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.
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 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.