Specialists

Mining3 provides a single entry point to access top researchers, engineers and industry experts in the mining industry. Resources and capabilities are sourced through our research partners which include CSIRO, Curtin University, QUT and The University of Queensland.

Susan Grandone

Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director Mining3 Canada

Susan was appointed as the COO of Mining3 in August 2018 and the Managing Director, Mining3 Canada in January 2018.

Susan is responsible for leading Mining3 Canada’s activities, and deepening existing and developing new collaborative partnerships with industry, academia, and research organisations in the North American region.

Skills and experience:

Susan joined Mining3 as a Program Director in 2015. Over the past 15 years, Susan has gained significant hands-on operations experience at Freeport-McMoRan, Barrick, Rio Tinto and other global mining companies. She has more than 20+ years of experience leading multi-cultural teams, conducting scientific research, and delivering mega-capital projects and complex scientific studies in mining, industrial, and manufacturing sectors.

Previously Susan worked with CRCMining in 2003 as a Work Area Leader. In this role, she led research projects which investigated  ODC hard rock cutting technology, monitoring while drilling/rock recognition technologies, and optimisation of dig, load and haul practices.

With a professional career focused on the mining industry, Susan brings experience in research, project management, inventing and patenting technology and commercialisation.

Qualifications:

MBA 4.0 GPA – University of Phoenix, 2010
Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (Caterpillar), 2002
Project Management (Ernst and Young), 1998
BS – Geology 3.7 GPA – Illinois State University, 1990

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Susan Grandone

Dr Erik Isokangas

Program Director

Erik Isokangas is a specialist in mining process analysis, design, and the implementation of new technologies for current and future mining systems.

Skills and experience:

Erik is a Program Director at Mining3. He leads research in mine process modelling and simulation, integrated mine process design and implementation, and the development of technologies for future mining systems.

Erik previously worked for Metso, a global equipment supplier to the mining industry, most recently as the Director of In-pit Solutions supporting mining customers in the design and feasibility of in-pit crushing and conveying systems. Prior to this, he led a consulting team in Finland, focused on process integration and optimisation for mines in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Erik also worked for Thiess, a major mining contractor, managing and developing new technologies to support mining operations, including productivity monitoring systems, modelling and simulation of complex mining operations, benchmarking, laser-scanning systems, and data visualisation.

Qualifications:

Erik holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Doctorate in Mineral Processing from the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) at The University of Queensland.

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Dr Erik Isokangas

Dr Thierry Peynot

Program Director

Thierry Peynot provides leadership and oversight for research associated with the advancement of robotics and autonomous systems in mining. Thierry is also Associate Professor and the Mining3 Chair in Robotics at QUT.

Skills and experience:

Thierry joined Mining3 as Technology Leader in 2016 and is an Associate Professor within the Science and Engineering Faculty at QUT, where he has worked since 2014, first as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer. Prior to that, he was a Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, The University of Sydney.

Thierry is a robotics researcher with extensive experience in field robotics, multi-modal sensor fusion and resilient perception in challenging environments. Prior to his role at Mining3 he has led several research programs funded by both industry (in particular aerospace and defence, such as BAE Systems) and research organisations, developing and patenting robust, multi-sensor navigation technology that can function despite adverse environmental conditions.

He has also worked on space robotics projects at LAAS-CNRS in France and at NASA Ames Research Centre in California.

His current research interests focus on mobile robotics and autonomous systems in challenging environments such as mining, and include in particular: resilient perception, multimodal sensing, sensor data fusion, robotic vision, mapping and localisation, and terrain traversability estimation for unmanned ground vehicles.

Qualifications:

Thierry holds an Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and Automation, and a Masters degree in Automatic Systems which he undertook at the National Polytechnic Institute Toulouse, France (INPT). He received his PhD in Robotics from the University of Toulouse, France, where he was also an Associate Lecturer.

 

Dr Ewan Sellers

Research Leader

Ewan Sellers is a specialist in rock mechanics with broad experience in numerical modelling, instrumentation, seismology and blasting.

Skills and experience:

Ewan is a Research Leader at Mining3 as well as having an overarching role as the Research Director within the Mineral Resources division at CSIRO. 

