Adelaide Forum Speakers: Abstracts and Bios


Stephen Grano  Executive Director, Institute for Mineral & Energy Resources


Stephen is a stakeholder-focused research leader who enjoys connecting high-level research capability to address critically important global sustainability challenges that have local, operational impact. Particular areas of focus are mineral exploration under deep cover, deep mining, complex processing, unconventional hydrocarbon resources, and aspects of energy technology. Stephen’s main roles, as the Executive Director of the Institute for Mineral & Energy Resources, are to build inter-disciplinary project teams, make strategic investments into capability, and to engage with industry and government stakeholders. Stephen is a Metallurgical Engineer by training with about 30 years of postgraduate experience, and he has worked in the minerals industry for Mount Isa Mines.

Andrew Scott  Principal Innovator, Symbiotic Innovations


Andrew Scott has been involved in the mining innovation arena since the very beginning of his career over 30 years’ ago. Having studied biotechnology and computer science at the University of Queensland, he was drawn to the mining industry as a means of funding his ongoing study.

As a young field assistant, he quickly found himself fulfilling the role of “go-to” person for any new technology that needed to be investigated or implemented. If ever he felt that a position within a company wasn’t giving him technology exposure, Andrew discovered that he could engineer himself into those roles. The latest example is when Michelle Ash became Chief Innovation Officer at Barrick, he made sure that he was on her team delivering on their digital strategy as Senior Director Innovation. Andrew was In-coming Chairman, Chairman and outgoing Chairman of the Global Mining Guidelines Group between 2012 and 2018 and thoroughly enjoyed working with motivated and passionate people to improve the industry through collaboration, guidelines, and innovation.

As Senior Director, Innovation/Digital Mining at Barrick, Andrew had the scope of providing technology support for the entire mining process, which includes everything from exploration, feasibility, construction, production, reconciliation, through mine closure. In addition, Andrew represented Barrick on the OSI Soft Client Advisory Board, collaborating with representatives from other OSI Soft customers from other industries, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Andrew has recently taken up the position of Principal Innovator at Symbiotic Innovations, and coupled with his concurrent role as CORE Skills Facilitator, he is enthusiastic about further supporting the resource sector’s successful digital transformation

Speakers and Panellists

Anastasia Kuusk, Data architect, OT/IT integration specialist and Project Manager

Presentation: A cost-effective technology, organizational and people (TOP) framework for achieving secure, interoperable, scalable integration of value chain data from the asset to the office.


Achieving integrated, interoperable data governance for value chain optimization from the asset to the office is not just about technology.  A holistic view of the data across Operational Technology (traditionally the domain of engineers) and Information Technology (traditionally the domain of technologists) also requires organizations to consider the integration of technology, people and processes.   Case studies with seven mining, utility and defence based organizations and over fifty Technology and Engineering based practitioners completing  Delphi surveys identified 42 key constructs which indicate successful OT/IT integrated organizations in the complex IIoT world.  The constructs have been developed into a framework that can be used by organizations to cost-effectively and efficiently achieve data-driven value chain automation, particularly for existing plants.


Dr. Ana Kuusk has over 25 years’ experience as a data architect, consultant, project manager, board director and academic across mining, utilities and health sectors.  She currently chairs the Australian Computer Society Fellows Committee and Adelaide University IMER PRIF BHP Research Program, is a reviewer for the Australasian Project Management Conference academic stream, is the Australian Production Systems representative on the Global Architecture Board for BHP and Research Fellow with The Asset Institute.  Dr. Kuusk currently manages the operational technology and solution architecture program of works for BHP Olympic Dam Mine and advises, consults and publishes in the area of project management, data-driven value chain automation and OT/IT integration to mining and other engineering asset management based organizations.

Mark Wallace, Head of Cyber Security, Fortescue Metals Group

Presentation: Trust as a strategy to combat cyber risk in mining


Technology continues to play a profound role in disrupting the mining industry and shaping the global risk landscape. Concerns about data theft and cyber-attacks rank in the top five risks globally, sustaining a pattern recorded across multiple years in the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks Report (notably, ahead of financial crises, asset bubbles, biodiversity loss and terrorist attacks).

