International Advisory Committee


Max Brown

Principal Consultant (Geotechnics), SRK Consulting (UK) Limited, UK

Max is a principal engineer and has twenty years’ of experience in mining geotechnics.  He has provided support and consulting services to open pit mining operations and greenfield projects in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America and has a broad range of experience having undertaken scoping, pre-feasibility and feasibility level studies, support to operations, technical reviews and due diligence for a range of commodities within varying geological environments.


Stephen Cooper

Chief Geotechnical Manager, First Quantum Minerals Ltd, Spain

Stephen has over 20 years´ experience in geotechnics, working directly on operations and previously as a consultant. He has extensive experience in ground control on operational open pits and tailings installations, the geotechnical aspects of mine design for both open pit and underground, the implementation of state of the art monitoring systems, and ensuring mine waste management is compliant with best available techniques and practices. His current interests are the modelling of blast disturbance into pit slopes applying transitional damage factors on constitutive models, and the interactions between open pits and their underground sections during the transitional phase.  For the last eight years he has successfully implemented those ground control systems at Las Cruces mine in Spain and is a founding member of the European Ground Control Group.


Ashley Creighton

Principal Advisor – Geotechnical, Rio Tinto, Australia

A geotechnical engineer with over 30 year’s experience in industry. Background includes roles in both civil and mining technical consulting, geotechnical study management, geotechnical operations management, forensic geotechnical engineering, technical due diligence and corporate technical assurance.


Teofilo da Costa

Geotechical Risk Management, Vale S.A., Brazil

In 1998, Teo joined Vale as a short-term geologist for iron ore mines and in 2004, moved to geotechnical team focus on slope monitoring and stability, slope designing and data base collection for several open pits. In 2014, Teo joined the Australian Centre for Geomechanics as a PhD student to undertake geomechanics studies. His PhD was sponsored by Vale. In 2017, Teo moved to geotechnical risk management supporting the local geotechnical team for open pit operations, risk, final slope design, monitoring and new technologies applied for slope stability for all of Vale’s ferrous and coal mines. Teo is one of Vale’s representatives for the industry’s acclaimed large open pit research project. Teo graduated with a geological engineering degree from the Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil in 1994 and in 1999, he obtained Honours in metallogenesis at State University of Campinas, Brazil, and Masters of Science in geotechnics applied to mining in 2009 at Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil.


Professor Phil Dight

Slope Stability 2020 Symposium Chair

Professor of Geotechnical Engineering, Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Phil has been involved with the development and design of ground support for mining applications since 1975. Phil joined the ACG in 2008 and has since been working on stress memory effects in rocks, ground support applications, slope stability problems (including the use of microseismicity to understand failure mechanisms), and 3D rock properties. In 2017, Phil commenced a four year MRIWA project aimed at investigating the issues of strainburst vulnerability in underground mines.


Phil de Graaf

Head of Geotechnical DeBeers Group of Companies, Anglo American, Australia

Phil is a Johannesburg-based professional engineer who is accountable for providing and co-ordinating technical advice, services and support to open pit and underground operations and projects across the company’s global interests.  He is an experienced practitioner in identifying and managing risks and opportunities relating to mine design, operation and through to closure. He holds postgraduate degrees from Natal and Queen’s Universities.


Professor Andy Fourie

School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering, The University of Western Australia

Andy Fourie is a Professor in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Western Australia in Perth.
He has Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and a PhD from Imperial College, University of London. He has worked at the University of Queensland, the University of Witwatersrand and has been a visiting professor at the University of Alberta, the Catholic University of Valparaiso in Chile and the University of Colorado in Boulder. His research is in the field of mitigating the impact of mining and municipal solid waste disposal. Outcomes from his research have been incorporated in changes to environmental legislation in South Africa. He has recently contributed to a series of Guidelines for managing mine tailings in Australia, as well as developing a document for the International Atomic Energy Association on barrier systems for retaining uranium mining waste.


José-Miguel Galera

Managing Director, Subterra and Professor Geological and Mining Engineering, Technical University of Madrid

José is a professor in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM). He is also Managing Director of Subterra, a consultancy engineering company working on civil, mining, and hydroelectrical projects. He obtained MSc Mining Engineer in 1984 and a PhD in 1987. In the last 33 years he has been dedicated to geotechnical engineering in the civil and mining fields and covering slopes and underground excavations, working in more than 30 countries worldwide. José is currently engaged in R+D projects as well as in several roads and hydroelectrical projects especially in Latin America.


Dr John Lupo

Senior Director Geotechnical Engineering, Newmont Asia Pacific, USA

Dr Lupo holds a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering. He has over 30 years’ experience working within the mining industry. He currently is the senior director of geotechnical and hydrology at Newmont Mining Corporation in Denver, Colorado USA.



Professor Derek Martin

Professor Geotechnical Engineering, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Canada

Derek started his career in 1972 in the design and construction of major hydroelectric and tunneling projects. He joined AECL in 1987, where he directed the geomechanics research at the Underground Research Laboratory in southeastern Manitoba and was senior adviser to the director of the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program. From 1995-1999 he served as associate director of the Geomechanics Research Centre at Laurentian University, working on the deep mining projects in the Sudbury basin. Since 2000 Derek has been Professor in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Alberta. Derek is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and a Fellow of The Canadian Academy of Engineering.


Dr Jonny Sjoberg

General Manager, Itasca Consultants AB, Sweden

Jonny is a principal engineer, and manager of Itasca’s Swedish office. Throughout his career he has worked for several mining and consulting companies in Sweden and the USA on projects dealing with underground and surface mining rock mechanics, civil engineering tunnelling and rock stress measurements. He is also adjunct professor, rock mechanics and rock engineering at Luleå University of Technology.


Peter Terbrugge

Corporate Consultant, SRK Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, South Africa



Dr Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart

Senior Researcher, Advanced Mining Technology Center, University of Chile, Chile

Eleonora is a Senior Researcher at the Advanced Mining Technology Centre at the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile. Throughout her career she conducted research at various Universities and research centers including Michigan Technological University, USA; Curtin University of Technology, WASM in Western Australia, CMTE/CRCMining and CSIRO in Brisbane, Australia. Eleonora has over 25 years of experience in bringing research outcomes to the industry with a record of successful implementation of innovative techniques and technologies in the mining environment with the latest focus on sensing technology for geotechnical applications.