He has worked in the mining industry for over 25 years focusing on hard rock mining.  His most recent role was as a Manager – Mine Process Solutions with JKTech in Brisbane. Ewan has led a similar research group in South Africa and worked as a consultant involved with improvements across the value chain in several mining companies.  

Qualifications:

PhD in Geomechanics from the University of Cape Town.

LinkedIn profile:

Dr Ewan Sellers

Stuart Addinell

Work Area Leader - Sensing - GET and Equipment

Stuart Addinell is a Principal Research Engineer and Project Leader specialising in mine automation, optimisation and process control.

Skills and experience:

With over 20 years experience in surface and underground mining research, Stuart brings a wealth of knowledge coupled with a sustained history of delivering world-class technologies and project leadership to Mining3 and its partners. He is credited with delivering several high impact technologies to the mining industry and continues to lead engineering teams in new technology development for mine sensing, automation, communications and process control.

During his career, Stuart has led several international research projects spanning numerous continents, languages and mining disciplines and has extensive experience working closely with collaborative partners from mining companies, METS and local governments. He is currently the principal researcher in the new $165 million MinEx CRC, developing new mineral exploration technologies.

Qualifications:

Stuart is currently working towards his doctorate from Curtin University in Percussive Drilling in Hard Rock Environments

 

Prof Gideon Chitombo

Technology Leader - Cave Mining

Gideon Chitombo is a Mining3 Technology Leader specialising in Cave Mining.

Gideon’s research is focused on mass underground metalliferous mining specifically using cave mining options, which are block or macroblock, panel, inclined and sublevel caving through applied international industry-funded projects. He has been involved in a number of renowned caving mining operations for extended periods including in Australia, South Africa and Chile.

Gideon was appointed as an international advisory board member (Chairman) of a European Initiative (I2Mine) designed to focus on the technological challenges the European mining industry is currently and likely to face in the future including the exploitation of ever deeper deposits and the aspiration for an invisible, safe, zero impact mine. The project was being carried out by a consortium of 26 organisations from 10 European countries.

He was a 2012 recipient of a prestigious Australian’s Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) Clunies Ross Award.

Gideon is currently working with the mining industry, including supervision of company part-time PhD and MSc postgraduates to develop new knowledge and methodologies needed to effectively and safely apply cave mining methods at depths approaching 2000m or greater. The project designated as Cave Mining 2040 is a series of four-year, milestone-driven industry collaboration and knowledge transfer, producing a paradigm shift in the application of cave-mining methods to increasingly deeper deposits. With study areas beginning their work in February 2019, Gideon operates as Research Director, monitoring project scope and research quality.

Qualifications:

  • PhD, The University of Queensland
  • MSc, Colorado School of Mines
  • BSc, University of Alabama

LinkedIn:

Gideon Chitombo

Isaac Dzakpata

Work Area Leader - Mechanical Cutting and Mine Planning

Isaac Dzakpata is a Work Area Leader – Mechanical Cutting and Mine Planning at Mining3 with exposure to both open pit and underground operations.

Skills and experience:

Isaac has over 14 years experience in open pit and underground mining across three major continents. He has extensive knowledge in mine design and scheduling, capital and operating cost budgeting, mine operational optimisation, and improvement implementation. Isaac has expert knowledge of mining equipment application with a recent focus on continuous mining systems and high capacity hard rock cutting in both surface and underground environments.

Qualifications: 

Isaac is currently completing his doctorate at The University of Queensland, titled “Determining the Impact of Mine Design Parameters on the Effective Utilisation of Fully Mobile In-Pit Crushing and Conveying Systems.”

LinkedIn profile:

Isaac Dzakpata

Karsten Hoehn

Technology Leader - Mine Sensing

Karsten Hoehn has a research background in physics and engineering.

Skills and experience:

Karsten has effectively led research activities to deliver high-value research outcomes for the metalliferous industry. His performance is evident in a number of important sensor-related research projects, which he led and where he achieved significant industrial impact, including projects for Rio Tinto, FMG, the DET CRC, Gold Fields and LKAB Wassara.