Internally, the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) to form an integrated technology operating model (propelled by the increasing pervasiveness of connectivity from PLC to cloud) has created a clash of cultures and can tend to focus on technical issues. However, convergence without alignment cannot succeed!  Externally, organizations acting alone lack the capacity and resources to keep pace with adversaries.

Mark’s presentation will discuss how trust is a key lever for transforming the business ecosystem both internally and externally to combat cyber risk in mining, and how cultural change is equally as important as technical transformation.


Mark is the Head of Cyber Security for Fortescue Metals Group, where he has been leading a transformation program to unify cyber security strategies across corporate information technology, industrial control and operational technology environments since 2017.

As the world’s fourth-largest iron ore producer, Fortescue owns and operates integrated operations spanning mining, processing, shipping and rail in Australia, and international commercial and exploration offices in Asia and South America.  This includes four iron ore mine sites in the Pilbara, the five-berth Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland, eight ore carrier ships, fully autonomous haulage and drilling operations, and the fastest heavy haul railway in the world. Innovation in exploration, process and design is a key component of Fortescue’s strategy to efficiently and effectively deliver products from mine to market.

Mark is also an experienced Company Director with more than 15 years’ experience serving on boards of both private and not-for-profit organizations and is the founding partner of a successful management consulting practice, Blue Zoo (named a WA Business News 40-under-40 Award Winner in 2014 and establishing an award-winning proprietary governance software business).  He has managed cyber security and technology improvement projects in the US, South America, Africa and the Asia Pacific for Fortune 500 and ASX 100 listed companies.  Leveraging this experience, he recently co-authored the Cyber Security for Directors‘ Course for the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) which is being delivered nationally to build cyber literacy and capacity at board-level across Australia.

Find Mark on LinkedIn

Ali Babar, Professor, School of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide

Presentation: Continuous Engineering of Data-Driven Secure Software Services


Ali Babar is a Professor in the School of Computer Science, University of Adelaide. Professor Babar leads the University of Adelaide’s participation in the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC), one of the largest Cyber Security initiatives in the Australasian region. Within the CSCRC, he leads the theme on Platforms and Architectures for Cyber Security solutions as service.

At the University of Adelaide, Professor Babar has established an interdisciplinary research centre, CREST – Centre for Research on Engineering Software Technologies, where he leads a research and development team of more than 15 members. He has been involved in attracting several millions of dollar worth of research resources over the last ten years. Professor Babar has authored/co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in the premier Software Technology journals and conferences. With an H-Index 45, the level of citations to his publications is among the leading Software Engineering researchers in Aus/NZ. Further details can be found on

Ravi Jain, Client Executive, Digital Transformation, Dassault Systèmes

Presentation: Digitization is not Digital Transformation


Mining and Energy sectors are on a transformation path adopting new technologies and re-inventing business with the power of digital technologies. While Digitization was an effective way since the 90s in supporting certain compartments of a business to save on costs or improving efficiency, digital transformation is a paradigm shift to both digitally connect all functions of business while transforming processes, equipment and people for a significant competitive advantage to the business.

Digital transformation leads to new model creation, innovation in processes and goes beyond supporting the As Is in an organization. It brings integration across all layers including business processes to establish a single source of truth as a foundational block towards transformation. The benefits of integrated operations should be taken beyond the current boundaries of the mining value chain and entire eco-system should be able to leverage and collaborate to deliver true value of transformation.


Ravi is responsible for strategic Industry Transformation and Digitalization programs in Australia.  He also drives strategic initiatives for industry capability programs with industry and academic bodies to develop future technology eco-system.

During his time with Dassault Systèmes Ravi has led groundbreaking projects in natural resources and advanced manufacturing.  His functional expertise is in knowledge management, METS, process engineering, digital strategy and collaboration methodologies.

