Board of Directors

The Mining3 Board of Directors sets overall policy, determines the strategic direction and oversees technology transfer and commercialisation activities through quarterly meetings. In consultation with the Research Committee, the Board directs the research focus of Mining3.


Dr Laurie Hammond

Chairman of Mining3

Dr Laurie Hammond became a director and independent Chairperson of Mining3 in December 2007.

Skills and experience

Laurie is an investor in and director of start-up and early-stage technology ventures through inQbator and iQ Capital Management, investment management companies that he co-founded. Previously, he was a research scientist and has been chief executive of several statutory bodies in Australia and New Zealand.

He has served as Chairman of the Commonwealth Government’s Commercialisation Australia Board and as a member of its Innovation Australia Board and Cooperative Research Centres Committee.  He recently contributed to the development of Queensland’s long-term strategy for the resources and METS sectors and is currently a member of the Advance Queensland Expert Panel.


Laurie has current and previous adjunct professorial appointments in the business schools of several Australian universities and holds a PhD from the University of the West Indies, an MBA from the University of Melbourne, and a BSc (Hons) from James Cook University.

Prof Paul Lever

CEO at Mining3

Prof Paul Lever has been the CEO of Mining3 since May 2012 and is the Professor of Mining at the University of Queensland.

Skills and experience

Paul has extensive research experience in the fields of robotic and automated mining systems, smart mining machines and systems and intelligent data analysis techniques. He has worked on projects that include intelligent control algorithms for an automated (robotic) excavator and developing the science of bucket/material interactions to improve the performance of large excavators.

He held several positions at Mining3 prior to becoming CEO that included Research Director, Vice Present for Business Development and Program Leader. Before joining Mining3 in July 2000 he was head of the Mining and Geological Engineering department at the University of Arizona.


Paul obtained a BSc in Mining Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and received his MSc and PhD in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Andrew Ransley

General Manager, Asia Pacific at Caterpillar

Andrew Ransley is the General Manager for Caterpillar and has over 30 years experience in the Mining Industry.

Skills and experience

Andrew’s career includes Senior Maintenance positions at mine sites with Consolidated Goldfields Australia in Tasmania and New South Wales and with Metals Exploration Ltd in Kalgoorlie, WA.

He has experience in manufacturing Mining Equipment at Dale B Elphinstone Pty Ltd as Operation Manager and was also the Group Plant Manager at Thiess Contractors. Since joining Caterpillar in 1995, he has held the positions of General Manager, then Managing Director for Caterpillar Underground Mining in Burnie Tasmania, Product Manager for Large Tractors in Peoria, Illinois and is currently General Manager Asia Pacific in Caterpillar Global Mining.


Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) with Honours from the University of Queensland

Brad Neilson

President at Komatsu Mining

Brad has been a part of the mining industry for over 30 years, with a passion for innovation and driving improvement. For the past 16 years, Brad has held a variety of leadership roles with Joy Global – now Komatsu Mining – and is currently the President of Hard Rock Mining. He has been responsible for the creation and rapid growth of a new business unit within Joy Global via acquisitions, developing and commercialising transformational mining systems and opening new markets. He is leading culture change in Joy Global from a predominately coal-focused business to a provider of innovative solutions across all mined commodities.

Previously, Brad was a partner in the mining technology business Cram Australia for ten years. Brad’s role as an Executive Director and major shareholder in Cram was technology, product and business development.

Graham Ehm

Executive Vice President, Planning and Technical at AngloGold Ashanti

Skills and experience

Graham was appointed General Manager of Sunrise Dam Gold Mine in 2000, Regional Head Australia in 2006 and Executive Vice President Australasia in December 2007. He briefly held the same position in Tanzania from 1 June 2009 to August 2010 before resuming his position as Executive Vice President Australasia.

For the past three decades, Graham has been working in mine operations and project management, covering the nickel, phosphate, copper, uranium and gold sectors.


Bachelor of Science (Hons) and is a member of both the AusIMM and the AICD.

Jane Seawright

Company Secretary and General Counsel at Mining3

Jane Seawright has been providing legal counsel and secretarial services to Mining3 since June 2010.

Skills and experience

Jane is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer, marketing professional, company director and company secretary. She has wide experience across a range of professional services and other sectors.

She has practised in Brisbane at a number of national and local firms and is currently a consultant to Tobin King Lateef.

Jane has also served as independent chair of Fisher Adams Kelly, patent attorneys, a non-executive director of City North Infrastructure Pty Ltd and as chair of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research Trust.


BLLB (Hons), MBus (Marketing), FAICD

Additional representations:

Member, External Engagement Committee
QUT Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Netball Queensland Limited
General Counsel and Company Secretary
Northern Australia Primary Health Limited
Residential Tenancies Authority
Company Secretary
Tobin King Lateef

Prof Michael Bruenig

Head of School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at The University of Queensland

Skills and experience

Michael has experience in R&D in academia, industry, and government agencies and has worked in high tech areas in Europe, the USA, and Australia. He obtained his PhD from RWTH Aachen University in Germany where he worked for the first five years of his career.

Prior to his engagement with UQ, Michael worked with CSIRO where he led the initiative to establish a National Research Flagship on Digital Productivity. As a member of CSIRO’s Executive Management Council, Michael most recently guided this $90M per annum business unit through a merger process with National ICT Australia to form Data61, a new entity with a focus on data innovation in Australia.

Michael was also the Executive Manager of CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies, a large engineering research site in Brisbane. He hosted R&D centres from industry and government agencies before coming to Australia in 2007. Professor Brünig was with the Robert Bosch Corporation R&D in Silicon Valley, California.


MSc and PhD – RWTH Aachen University in Germany

Theresa Mlikota

CFO at AusDrill

Skills and experience

Theresa Mlikota brings a wealth of experience, primarily in the resources and contracting services sector, having previously held senior leadership roles with Woodside, Zinifex and Alinta, and more recently as CFO of Fulton Hogan, Thiess, Macmahon and Barminco.

Theresa also has extensive experience in the financial management of private equity and large listed and unlisted organisations, and her expertise spans a broad range of finance disciplines including financial control, investor relations, treasury, and mergers and acquisitions. She is a member of the Australian Society of CPA’s, and holds a BBus in Accounting and a PGDip in Applied Finance and Investment (FINSIA).


B.Bus. CPA, FINSIA (Grad Dip App Fin & Inv)

Tony Sprague

Group Manager, Mining Technology at Newcrest Mining

Skills and experience

Tony brings a wide variety of experience in surface and underground mining projects gained in both Australian and international mining operations.

He currently leads a team of internal experts, consultants and contractors in a number of mining transformation projects across Newcrest’s global operations. These projects are focused on the use of new technology and innovative thinking to achieve step-change improvements in safety, costs and productivity.


B.Eng (Geological Engineering) – RMIT University
B. App Sci (Applied Geology) – RMIT University