Karsten has extended the capability of the Mining Systems group through his research of fibre optic sensing for mining applications. He has originated new concepts for example on how to utilize optical fibres for strain sensing and developed designs for monitoring roof stability in underground mines using fibre optic sensors integrated in roof bolts. Other examples of novel fibre optic sensing capabilities he researched and developed include 3D shape characterisation and micro-seismic event detection.

Prof Anna Littleboy

Technology Leader - Sustainability through Technology

Anna Littleboy is a Technology Leader at Mining3 and a Research Director at the University of Queensland Sustainable Minerals Institute.

Skills and experience:

Anna specialises in sustainability to deliver a future for the minerals sector that uses less energy and water, produces fewer wastes and delivers shared value to communities.

Anna has worked on influential initiatives where science informs policy for a globally connected world. She is experienced at working directly with industry, State and Federal Governments and International Institutions to deliver game-changing technology and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate environmental impact from the resources sector and develop trusting relationships between mining operations and their communities. Anna also established CSIRO Futures: a strategic foresight arm of CSIRO that now provides long-term trend analysis and scenarios to industry and Governments.

Anna has worked with various industry organisations from the resources sector (including Newmont, XStrata, Anglo American, Rio Tinto Iron Ore and BHP) and the Mining Equipment and Services Sector (for example Northern Project Consulting, Gekko Systems, Virtual Curtain Limited, Futureye, Reflexivity).

Previously Anna led the Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisations $17 million/year Resources and Sustainability programme, integrating more than 80 multidisciplinary staff including technologists with environmental and social scientists.

Qualifications:

Anna is a Fellow of the Minerals Institute, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Global Agenda Council on Responsible Minerals Development. She currently sits on the advisory board for a Federal Government growth initiative for the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector. She is a recipient of a CSIRO medal and a Strategic Award for Business Excellence and has authored several book chapters and articles in the field of global sustainability and mineral futures – including Our Future World, one of the most download CSIRO reports of all time.

LinkedIn profile:

Anna Littleboy

Prof Michael Milford

Technology Leader - Automation

Michael Milford is a Technology Leader heading up Mining3’s Automation program.

Skills and experience:

Michael is a leading robotics researcher conducting interdisciplinary research between robotics, neuroscience and computer vision. His focus is developing new technologies in automation and robotics, with an emphasis on challenging environments, where current techniques fail such as all-weather, underground, anytime positioning for autonomous vehicles.

Michael holds the position of Professor at QUT, as well as Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow, and Chief Investigator at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision.

Qualifications:

BE Mechanical and Space Engineering, PhD in Robotics both attained at The University of Queensland; Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice, QUT

LinkedIn profile:

Dr Michael Milford

Prof Rachel Parker

Technology Leader - Business Systems

Rachel Parker leads a team of researchers who work with Mining3 members to identify the mechanisms needed to support the realisation of the market value from new technologies using business and social science techniques.

Rachel’s team utilises evidence-based research to analyse business culture and industry-level dynamics to better understand the factors impeding and supporting technology innovation in a business or across the mining industry. The team co-develop, with industry, the management, business and workforce solutions which will support technology transformation in the mining sector.

Skills and experience:

Rachel is the Director of the Centre for Mining Equipment Technology and Services Business Innovation (CMBI) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She also leads the Transforming Innovation Systems research platform for QUT’s Institute for Future Environments.

Rachel has developed a multi-disciplinary program of research on industrial innovation which focuses on the business and social-system processes which affect technology uptake and diffusion, predominantly in engineering-based industries. Her research seeks to better understand the drivers and bottlenecks to the creation of industrial opportunities and market value around new technologies. She leads a team of researchers with expertise in managing human behaviour, business strategy and social systems to support technology-based industrial transformation. The CMBI team has experience working with firms across a range of industry sectors including mining, METS, construction, agri-business and manufacturing.

Rachel’s research has important public policy implications and she has worked closely with government and industry associations to influence policy discussions around the development of technology-intensive economic activities in Australia. In July 2015 Rachel appeared as an expert witness before the Senate Economic References Committee inquiry into Australia’s innovation system.

Rachel has led a major program of research on industrial innovation as Chief Investigator on over $8million of both competitive and commercial grants.