Ravi has previously worked with Australian and International technology companies in opening new growth markets such as Asia, Middle East, Africa and the Americas. He is an engineering graduate from IIT Bombay in Metallurgy and Materials Science and holds a Masters in Business Administration along with advanced certification in Applied Finance from Bond.

Geoff Irvine, Rio Tinto Strategic Account Manager, Rockwell Automation

Presentation: Security horror stories on mines need a happy ending – some simple steps to secure your connected mine


With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the value of the connected mine is beyond argument.  How can you make this secure with open systems?  Some simple steps are presented to secure the systems that make up a connected mine.


Geoff Irvine is an engineer with over 38 years of experience.  The majority of this time has been spent specializing in the automation and process control industry, working for companies such as Honeywell and Rockwell Automation.  In this time Geoff has had extensive experience in the “heavy industries” such as mining, and oil & gas.  This has included software development, project management, software support, sales, marketing, sales management and mining industry management.

Geoff’s formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Engineering (Mech), and a Masters of Arts (Pure Maths) both from the University of Sydney.  Geoff has a passion for Australian Mining Technology and is active in organizations such as Austmine.  He also has a passion for promoting STEM activities being involved in FIRST robotics.

Michael Murphy, Chief Engineer, Mining Technology Enabled Solutions, Surface Mining & Technology Division, Caterpillar

Presentation: The Opportunities and Challenges from a Mobile Equipment Perspective as Digital and Autonomy Disrupt the Mining Value Chain


As mining companies move from siloed processes to an integrated value chain, then there are significant opportunities for mobile equipment to increasingly add value.  Onboard digital sensors are providing significantly greater information than simply machine performance and health. Machines now have the potential to provide near real-time information to help optimize ore grades and material flow as well as updating GIS models. Autonomy also allows tight conformance to plan, resulting in closed feedback loops along the value chain. This presentation will explore the value and impact on the value chain plus challenges around areas such as data sharing and cybersecurity.


Michael Murphy is the Chief Engineer, Surface and Mining Technology, Caterpillar Inc. based in Peoria, Illinois with responsibility for Caterpillar’s surface and underground mining technology strategy. He has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne Australia along with 40 years of experience with Caterpillar Inc.

Since moving to the United States in 1996, Michael has been engaged in the development and implementation of Caterpillar’s Mining Technology Strategy including the early adoption of high precision GPS in mining applications. He has been a key leader in developing Caterpillar’s automation strategy for surface and underground mines. From 2007, he has been involved in the development of Caterpillar’s second generation of autonomous hauling which has moved over a billion tonnes of material with zero lost time injuries.

Michael sits on several external organizations including Co-Chair of the ICCM initiative for safer vehicles.

Simon Franklin, Managing Director, ITP Renewables


Simon has over ten years’ experience in the Australian energy sector. He has worked on large and commercial scale grid-connected photovoltaic PV systems, hybrid off-grid power stations, financial modelling, energy efficiency audits and PV system performance modelling. Simon is an experienced project manager and has a strong background in renewable energy. Before joining ITP Renewables, Simon was an Electrical Engineer with Connell Wagner (Aurecon) where he undertook project management, electrical design and risk management work on rail infrastructure and defence projects. Simon has also worked with the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies, investigating the feasibility of carbon capture and storage technologies.

Simon has a Bachelor of Engineering (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Information Technology from the Australian National University. He is a former Director of the Australian Solar Council (ASC), previously the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES).


Katie Hulmes, General Manager, Transformation and Readiness, OzMinerals

Presentation: Planning for a shared future – integration is key


With over 15 years’ experience in the civil construction and mining industries, Katie is a passionate advocate for promoting investment and support of regional communities. Throughout her career, Katie has held a range of roles across civil works, hydrogeology, engineering and environmental science. In her role as General Manager Transformation and Readiness, Katie leads future activity to manage technical and non-technical business transformation to challenge ways of working for OZ Minerals. Katie has an intimate understanding of the importance of environmental investment, social performance and the significance these activities play in any exploration, mining or engineering development of the future.


