Industrial ecology, the circular economy and sustainability risk management frameworks in the mining and minerals industry

Projects

  • Mining sector’s contribution to circular economy and sustainability: analysis of opportunities at an Australian copper/gold operation; 
  • Design of future scenarios for the management tailings and water resources to 2050 at a Chilean Copper operation;
  • Identifying the links between climate change, raw material supply and environmental risks;
  • Socio-political risks and opportunities associated with emerging mining technologies
  • Identifying economically viable options for the recycling of metals from end-of-life products and industrial waste in Australia.

Glen's research focuses on the area of responsible resource use and processing, and he leads the Industrial Ecology and Circular Economy group in the Institute. This group’s research is aimed at understanding the environmental impacts, social implications, technical innovations and economic factors along the metal value chain and over the life of a mining project or operation as well as creating enhanced value from mining waste (waste rock, overburden and tailings) and recovery of metals from end-of-life products.  

Glen has recently taken on the role of leader of the Operational Solutions Program in the new CRC Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME). This 10-year CRC will transform mining economies to deliver increased certainty of relinquishment, reduced likelihood of abandonment, diversified post mine economies and new Australian businesses supplying a global market. 

He has had extensive experience leading large multi-year industry-focussed research projects.  Glen led a research program in the Wealth from Waste 3-year Cluster focused on barriers and enablers for metals recycling systems from end-of-life products and industrial waste in Australia. He was also the lead researcher of a multi-year multi-party project that resulted in the development of SUSOP, a sustainability risk management framework for the design and operation of mining and mineral processing operations. From 2011 until 2015, he held the position of Development Manager at SUSOP Pty Ltd which was the commercialisation company for SUSOP. SUSOP was the winner of the Institution of Chemical Engineers International Sustainable Technology Award in 2012. Furthermore, he has also led multi-year research projects focussed on practically orientated approaches for realising regional synergies (waste and by-product exchanges) between industrial operations and the development of toolkits for providing systematic methodologies for identifying synergy opportunities.

Biography

Glen has over 30 years’ experience in the resources industries in both research and commercial roles. He has worked at the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) since 2004 and was Acting Director of SMI Environment Centres in 2018 and 2019.  From 1991 until commencing at SMI, Glen was a mineral processing consultant at JKTech, the commercial division of SMI, where his main activities included designing and optimising crushing and grinding circuits, designing and implementing advanced process control systems, conducting plant and process control audits, and developing and presenting training courses for mining companies and operations worldwide. From 1988 to 1990, he worked as a consultant for a UK based advanced process control consultancy company in the oil and petrochemical industries, KBC Process Automation.

Glen is a chemical engineer and was awarded his Bachelor of Engineering degree (First Class Honours) in 1982 and his Master of Engineering Science degree in 1985, both from the University of Queensland. In 1988, he completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge. Glen is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and is a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland. He has also been Chair of the Southern Queensland Branch of The AusIMM, a member of the AusIMM’s Community & Environment Society Committee and currently is Technical Policy Director – IChemE in Australia Board. Glen has been guest editor for special editions of the following journals: Journal of Cleaner Production; Resources, Conservation & Recycling; Minerals; and Sustainability.

Industry

Glen has worked closely with the mining industry both in his research and commercial roles. Companies have included BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Xstrata, (now Glencore) Orica, Newcrest, Hatch, GHD, Aurecon, Ivanhoe as well as several other mid-size and smaller mining companies.

Collaborations

Glen has had numerous academic collaborations with institutions both in Australia and overseas, including the University of Technology Sydney, Swinburne University of Technology, Monash University, CSIRO, Curtin University, University of Newcastle, University of Western Australia, Yale University, University of Exeter, University of Lorraine, Trinity College Dublin and Montanuniversität Leoben in Austria.

Funding

Glen has managed and led multi-year collaborative projects that have been valued at over AUD 1 million including the Sustainable Development Program (AUD1.1 million) and the Regional Synergies Programs (AUD1.3 million) in the Co-operative Research Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing as well as the UQ’s Program (AUD690,000) in the Wealth from Waste Cluster project. He has also led direct industry projects valued up to several thousand Australian dollars.

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