International Advisory Committee

Ground Support 2023
10–12 October 2023 | Perth, Western Australia
Hyatt Regency Perth

Professor John Hadjigeorgiou
Pierre Lassonde Chair in Mining Engineering
University of Toronto, Canada

Professor Hadjigeorgiou holds the Pierre Lassonde Chair in Mining Engineering at the University of Toronto. John previously served as head of the Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Université Laval in Quebec City.

John is a PEng with over 25 years’ international experience in mining engineering. He is a past recipient of the John Franklin Award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society and the Rock Mechanics Award from the Canadian Institute of Mining. John is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Dr Charlie C. Li
Professor of Rock Mechanics for Mining and Civil Engineering
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Professor Li is a professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway. His expertise is in stability analyses of underground spaces and ground control. His research interests are specifically on the performance of rockbolts and ground support in high rock stress conditions. He published the book RockboltingPrinciples and Applications in 2017. He invented the D-Bolt for rockburst control in deep mines.

Charlie is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences (NTVA). He was the ISRM vice president for Europe 2015 to 2019.

Professor Yves Potvin
Professor for Mining Geomechanics
Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Yves joined the Australian Centre for Geomechanics at The University of Western Australia in 1998 and was centre director, 2000-2019. He has published more than 100 articles and is the editor/co-editor of 14 conference proceedings and books. Yves has more than 40 years’ experience in rock mechanics and mine design and has previously held managerial positions at Mount Isa Mines, the Noranda Technology Centre and worked as a mining engineer at Noranda Mines, Gaspe Division. He undertakes numerous collaborative industry-focused research projects and is presently involved with the ACG’s Ground Support Systems Optimisation Project, and the Stope Reconciliation and Optimisation Project. He currently participates in several geotechnical review boards.

Josephine Ruddle
Event Manager
Australian Centre for Geomechanics


Professor Pekka Särkkä
Emeritus Professor of Rock Engineering
Helsinki University of Technology, Finland

Professor Pekka Särkkä is emeritus professor of rock engineering at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT, currently Aalto University) in Finland. He has more than 47 years’ mining and rock engineering experience; having spent over 20 years in mining, oil and gas, and consulting industries in Scandinavia and 27 years in academia including 11 years as head of rock engineering at HUT (1997-2007). Pekka retired from HUT in 2009 and has since then continued at Helsinki Metro Western Extensions.

Professor Särkkä has been the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering Vice President for Europe in 1999-2003 and the International Tunnelling Association Executive Committee Member in 2008-2011.

Brad Simser
Principal Ground Control Engineer
Glencore, Canada

Brad has over 20 years’ experience in deep hard rock mining having worked in the South African Gold Fields, northern New Brunswick and, since 2003, Glencore’s Sudbury Nickel Operations. He has authored and co-authored numerous papers on rockburst-resistant ground support, mining-induced seismology, and deep mining strategies. His current role oversees the ground control programs for the Nickel Rim South (structurally complex nickel/copper deposit), Fraser Copper (extensively mined narrow vein copper deposit), and Fraser Morgan (blasthole nickel mine) operations as well as the Onaping Depth Project (2.3 to 2.7 km deep nickel resource).

Dr Jonny Sjöberg
General Manager & Chairperson
Itasca Consultants AB, Sweden

Jonny is a rock mechanics engineer with experience in operations, research, and consulting. He has worked for several mining and consulting companies on projects dealing with underground and surface mining rock mechanics, civil engineering tunnelling, and rock stress measurements. Currently, he is the general manager of the Itasca office in Sweden. He is also an adjunct professor in rock mechanics and rock engineering at the Luleå University of Technology.

Eduardo Rojas
Divisional Director of Geomechanics
Codelco, Chile

Eduardo studied mining engineering at the Universidad Técnica del Estado, Santiago de Chile and obtained his MSc in mineral economy at Curtin University, Australia. Throughout his career, he gathered many years of experience in mining, implementing a geomechanics approach in the design and operation of caving.

Associate Professor Johan Wesseloo
Australian Centre for Geomechanics

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, Johannesburg where he was involved in 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 Australian Centre for Geomechanics (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. He also performs geotechnical and mining-induced seismicity reviews providing him with the valuable opportunity to visit numerous operations worldwide. Johan was instrumental in the development of the mXrap software and many of the software routines and apps available in that platform. Johan is a fellow of The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM). He was awarded the SAIMM Gold Medal in 2006 and 2016, and the SAIMM Silver Medal in 2014. In 2019, Johan was appointed director of the ACG.