John Kirkman, Managing Director, Enterprise Transformation Partners

Presentation: Establish an incremental and cost-effective pathway to the digital mine now

As well as being a mouthful, “Interoperability” is not a term widely understood in the Mining industry. Likely, this is due to the fact, that unlike industries such as manufacturing where integration and interoperability standards are commonplace, mining systems have evolved largely in silos and have rarely been designed with integration in mind, let alone in a standard out of the box of way. Not only is there a void in the technical understanding of what is and how to achieve it, but more concerning is also the lack of understanding of the real value it can deliver to a miners bottom line. If this was understood, there would be less talk and investment in big data, analytics, AI and more investment in interoperability. As a nice aside, big data, AI and analytics also will deliver significantly more benefits when fed by an interoperable suite of mining systems as the data will be rich, aligned and more readily available.


John Kirkman is the co-founder of ET Partners a niche consultancy focusing in interoperability and technology advancement to realize the benefits associated with the digital mine and Manufacturing Intelligence, a software company developing an advanced Ore Body Knowledge and Tracking solution currently partnering with a number of mining partners to accelerate the development and conduct live site trials. John is currently contributing to Open Process Automation Forum interoperability standards work and has recently commenced a collaborative project that brings Mining, Oil and Gas, Accademia and Technology organizations together to further contribute the OPAF work. The project will also establish the UWA I4.0 Energy and Resources Digital Interoperability (ERDI) Test Lab at the University of Western Australia which will support R&D, Testing, Showcasing and Education of modular, interoperable technologies and architectures facilitating more rapid adoption and benefits realization at scale.

Gavin Yeates, Principal, Gavin Yeates Consulting

Presentation: The Business Case for Interoperability: Doing things differently rather than better


Mining companies have had a long history of dividing their operations up into discrete operational processes that are each optimized to reduce cost and maximize throughput and improve productivity. These processes operate together to form the entire value chain with loose coupling to the preceding and following process, with this coupling often protected by a buffer or a stockpile. It has been recognized that the optimization of the pieces leads to a suboptimal whole. The lack of interoperability of equipment, systems and data between these discrete processes has been a significant barrier to mining companies attempts to move toward the optimization of the entire value chain. This paper explores the business case for this interoperability, looking both at optimizing current value chains as they are now configured and then going beyond to look at how interoperability can unlock value previously hidden re-configuring value chains and flowsheets to both reduce capital intensity and increase operating efficiency. The paper will also look at some of the barriers that are currently hindering mining companies in moving toward interoperability across the value chain.


Gavin is an experienced mining industry executive and leader in strategy, technology, mining, and geoscience. He gained extensive experience in managing exploration, major capital studies and projects, mining operations and held the role of Senior VP of the Corporate Function with global responsibility for Geoscience, Mining, Metallurgy and Technology during his 35-year career with BHP.

He is currently an independent Director of CRC Ore Ltd., Chair of the Governance Board of the Premiers Research Industry Fund at University of Adelaide, and is active as a strategic advisor and thought leader to mining companies, suppliers, and governments through his consulting practice. A graduate of University of Adelaide with a BSc(Hons) in Geology and Economic Geology, and has a Graduate Diploma in Business from Curtin University in Western Australia. Gavin brings a deep understanding of the mining industry, its professionals, along with a vision for the future to help define the opportunities that a technology-enabled mining industry presents, whilst also bringing skills in corporate governance.

Warner Priest, Business Development Manager, Siemens

Presentation: Remote Area Power Systems (RAPS) that include hydrogen value streams as part of the hybrid power plant solution and the roles of Digitalization


Through digital simulation, the entire German electricity grid was modelled to reveal the challenge and explore solutions to integrating large amounts of renewable electricity. While low levels of renewable energy can easily be accommodated for, once we move past 35% to 45% renewable penetration, a new set of solutions needs to be called upon.

Similar digital modelling techniques can be applied to remote off-grid hybrid power plants to explore what techno-economic solutions make sense, and if / when hydrogen could play a role.

As the percentage of renewables in remote off-grid solutions increase, hydrogen provides a means by which diesel generators can be relegated to emergency back-up status only, saving millions of Dollars in fuel costs.

