytics)
Has been around consulting, innovation and mining for over 13 years, involved in over 20 technology R&D projects for mining, logistics and construction.
The Global Mining Guidelines Group
Helius’ career began in a start-up driving digital transformation. After graduating as a geologist, he implemented technologies for a state government in Brazil. In 1994 joined De Beers to lead technology in South America and in 2001 moved to Johannesburg to lead global programmes. He joined Rio Tinto in London in 2007 to lead information technology and data management for mineral exploration. In 2015 moved to Singapore and developed digital strategies through the translation of business objectives into innovative solutions. He is now based in Perth leading digital transformation at Alcoa mining operations. Helius was GMG chair before handing it over to Michelle Ash.
Business Development Director,
Greg Slack has been an Executive Director of Allied Pumps for over 20 years focusing on top tier mining clients both within Australia and globally. Experienced across all areas of pumping, treatment and storage, Greg has the unique ability to develop creative solutions for his clients that increases their competitiveness and the reliability of their operations.
Understanding the unique conditions facing the mining industry, Greg has worked with companies such as BHP, FMG & Rio Tinto to co-create and deliver key project process infrastructure including complete bore fields, package bore pump and headworks systems as well as renewable energy and remote monitoring solutions providing clients with total control over their operations.
Adrian Griffin has spent 45-plus years experience in the mining industry, both in Australia and overseas. His expertise includes resource evaluation and processing technology. Managing Director of Perth-based Lithium Australia, Adrian is positioning the company as a vertically integrated entity for the ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals. As such, Lithium Australia's activities comprise: lithium exploration and production; research into and the development of disruptive lithium-processing technology; the manufacture of advanced components for lithium-ion batteries; improvements to battery recycling technology, and the provision of tailored products for the Australian energy-storage sector. With respect to the latter, Lithium Australia has joined forces with DLG Battery Co. (China) to form a joint marketing division, Soluna Australia. From a new, Australian-based facility, Soluna Australia will supply and service a range of energy-storage products – in particular, lithium-ion-phosphate (LFP) batteries – with a focus on bespoke specifications for large-scale energy storage systems (including microgrids).
Don YATES head up the broad COLUMBUS Group R&D entity where his contribution has been awarded the 2014 Australian Mining Prospect Award for Innovative Solutions, backed that up in 2015 with another Australian Mining Prospect Award for Mineral Processing of the Year, and yet another Australian Mining Prospect Award in 2017 for Environmental Excellence for carob pod conversion into renewable methanol fuels.
In 2017 he further won the Zenith Process and Control Engineering Award for Mineral Processing, 'Mine the best, and leave the rest' with minimal mining waste, that now extends to autonomous mining technologies and greater efficiency in SAG Mill operations.
Paul has over 29 years of experience in the Resource sector in process control, engineering & technology, and innovation space. Paul is a former VP of Technology & Innovation for large multi-national gold mining company. Former Founder & CEO of Mine Vision Systems, a 3D spatial technology company. Paul is currently a Director at Unearthed Solutions, former director of mining’s leading innovation supplier and a former Director of METSignited – one of the Australia Federal Government’s innovation growth centres
Dr Anita Parbhakar-Fox
Senior Research Fellow, Mine Lifecycles , Sustainable Minerals Institute
University of Queensland
Anita completed her PhD in Environmental Geochemistry at CODES and is currently a Senior Research Fellow in Geometallurgy and Applied Geochemistry at the BRC. Working with the mining industry and state governments, Anita is focussed on mine waste characterisation in order to improve mine planning and waste management practices. She has developed new tests and protocols in this area, particularly for acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) prediction. Anita is also involved in identifying remediation options for abandoned/ historical mine sites. Most recently, she has been characterising a range of mine waste materials to re-evaluate their economic potential. Anita is an assistant editor of Minerals Engineering and a member of the Victorian Government Technical Review Board for mine rehabilitation. Anita has previously been a lecturer at the University of Tasmania, where she has supervised a number of honours and PhD students in the area of geoenvironmental characterisation.
Shaun has senior experience in government and the private sector.
Prior to joining AlphaBeta, Shaun worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in their London office advising FTSE 50 clients on corporate strategy and operational transformation. He has also worked as a senior government advisor at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the UK and as an advisor to the Presidents of Rwanda and Liberia as part of the Office of Tony Blair.
Shaun holds a Master of Science (Social Policy) from Oxford University where he was a Commonwealth Scholar, and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of New South Wales.
Program Director, Restoration and ex-situ Conservation
Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI)
Dr Guy Boggs is Program Director for Restoration at the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute and CEO Designate for the proposed Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies.
Guy is a leader in natural resource management, with over 20 years of experience directing research and engaging with land managers to improve environmental health and enable sustainable industry development across Australia and internationally. He is passionate about the nexus of research and decision making, and the drive for new approaches to innovation development that can deliver novel solutions to complex problems.
In his current role, Guy is working with the mining industry and leading research providers to build certainty in mine closure, optimise value across the mine life cycle and enable the delivery of valued post mine landscapes.
Pamela is an Associate Director with Sandpit Innovation and has over 20 years’ experience working in executive and senior management roles in mining, the oil and gas and telecommunications sectors. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Western Australia and Master’s Degree in Exploration Geosciences from the University of Tasmania. In recent years, Pamela has established a reputation for leading significant organisational change and building relationships with key stakeholders and securing buy-in for substantive innovations.
