Richard Hillis is CEO of the Deep Exploration Technologies CRC. He graduated BSc (Hons) from Imperial College (London) and PhD from the University of Edinburgh. Richard was previously Mawson Professor of Geology and Head of the Australian School of Petroleum at the University of Adelaide. He has published ~200 research papers and has been involved in establishing and selling/listing several technology and resources companies. Richard is currently a director of AuScope, an NCRIS company, and of the CRC Association. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).
Professor James Macnae
James Macnae grew up in South Africa, where he graduated with Bachelors Degrees in Physics and Mathematics, with Honours in Geophysics. After 3 years as a field Geophysicist with Geoterrex, he moved to Canada and completed Masters and PhD degrees under the supervision of Gordon West. With Yves Lamontagne, his research on ground EM (the UTEM system) led to an award by the SEG of "Best Paper in Geophysics,1984" with Gordon West. Since then Macnae has received two further best paper awards from the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
Macnae is the author or co-author of many other publications on EM. These include the theoretical “Physics of EM” paper with Gordon West and “Time Domain EM systems” with Misac Nabighian in the SEG volumes on Electromagnetics. Other papers are on ground, borehole and airborne EM acquisition, modelling and interpretation. Macnae has authored patents on Low Temperature Squid sensors and non-contacting ground and airborne electrodes.
After 15 years in Canada, Macnae moved to Australia and was part of the small team awarded the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Mineral Exploration technologies. Since then, Macnae has completed numerous research projects, including 7 collaborative project through AMIRA. Program EMFlow developed by Macnae in the 1990’s in the centre was the first commercial software for the automatic transform of AEM data to stitched 1D conductivity-depth sections. The software remains in extensive use today. Since then he has been Professor of Geophysics at RMIT University, where he has worked on AEM software and developed fast approximations for AEM data processing in relation to 3D target interpretation and the extraction of Airborne Induced Polarization and Superparamagnetic effects. In 2015, Macnae was a Minerals and Energy finalist in the Australian Innovation Challenge for his work on the ARMIT EM sensor design. He continues to develop sensors for electromagnetic exploration, including low-frequency IP sensors, borehole, ground and airborne sensors, as well as novel GPR antennas for physical property mapping.
Macnae is a Gold Medallist of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
Dr Richard Flook
Dr Richard Flook has worked for both suppliers and consumers of minerals with global companies including, Steetley plc, Anglo American, Commercial Minerals (now Sibelco), Normandy Mining Ltd, Omya AG and Shinagawa Refractories.
Richard has been CEO, Managing Director & Director of Asian and Australasian companies. He has specialized in new business opportunities including strategic planning, trading, market development and acquisitions in the industrial minerals industry and has been involved in managing and developing mineral operations and businesses in Asia and Australasia.
Richard is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (FAusIMM (CP)), the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD) and the Australian Institute of Energy (FAIE). Richard is a graduate of Sydney University (BSc First Class Honours, PhD) and the University of NSW (Master of Commerce).
Since 2014, Richard has been the Managing Principal of Mosman Resources, a private consulting business, specialising in the production and marketing of industrial minerals and chemicals.
Stephen was appointed Group executive, Growth & Innovation in June 2016.
A New Zealander, Stephen has 30 years of service with the Rio Tinto group of companies. He has deep experience across a wide range of commodities and geographies, having worked on projects in more than 45 countries spanning the A-Z of minerals and metals during his career.
Stephen leads a global team that has accountability for finding, evaluating, developing and optimising Rio Tinto's assets so they can safely, efficiently and responsibly produce materials that are essential to human progress.
Growth & Innovation's remit extends across the entire asset lifecycle from exploration, to project evaluation and major capital project construction through to when we close a mine or processing facility.
Growth & Innovation also leads the company's mine to market productivity programme, provides technical services to operations, manages strategic technical risk and oversees Rio Tinto's IT infrastructure, innovation and automation platforms. The team has a strong track record of pioneering in automation, data analytics, operational systems and processing technologies in the resources industry.
Stephen holds an MSc in Geology from Auckland University and completed Physics units to MSc level at the same time, before spending much of his early career as a geophysicist. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geology, a Member of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Kevin is the Director Strategic Advice and Resource Assessment with the Geological Survey of NSW. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) from The University of Newcastle and returned later to complete a PhD on structural controls on gold mineralisation in the Western Australian Goldfields. He then took up an opportunity to work as a research associate, in the Earth and Ocean Science group at the University of Newcastle, studying sedimentation on the eastern Australian continental margin. One highlight of this research was the development of a new geological model to supply deep-water sands with applications in petroleum exploration and marine geology.
Kevin has been with the Geological Survey of NSW for ten years. He now leads a team that provides advice on resources to government, industry and the public, acquires coal and petroleum pre-competitive data and manages data resource and exploration data. Coal resource assessment and coal geology however, were until recently, the major focus of his work with the Geological Survey.