While the role of batteries in such remote microgrids are essential and well understood, the interplay between the various forms of generation, being traditional fossil fuel based, overcapacity of variable renewable generation, loads and energy storage becomes very complex, a digital simulation allows us to navigate these for the best techno-economic outcome for a Remote Area Power Solution (RAPS).

In this presentation we talk about the importance of modelling, the concept of the digital twin and the role hydrogen could play for remote mining hybrid power plants as it relates to spilled energy and the multiple value streams associated with hydrogen and mining.


Warner Priest is the Business Development Manager for Emerging Technologies in the Energy Management Division within Siemens Australia. He was a member of the Australian CIGRE AP B5 committee for 10 years and was a member of the Australian Protection Symposium committee.

Warner’s field of expertise stems from ~ 25 years’ experience in the Power Transmission & Distribution environment, with a particular focus on making our grids smarter.

He has a global view of Energy applications for Utilities, Oil & Gas, Industry, Metals & Mining, Renewable Energy, MicroGrids, Renewable Hydrogen Production and Large Scale Energy Storage, with extensive experience in the field of power systems ranging from 400V up to and including 400kV.

Warner has delivered a number of papers:

SEAPAC 2009 – substation-2-substation IEC 61850 GOOSE;

SEAPAC 2011 – The Largest operating IEC 61850 application is Australia and

SEAPAC 2015 – Practical applications for Process Bus using the standard IEC 61850 – 9 – 2LE, what makes sense now, what are the advantages and what are the challenges with this new emerging technology.

Rob Smeets, Technical Project Engineer, Tempus Energy

Presentation Title: Energy and Reliability through flexibility


This presentation will cover:

  • Demand flexibility, a perfect partner to the intermittency of renewables and the strain on the network
  • Using AI to optimize your energy use towards generation assets and energy constraints while maintaining your production targets
  • Putting customers back at the heart of energy systems
  • Results from our trial with Origin Energy’s large business customers – early sign-ups to the trial include Adelaide Oval & Adelaide Uni.

Our work with Origin demonstrates how we stand out from regular demand response – our prediction window allows us time to take preemptive actions to price signals.  But, the key use of our technology rests in an understanding and ability to learn asset behaviour, power generator behaviour, Like solar, battery, hydro and optimizing your site consumption automatically using machine learning. 

Our preemptive actions then become much smarter in relation to price signals & renewable asset generation and we highly optimize how an asset uses energy, Making the energy system you rely upon more reliable and cheaper.

Our trial has shown significant savings in price and carbon – and most importantly we are receiving great feedback from trial participants.


Rob has 10+ years’ experience as a project manager and a systems engineer working in multiple industries, focusing on maintaining and fine-tuning building management systems (BMS) such as air conditioning, steam generation and water pumps to decrease peak electricity loads. This experience has given Rob early technical and commercial insights into the benefits of demand response, as well as having a deep understanding of our target customer in demand flexibility.

Dr. Ian Dover, Chief Executive Officer (acting), METS Ignited

Presentation: The role of integration in developing Australian global competitiveness


For decades Australian miners have been recognized internationally as smart operational managers. We have seen this in recent years by the growth in contract mining, the strategy of combining Chinese finance with Australian mining management, and the predominant position of Australian software in global mining operations. The integration of other people’s technologies along mining’s value chain provides further international competitiveness and growth in Mining and METS global market share. This presentation discusses how digital technologies that support value chain integration can drive increased Australian mining performance and deliver global mining opportunities for our METS sector.


Dr. Ian Dover’s national and international career has included metallurgical process and research group management in the global aluminum industry as well as senior, interim and turnaround executive roles for mid-sized manufacturing, IT and resource industry suppliers. Ian spent 12 years as a project manager, then managing director, of a consulting firm specializing in technology-intensive businesses and value chains before moving to CSIRO then METS Ignited in business development and commercialization roles. He has invested in a range of start-ups’ with a higher than normal success rate.

