ACG Team


Associate Professor Johan Wesseloo
Associate Professor and Director, 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 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.

Technical staff:

Daniel Cumming-Potvin
Dr Daniel Cumming-Potvin
Research Fellow and Project Lead – mXrap

Daniel 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. Daniel is project lead for mXrap.

Professor Phil Dight
Professor Geotechnical Engineering

Phil has been involved with the development and design of ground support for open pit and underground mining applications since 1975. He initially was involved in mine backfill before looking at how rock support behaved in shear. In 1985 he was awarded the prestigious Manuel Rocha Medal by the International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) for his work in open pit mining and use of ground support to improve pit stability. His ground support algorithm has been adopted by Rocscience in its evaluation of ground support in Phases® and Itasca in 3DEC®. Rocscience also adopted his algorithm for RocTopple®. With Peter Fuller, he undertook research into ground support work in several AMIRA sponsored underground projects. Much of that early research work was formalised in the literature by others. Phil joined the ACG in 2008 and has since been working on in situ stress determination, ground support applications (eg BoltCalc®, fibrecrete), strain burst and slope stability problems. At UWA he has developed a research laboratory looking at rock properties in 3D. He is active in training site personnel in geotechnical engineering based on practical applications and on request, he continues to provide specialist consulting.

Paul Harris
Senior Software Engineer – mXrap

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 – mXrap

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.

Ai Li
Ai Li
Laboratory Technician

Ellie undertakes sample preparation, rock memory testing (DRA), Brazilian and fracture toughness testing, and triaxial and post-peak testing for strainburst properties and rock mass characterisation.

Joseph Justin Muaka Mbenza
Research Fellow – Ground Support Systems Optimisation

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 BSc 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.

Professor Yves Potvin
Professor of Mining Geomechanics

Yves joined the Australian Centre for Geomechanics at The University of Western Australia in 1998 and was Centre Director, 2000 – 2019. Professor Potvin has published more than 100 articles and is the editor/co-editor of 14 conference proceedings and books. He has over 30 years of 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. Yves undertakes numerous collaborative industry-focussed 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.

Denisha Sewnun 
Research Fellow – mXrap

Denisha is part of the ACG’s mXrap team. She is currently working on the development of geotechnical borehole data analysis apps and is involved in the DFN/block model limit equilibrium ground support design tools research project.

Denisha has more than 10 years of experience in the rock mechanics 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’s degree in Rock Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2020, Denisha joined the Australian Centre for Geomechanics as a Research Fellow after having spent the last 7 years providing consulting services for mining projects across Africa. Her principal areas of expertise include geotechnical data analysis, geotechnical investigations, three-dimensional geotechnical block modelling and rock support design.

Stuart Tierney
Research Assistant

Stuart completed a Masters of Engineering Science (mining geomechanics) at Curtin University in 2016 where his thesis in the final semester was assisted by the ACG. In February 2017 he joined the ACG as a research assistant for our mXrap Consortium and is presently undertaking a PhD in geomechanics engineering at the University of Western Australia.

Dr Hongyu Wang
Research Associate

In 2015 Hongyu received his Bachelor’s Degree of Mining Engineering, and in 2016 completed the Master’s Degree of Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology. He joined the ACG in 2016 as a PhD student for our Strainburst Research Project and investigated 3D brittle crack growth in biaxial compression, attempting to reveal the mechanisms of strainburst. In 2020 Hongyu obtained his PhD from The University of Western Australia for his thesis entitled, “The Effect of Intermediate Principal Stress on 3D Crack Growth in Compression and Rock Failure”. In his post-doctoral research, he studies the post-peak behaviour of rocks under compression.

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 focussed on time-dependent seismic responses to mining. In late 2015, he was awarded his 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 the next phase of this research project along with work associated with the mXrap Consortium.

Administrative staff:

Jenny Collins
Administrative Officer

Jenny supports the business and marketing managers with the administration of ACG research and service projects, memberships, ACG events and sponsorships.

Garth Doig
Publications Officer

Garth’s responsibilities include the production of ACG conference proceedings, as well as coordinating the ACG websites, multi-media requirements and the Online Repository of Conference Proceedings.

Joanna Franklin-Lloyd
Administrative Officer

Joanna’s primary roles include processing of event registrations and all aspects of the Centre’s day-to-day finance and administration.

Candice McLennan
Marketing Officer (Digital)

Candice undertakes the marketing of ACG conferences and ACG’s wide range of products and services. Her duties include graphic design, copywriting, website maintenance and social media management.

Christine Neskudla
Business Manager

Christine is responsible for the financial management, reporting and business planning of the Centre, as well as the liaison with the Centre’s Board of Management, Joint Venture Partners and industry.


Josephine Ruddle
Marketing Manager

Josephine’s responsibilities include marketing, communications, brand development, public relations and event management. Jo’s focus is to strengthen the ACG’s position locally and internationally as a leading provider of mining geomechanics information.


Stefania Woodward
Publications Officer

Stefania’s roles include editing and desktop publishing of ACG conference proceedings and reports, publications sales, as well as coordinating the ACG’s Online Repository of Conference Proceedings.





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