Sarah is the founder and Managing Director of ImpRes and founder and Director of Sandpit Innovation. Sarah started her own consulting firm in early 2010, and now has a diverse team working throughout Australia and internationally. The ImpRes team specialises in driving operational improvements across multiple sectors, while Sandpit Innovation is a leader in developing technology and innovation strategy for the resources sector, while also developing leading edge technology and innovation solutions.
Matt Schneider is Founder and CEO Optika Solutions. He has worked in a number of different areas from mining, energy to finance. Matt has been recognised internationally as a thought leader in the industrial AI space and how organisation can harness this power to create value. In 2016, Optika Solutions won the Big Data and Innovation of the year award for its ground breaking product Akumen.
Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA)
Before joining the Minerals Research Institute in November 2018, Nicole spent the last 15 years at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia coordinating industry input on a variety of government regulatory and policy issues and facilitating collaboration within the resources sector. Having had responsibility for the policy portfolios economics and tax; infrastructure; environment; land access; exploration; people strategies; workplace health and safety and training enabled Nicole to develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges being faced by the mining sector. Nicole has completed a Masters of Science in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from UWA and a Masters in Risk Management from UNSW.
Steven leads the Energy and Resources Consulting team for Deloitte with a particular focus on the design and implementation of innovative technology into operations.
From automation to analytics to digitisation, Steven has worked across the mining value chain on some of the most interesting and advanced applications of technology.
Steven has experienced the highs and lows of taking world-leading technology projects from initial executive level strategy and approval through technical challenges to full implementation and change management.
Adrian is a global executive with a broad range of industry experience spanning over 20 years. Prior to his current position, Adrian was with ABB as the APAC regional leader for Enterprise Software. Adrian joined ABB to lead the IT/OT integration strategy for mining, including responsibility for both product management and solution strategy of the Intelligent Mining Solution portfolio, and Ellipse Enterprise Asset Management product lines - post ABB’s acquisition of Mincom. Previously Adrian was with General Electric, where as a founding member of GE Mining as the regional executive for Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
Adrian’s background is in the supply, installation and commissioning of large electrical drive systems for grinding mill circuits and crushing plants, as well as working in material management technology and in the production and trading of mining chemical reagents. He has practical experience in project delivery, product technology strategy, managing small-scale operations and executive leadership responsibilities across global business units within the world’s largest industrial technology corporations.
With extensive experience in the supply of industrial technology solutions, Adrian is passionate about collaborative transformation, business efficiency, maximizing the performance and effectiveness of operations for the benefit of all stakeholders. Adrian has completed a Master of Business Administration from the University of New England (Australia), is a Fellow of the Institute of Management, and a member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration.
General Manager Operations and Development
Nils Steward is an internationally recognised expert in the field of backfilling and tailings handling solutions.
Educated in South Africa, Nils attended the University of Cape Town where he graduated with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Materials Science focusing on the wear in backfill pipelines. From there he went to work on mines sites for a number of international companies, including Anglo American, specialising in underground support and backfill systems design and operation.
Nils set up his own consulting business in 2000 designing backfill systems and underground support products and continued to provide specialist advice to multi-national entities.
During this period, Nils was also involved in the development of cementitious based structural products to replace timber packs, shotcrete and concrete manufactured from metallurgical tailings primarily for AngloGold Ashanti and Goldfields.
Moving to Australia in 2008, and while a Principal Consultant at Golder Associates, Nils developed the 200 MPa “drill and fill” tailings backfill product together with the manufacturing and delivery systems for it 3000 m underground. He also developed patents for post pipeline start-up procedures and pipeline pressure protection.
After developing a number of backfill systems, high solids concentration tailings disposal pipeline systems and fly ash disposal systems with Golder Associates, Nils and his team moved to Weir Minerals where and opened the Weir Technical Centre (WTC). With a customer base that includes Newcrest, Rio Tinto, Sandfire Resources and AngloGold Ashanti, the WTC specialises in developing process, tailings, and pipelines solutions to meet mining and minerals industry requirements.
General Manager, Remote Systems Technology
Sam focuses on increasing operational efficiency through automation and remote operations. The last decade on the business of operating Robotics under the sea, he now applies this expertise to remote operations in all domains, including off-Earth and on the moon. Sam has spent the majority of his career in the Oil and Gas industry, including operating underwater systems in remote and harsh environments around the world.
Now leading Fugro’ Remote Systems Technology division within APAC region, Sam is championing strategy around open innovation and collaboration to maximize operational performance and financial results. Building out an array of technology and capability in Remote Operations has led to an exciting transformation within Fugro. Overcoming the challenge of controlling robotics at sea and up to 4000m underwater has benefits beyond mining and energy and has surprising parallels to that of operating robotics off-Earth, the moon and even mars. Sam is an advisor to Space Industries, a space mining business focusing on the responsible extraction of resources from the lunar surface.
Ben Talbot is a Director in KPMG’s Mining Advisory practice. Ben focuses on operational improvement, and particularly opportunities to harness the power of digital to improve decision-making around productivity. Typical projects have a strong mathematics basis, a digital interface, and people and process elements. Ben strives to bring the user perspective to this work – how can we get a better result through making peoples’ work easier?
Prior to his current role, Ben led similar work for Momentum Partners, a mining-focussed boutique consultancy. This role included deep on-site experience, and a wide variety of people, process and technology improvement work.
Previously, Ben worked at Bain & Company London, and prior to that as a Medical Doctor in both Australia and the UK.