Dr Richard Blewett
Dr Richard Blewett, an Aussie by birth, left for Africa and the UK in the 1970s to study and work. He graduated 1st class Hons in Geology from Swansea University (Wales) in 1985. Following a year in industry in South Africa, he completed a PhD in structural geology from Leicester University in the UK (1989). During this time he worked in the French Alps, Canadian Appalachians, British Caledonides and Nepalese Himalaya.
He returned to Australia in 1990 to join Geoscience Australia, where he is now the Branch Head of Mineral Systems. Dr Blewett was the Chief Editor of 'Shaping a Nation: A geology of Australia', published in 2012 to celebrate Australia as host nation of the 34th International Geological Congress. He is interested in the management of science and research and has an MBA from Deakin University (2001).
Dr John McGaughey
John is CEO/CTO of Mira Geoscience, where he directs the company’s technology strategy and leads its geotechnical business. Prior to founding Mira Geoscience in 1999, he spent 10 years at the Noranda Technology Centre in Montreal as a Senior Scientist in their rock mechanics group. He obtained his PhD in geological engineering at Queen’s University in Canada.
John has spent his career working in multi-disciplinary modelling and interpretation for mineral exploration and geotechnical applications. He is a pioneer in the application of geophysics to rock mechanics challenges in underground mining. He has worked extensively in quantitative, integrated interpretation of geological and geophysical data in 3D earth modelling; in analysis of rock physical properties; in 4D geotechnical hazard assessment; and in data management and machine learning. He has been a leader in adapting technology advancements from the oil and gas to the minerals industry. He is currently co-leader of the Data Integration module of one of Canada’s largest-ever mineral exploration R&D initiatives, “Integrated Multi-Parameter Footprints of Ore Systems: The Next Generation of Ore Deposit Models,” and is technical co-chair of the decennial Exploration 17 conference in Toronto, October, 2017.
Dr Ryan Noble
Dr Ryan Noble is a Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO. He has a BSc and MSc in Soil Science from the University of Tennessee and a PhD in Applied Geology from Curtin University. Following his PhD, Ryan joined CSIRO 12 years ago and has mainly worked on numerous regolith and groundwater geochemistry projects related to gold, base metal, Ni and U mineral exploration. In addition, Ryan has diverse research interests and has published research on gold nanoparticles, fluid changes related to CO2 injection for geosequestration, soil microbial community analysis for monitoring soil health, Russian soil genesis and classification, soil gases, natural biofumigants for agriculture and human health implication of soil arsenic. Currently, Ryan leads two major projects improving near surface geochemistry for exploration through cover in Western Australia and South Australia. These projects emphasise the use of ultrafine soils fractions and the integration of other data types. Ryan is the President and a Fellow of the Association of Applied Geochemists (AAG) and serves on the Board of Earth Science Western Australia.
Katarina David is a registered professional hydrogeologist having worked for over 20 years in government, industry, consulting and research organisations. After receiving her MSc in Hydrogeology and Groundwater Management from UTS, Sydney, Katarina worked as a Principal Hydrogeologist with several consulting companies where she lead the groundwater teams both in Australia and Croatia. Her work involved roles in mining, major infrastructure, irrigation and water supply projects. Katarina’s research interests include groundwater management and challenging groundwater problems. Specific interests include multidisciplinary projects and in depth studies of the relationship between groundwater and geotechnical engineering.
At a mature age Katarina completed the PhD in groundwater at UNSW, Sydney and is currently working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at UNSW, where she is working on a groundwater project in collaboration with ANSTO and the University of Wollongong.
In her spare time Katarina is involved with volunteering, mentoring and bushwalking. She is also currently the President of the IAH NSW and the Director of the AIG.
Dr Natasha Hendrick
Natasha is a scientist, volunteer, adventurer, mentor and advocate for women in leadership. Following research at the University of Oxford as a recipient of an Australian Rhodes Scholarship, Natasha completed her PhD in geophysics at the University of Queensland. She was awarded the APPEA K.A. Richards Memorial Scholarship for her research in multi-component seismic vector processing, and subsequently received the ASEG Laric Hawkins Award for the most innovative use of geophysical technology presented at the ASEG Conference. Natasha’s professional career has seen her work in a variety of roles in mining, seismic, and oil and gas companies, including research, technical leadership, business development, training, and operational management positions. She is currently Chief Geophysicist for Santos Ltd.
Natasha is also an active volunteer with the Girl Guide Movement. In 2007 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to conduct research on volunteerism in the USA, Canada and the UK. She is currently the Vice Chair of the World Board, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts - leading work on the strategic realignment of the organisation’s membership service offer, and supporting the empowerment of girls and young women around the world.