Adrian Boeing, Automation Manager, Epiroc

Presentation: Interoperable autonomous mining


Dr. Adrian Boeing is the Automation Manager for Epiroc Australia and holds an adjunct position at several Universities. He has developed and deployed a number of award-winning technologies to the Australian mining industry. Adrian is passionate about autonomous robots and has been recognized by leading organizations including DARPA, Sony, ACM and Eureka for his contributions to the defense and mining industries. Adrian completed his Ph.D. in robotics at The University of Western Australia.

Mark O’Brien, Manager – IS Solutions Delivery, CITIC Pacific Mining

Presentation: A Practical Case Study on the Impact of AI on Cyber Security


Under the Australian Department of Defence’s “‘Top 4’ Strategies to Mitigate Targeted Cyber Intrusions,” Mitigation 1 is Application Whitelisting. This presentation is a case study exploring a relevant cyber security challenge for every organisation and the approach taken by CITIC Pacific Mining to implement appropriate mitigation to reflect the DoD’s recommendations by adopting AI-based approaches.


Mark O’Brien currently serves as the Manager for Digital Transformation at CITIC Pacific Mining, the world’s largest magnetite iron ore operation, and China’s largest resources sector investment outside of China. His responsibilities cover strategic engagement with the business, leadership of technology solutions delivery, and ownership of the key application and infrastructure platforms at CPM, across both IT and OT. His involvement in mining technology that stretches over 30 years. He is a graduate of Curtin University with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science.

Mark is the Chair of the GMG AI in Mining Working Group.

Serkan Saydam, Professor, School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, University of New South Wales


Professor Serkan Saydam received his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in Mining Engineering from the Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey and completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Serkan joined the School of Mining Engineering as a Senior Lecturer in 2006 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011. He currently holds three ARC Linkage Projects and five ACARP research grants worth of over $4.5 million on Ground Control and Mining Systems areas. In addition, he established research collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Kennedy Space Center. A key focus of his research is to address the current needs and future challenges faced by the mining industry. These are generally very complex engineering problems, as mining environments become more extreme and constraints are imposed due to increasing social, environmental, and health and safety standards. His fields of research include ground control, mine planning & design, new mining methods and off-Earth mining.

Craig Phasey, Oil & Gas Sector Lead, Nova Systems


Craig Phasey is a Senior Consultant with Nova Systems. A Physics and Maths graduate, Craig has over twenty years’ experience in Air Force Intelligence. Throughout his career, he provided advice to senior Military Commanders, Government Ministers and Cabinet and to heads of major industrial corporations. He has specialized in creating workable solutions to intractable problems.

Since leaving Defence, Craig worked on technologies ranging from submarines and trains to satellites and communications, consulting to Defence, Rail, Electricity, Waste, and Oil & Gas industries.

In 2017 Craig was part of a team tasked to find a solution to the electricity cost challenge facing Coal Seam Gas production in Queensland. The solution to this challenge is firmly based on integrated operational control implemented through a digital twin. As part of the Nova Team, Craig is now applying this solution to problems in mining, electricity and general industry.

Brian Innes, Managing Director, Nanogrids


Brian Innes has approximately 20 years of technology, energy management and renewable project advisory at Nanogrids, Advisian and Energetics. Brian has been advising on and developing remote energy systems in the WA resource sector for over 10years and has been a leading voice in the WA resource sector on improving the efficiency of mine-site energy use and the cost effectiveness of high penetration renewable projects and has advised across all of the key WA mine minerals including Gold, Copper, nickel and iron ore.

Brian was the lead technical and commercial adviser for a $100M WA mine site energy project that will achieve highest renewable energy fraction for a remote mine utilizing wind, solar batteries and gas engines.  He is currently the lead advisor on the technical and commercial aspects and procurement process for two WA mine-site projects which are looking to achieve greater than 50% Renewable energy fractions and install between 30 and 200MW of renewables.  His background in metallurgy and materials processing allows the overall design to incorporate thinking that allows the dynamics of a renewable power source to be optimized with the mineral processing circuit requirements.

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