Australian Centre for Geomechanics team

The Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG) has had a long involvement in the development of mXrap under its Mine Seismicity and Rockburst Risk Management research project.  ACG continues to be involved in the further development of mXrap under the umbrella of the mXrap Consortium.

Dr Dan Cumming-Potvin, Project Lead – mXrap development

Dan completed his Bachelor of Mining Engineering and PhD at The University of Western Australia in 2012 and 2018, respectively. He has worked at a number of underground metal mines in Australia, specialising in the areas of ground support, monitoring, and mine seismicity. Dan is project lead for mXrap.

Paul Harris, Senior Software Engineer

Paul was originally contracted in 2001 to develop the software component of the Mine Seismicity and Rockburst Risk Management Project. Before joining the ACG, he developed custom software for clients in the mining industry. Paul is now continuing to develop the mXrap software, and is the project manager and developer for the Regional Seismic Network project. His focus is on software development and its application to mining and seismicity.

Dr Matthew Heinsen Egan, Software Engineer

Matthew joined the ACG in 2018 as a software engineer. Matthew’s focus is on further developing the libraries and tools available for mXrap App developers, and contributing to the development of specific mXrap Apps.

Joseph Justin Muaka Mbenza, Research Fellow

Joseph joined the ACG in 2019 as a research fellow. His areas of interest include: advanced numerical modelling and statistical, probability and data analysis. Previously, Joseph was a senior mining geotechnical engineer for SRK Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd. He has 15 years of experience in mining and rock mechanics.

Joseph has a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from University of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a master’s degree in Rock Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He was the recipient of the Rauji Foundation award in 2004 for best student, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lubumbashi, and the Chairman award for employee of the year at SRK Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd in 2016.

Denisha Sewnun, Master’s Student and and Research Fellow

Denisha has more than 13 years of experience in the geomechanics aspects of open pit and underground mining projects. She has a BSc (honours) degree in Engineering Geology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Master of Engineering degree in Geomechanics from the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2020, Denisha joined the ACG as a research fellow after having spent eight years providing consulting services for mining projects across Africa.

Denisha is currently a Master of Philosophy student involved in the in situ testing of ground support using blasting, which forms part of the Ground Support System Optimisation research project (GSSO3). She also assists with the Discrete Fracture Network/Block Model Limit Equilibrium Ground Support Design Tools research project and is a part of the mXrap team, where she works on the development of the Rock Mass Data Analyser application.

Dr Kyle Woodward, Research Fellow

Kyle was initially associated with the ACG in 2010 through his final year research project for his undergraduate Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) degree at The University of Western Australia. Upon completion of this degree, Kyle undertook postgraduate research with the ACG which focused on time-dependent seismic responses to mining. In late 2015, he was awarded a PhD (Civil and Resource Engineering) for his thesis entitled ‘Identification and Delineation of Mining Induced Seismic Responses’. Kyle has been involved in various ACG projects including the Mine Seismicity and Rockburst Risk Management project and the mXrap Consortium. Kyle was project leader for the ACG Stope Reconciliation and Optimisation Research project from 2016 to 2019. He is currently working on Phase 2 of this research project along with work associated with the mXrap Consortium.

Liam Niedzielski, Software Engineer

Liam completed his Bachelor of Science in Physics and Computer Science at The University of Western Australia in 2021. He joined the ACG at the end of 2021 as a software engineer on the mXrap development team. Liam works alongside the geotechnical engineers to develop and maintain mXrap apps, as well as contribute to the libraries available for mXrap developers.

Part-time team members

Associate Professor Johan Wesseloo, Australian Centre for Geomechanics Director

Since obtaining a BEng (Civil) and MEng (Geotechnical) from The University of Pretoria, Johan has been involved in geotechnical engineering in open pit and underground environments throughout 14 countries. He commenced his career in 1998 as a geotechnical engineer at SRK Consulting in Johannesburg where his experience included open pit and underground projects in varying geotechnical conditions. In 2005 he was awarded a PhD (Geotechnical) from The University of Pretoria. Johan joined the ACG in 2007 as a research fellow. During his time at the ACG, Johan has been involved in research, the supervision of postgraduate students and geotechnical training and  was instrumental in the development of the mXrap software. In 2019, Johan was appointed centre director. Johan is a fellow of AusIMM and the SAIMM and was awarded the SAIMM Silver medal in 2014 and the Gold medal in 2006 and 2016 and 2020.

Stuart Tierney, PhD Student and Research Assistant

Stuart graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2011 with a Bachelor of Geotechnical Engineering. He has worked as a geotechnical engineer in Kalgoorlie for nearly five years, mostly focusing on managing seismic risk at Raleigh and Kanowna Belle. He completed a Master of Engineering Science (Mining Geomechanics) at Curtin University in 2016 where his thesis in the final semester was assisted by the ACG. Stuart joined the ACG as a research assistant for the mXrap Consortium in February 2017 and started his PhD in 2018 looking to quantify the risk associated with short-term seismic exclusion zones.

UWA students

Over the years, several postgraduate students have been part of our team. Students form a valuable part of the team as they contribute to research and development and also help out with the mXrap development.  As part of their studies, they also develop software routines and mXrap Apps, some of which have matured to standard ACG apps.