Rachel provided QUT leadership of the successful 2015 bid to host the METS Industry Growth Centre at QUT, partnering with Mining3 (formally CRCMining), CRCOre, CSIRO, Queensland Chief Scientist, Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Trade & Investment Queensland.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • PhD in Industrial Innovation
  • Graduate Certification in Education (Higher Education).

Served as Assistant Dean Research, QUT Business School; and Dean Research Development in the Division of Research and Commercialisation at QUT.

LinkedIn profile:

Prof Rachel Parker

Dr Ruslan Puscasu

Technology Leader - Rock Mass Analytics

Dr Ruslan Pascasu is the Mining3 Technology Leader for Rock Mass Engineering, focussing on mining and allied technology for safe, efficient, eco-friendly and economic mineral extraction.

Skills and experience:

Ruslan’s research interests span a diverse and multi-disciplinary range of topics including – but not limited to – fundamental physics, applied engineering and business. Much of his work has been focused on improving the understanding, design and performance of mining operations mainly through the application of sound geomechanics and geotechnical principles, integrating sensing technologies, data science, and economic evaluation.

With his broad R&D experience and exposure across several industries, Ruslan is adept at delivering strategic, technology-driven transformations across the various facets of mining. He has developed projects for major global mining operators and METS, particularly in underground mass mining/cave mining environments. Ruslan continues to deliver value through establishing and mentoring teams of technologists, building strong relationships, and identifying and responding to ambiguity, risk and uncertainty in complex systems.

Ruslan aims to find innovative ways to deliver minerals faster, smarter and at a reduced cost, while demonstrating how rock masses can be broken, controlled and tracked more intelligently through the connection of extraction technologies, automated systems and data analysis.

Qualifications:

  • PhD in Physics from the Swinburne University of Technology
  • Graduate Diploma in Economics from the International Institute of Management

Ruslan serves as a reviewer of prestigious journals and Chairs the IEEE Computer Society Queensland. He is a member of AusIMM and senior member of IEEE.

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Dr Ruslan Pascasu:

Prof Ernesto Villaescusa

Technology Leader - Deep Mining

Prof Ernesto Villaescusa has over 25 years of applied research experience and has worked with many mining companies to develop guidelines for effective underground mining leading to a safe and economical extraction of ore.

Skills and experience:

Through Mining3 Ernesto is undertaking research in deep excavation stability.

He has carried high level geological, mining and geotechnical reviews from a range of companies from medium scale (Penoles, Autlan in Mexico, Hochschild in Peru and Vedanta in Australia) to large corporations such as MIM Holdings, WMC Resources, Codelco Chile and BHP Billiton.

In addition, Ernesto has lead collaborative research efforts to identify, solve and successfully implement global solutions across entire organisations. Technology transfer from research outcomes and underground experiments has been a major focus. He ensures strong collaboration between mining partners and research funding providers to ensure projects remain relevant and valuable to the industry.

In 2004 he was appointed an industry Chair in Mining Rock Mechanics at WASM. The Chair is currently sponsored by Barrick, Goldfields, Barminco, Newcrest and Curtin University.

Qualifications:

Bachelor of Engineering (U.de Sonora), Masters of Science (Colorado School of Mines) and PhD from the University of Queensland.

Dr Paul Wilson

Work Area Leader - Data Acoustic Systems

Paul is an electrical and control systems engineer with 50 years of experience across a wide range of industries

Skills and experience:

Paul has led design teams in industrial software development and process control systems in plants as diverse as ammonia, water and sewerage, steel, foodstuffs, and for ten years in mining, mineral processing plants and bulk materials handling.

Paul’s primary focus at Mining3 is the fibre optic distributed sensing technology. He is the lead researcher behind the highly successful acoustic sensing for conveyor belt monitoring project currently undergoing trials on several mine sites.  Paul has been responsible for establishing a Mining3 patent covering the data processing and automated pattern recognition.

Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Dynamic Systems Modelling and a PhD researching machine learning for data analysis.  Paul has served for 18 years as a senior lecturer in instrumentation and control at the Queensland Unversity of Technology, Brisbane.

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Dr Paul Wilson