Number of years in the mining profession: 50
Number of years as an SME member: 54
What led you to join SME? For how long have you been a member?
I joined SME as a student member in 1970, so 50 years as a member. The initial motivation was purely monetary - to be able to access so many good text/reference books and publications at a good price to assist in my mining studies. The SME bookshop is still a great benefit, but then there is so much more that SME has to offer…
What initially led you to pursue your profession? Why have you stayed in your profession?
I come from a long line of engineers in my family, so I was headed in the direction of engineering early on. Then, with a real interest in geology, and a real boom in mining in Australia in 1969/70 when I went from school to university, mining engineering was an obvious career choice – and I have never looked back!
What are a few of your favorite career highlights?
Visiting open pit and underground mines and mineral processing plants worldwide.
Learning from those visits and then establishing improvements in our own operations. Leading a team of engineers to enhance product purity and usability thereby expanding marketability of our products.
What do find to be the most challenging aspect(s) of your job?
Timely completion of projects and budget constraints.
In what ways have you seen the industry change since you first began your career?
Focus on Safety, environmental stewardship, use of automation and computer assisted operations have all been steadily incorporated in the mining industry over the last few decades.
How do you help improve the image of mining?
By improved effectiveness of our communications with the stakeholders. I believe that us mining folks must do a better job of communicating what we believe to be true, that is, the world needs minerals to sustain the quality of life we are used to.
How have mentors played a role in your career?
Both at my place of work and at SME, I have benefitted from very dedicated mentors. They have sharpened my skills by virtue of their examples.
What member benefit(s) was/were the main reason you joined SME?
Networking, Networking, Networking