Paste 2018 Committee Members

Sergio Barerra – Technical Organising Committee



David Elias – Australian Committee

Having a degree in Civil Engineering and having been a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, David has practiced as a consulting geotechnical engineer since 1977 and has had an interest in mine waste management since 1980.  He has experience in tailings management of a wide variety of minerals in numerous countries and varied climatic and geological settings.  David has been a long term and regular contributor to ACG events, particularly those related to tailings management and paste.



Professor Andy Fourie – Australian, Technical Organising and Editorial Committees

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

Andy 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.


Richard Jewell – Australian, Technical Organising and Editorial Committees

Senior Consultant, Australian Centre for Geomechanics

At The University of Western Australia, Richard was responsible for establishing the Geomechanics Group within the Department of Civil Engineering in 1984, and subsequently the Australian Centre for Geomechanics in 1992. Throughout his professional career Richard has worked closely with the offshore oil and gas industry and the mining industry. Richard was the lead editor and contributing author of the three editions of the “Paste and Thickened Tailings – A Guide”. In 1999, he initiated and has since led the ACG’s annual paste and thickened tailings international seminar series. As a senior consultant, Richard contributes to and promotes ACG research projects and its further training and education platform.


Dr Gordon McPhail – Australian Committee

Executive, Water, Waste and Land Engineering

Gordon graduated as a civil engineer at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1974. Gordon has worked as a consulting engineer to the mining industry specialising in the geotechnical and environmental aspects of mine waste management for 35 years and has participated in projects in Africa, Australia and North and South America.



Dr Angus Paterson – Technical Organising and Editorial Committees

Director, Paterson & Cooke Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd, South Africa

Angus is the managing director of the Cape Town office of Paterson & Cooke, having founded the company together with Dr Robert Cooke in 1991.
Angus completed his Civil Engineering degree at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1984 and continued post-graduate studies, completing an MSc in 1986 and a PhD in 1991. His research work focused on the flow behaviour of high concentration backfill slurry pipelines.
Angus has been directly involved in analysis and design of slurry transport systems since 1987 and has worked on slurry pipeline projects throughout the world. These include long distance slurry pipelines, underground paste and backfill distribution systems and numerous conventional, thickened and paste tailings disposal systems.


David Reid – Australian Committee

Research Fellow, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, The University of Western Australia

David is a tailings engineer with 12 years’ experience in the design, laboratory testing, investigation, and analysis of tailings and tailings storage facilities. David’s focus is on the laboratory and in situ characterisation of tailings with respect to strength, consolidation, and liquefaction. A particular focus of his work in on assessing the in situ state and liquefaction susceptibility of upstream tailings facilities in a critical state framework. David recently submitted his PhD at The University of Western Australia, which involved studying the properties of polymer-treated tailings and the use of centrifuges to perform consolidation testing.


Fred Schoenbrunn – Technical Organising Committee

Director for Thickeners, FL Smidth, USA

Fred has been with FL Smidth for 27 years, starting with Eimco Process Equipment in the technology department and working the last 20 years in sizing and design of thickeners and clarifiers as a product manager and group manager.  Prior to coming to FL Smidth, he spent 5 years as the supervising engineer in a chemical plant.  He has been instrumental in the development of the deep cone paste thickener market over the past 20 years and helped develop the standards for paste thickeners.  Fred has authored 22 papers including ones on thickener design and control for the SME Plant Design Handbook.  He is also an author in the latest edition of Perry’s Chemical Engineer’s Handbook, and has several patents related to thickener design and operation.  He is a certified Professional Engineer with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University.


Professor Paul Slatter – Editorial Committee

Principal Engineer, Rheology and Slurry Engineering, ATC Williams Pty Ltd

Paul’s main expertise is the characterisation of Slurry Flow Properties and their use in Pumped Pipeline, Open Channel and Launder Design. He has been actively involved in Flow Process Design, Research and Higher Education teaching for the past thirty-five years. Paul’s main interests and contributions are for viscoplastic fluids in the engineering hydrodynamic contexts of laminar, transitional and turbulent pipe flow, centrifugal pump derating, losses in valves and fittings, open channels, Launders and sheet flows. These design approaches developed by Paul have been referenced in 17 Design Handbooks on Mineral Processing Plant Design. Paul recently left RMIT University and has established a Rheology and Slurry Engineering Consulting section at Australian Tailings Consultants ATC Williams. He has presented 14 Invited International Keynote Addresses, Chaired 47 International Technical Conference Sessions and presented courses internationally, in the field of Rheology, Slurry Flow, Open Channel and Launder flow; and Pump and Pipeline Design.


Dr Fiona Sofra – Technical Organising and Editorial Committees

Managing Director, Rheological Consulting Services Pty Ltd

Fiona is managing director of Rheological Consulting Services, providing test-work services, expertise and advice on the processing of particulate slurries in a range of operational environments. Fiona has conducted testwork for and consulted to many world-leading minerals companies including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold, Alcoa and Anglo American, providing real and workable solutions to problems through understanding and control of the slurry environment. Fiona is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne and holds a Bachelor’s degree and a PhD in Chemical Engineering.

Event organisers


Candice McLennan

Paste 2018 Event Coordinator, Australian Centre for Geomechanics





Josephine Ruddle

Paste 2018 Event Manager, Australian Centre for Geomechanics