Organising Committee


Andy Davies

Geotechnical Project Manager, New Gold Inc., New Afton (Canada)

Andy has over 20 years’ experience in rock mechanics in the geotechnical engineering field.  Over this period, he has obtained extensive industry experience, having worked on a number of large operations in South Africa, Botswana and Canada, in mining environments ranging from near surface to ultra-deep.

The majority of Andy’s career has been spent in hard rock environments in tabular, massive and porphyry type mineral deposits, extracted through either longwall, scattered, massive, drift and fill, long hole, open stoping and block caving mining methods. During this time, Andy has held a number of senior geotechnical and managerial positions in AngloGold Ashanti in South Africa, Goldcorp and New Gold Inc. in Canada.   Andy has spent the last 6 years at the New Gold, New Afton block caving operation and has seen the mine successfully evolve into a world class caving operation from its startup in 2012.  Andy is currently in a project management role to oversee and provide geotechnical input into the monitoring, understanding, mitigation and predictive projections of possible surface subsidence impacts of the active block cave on critical infrastructure.


Associate Professor Davide Elmo

University of British Columbia

Dr Elmo is an Associate Professor (Rock Mechanics) with the NBK Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia. His teaching topics focus on different aspects of rock mechanics and rock engineering design. His research topics include advanced numerical modelling of block cave mining and discrete fracture networks, interaction between surface and underground mining, numerical simulations of the mechanical behaviour of hard rock pillars, slope stability analysis, applications of synthetic rock mass modelling and discrete fracture network modelling.  Dr Elmo has worked in Canada with Golder Associates Ltd, Vancouver. He was awarded the 2009 Golder Associates President’s Award for innovation and technical excellence and the 2010 Victor Milligan Award for the best paper on ground engineering published by Golder Associates. Since 2012, Davide has collaborated with various engineering companies in Vancouver as external consultant, supporting also research and development initiatives. Davide is a licensed Professional Engineer with APEGBC (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia).


Jarek Jakubec – Symposium Chair

Corporate Consultant, SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc.

Jarek has over 30 years of operating and consulting experience in the mining industry. He specialises in mass mining, rock mechanics, diamond mining and technical auditing. As a cave mining expert, Jarek has worked on most of the world’s caving and sublevel caving projects. He has participated in several international research projects, developed a rock mass classification system for caving mines, developed a planning tool for sublevel caving mines and has lectured on cave mining on five continents.


Professor Yves Potvin

Director, Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Yves joined the Australian Centre for Geomechanics at The University of Western Australia in 1998 and was appointed Centre Director in 2000. Professor Potvin has published more than 100 articles and is the editor/co-editor of 16 conference proceedings/books. He has over 35 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.


Professor Doug Stead

Simon Fraser University

Professor Stead is currently Chair in Resource Geotechnics at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has over 30 years’ experience in rock mechanics and engineering geology since graduating with an MSc (with Distinction) in engineering geology and geotechnics from the University of Leeds in 1976 and a PhD in rock mechanics from the University of Nottingham, UK in 1984. Doug has worked in industry and academia in Zambia, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Canada and the UK. He was a Professor in Geological Engineering specialising in rock mechanics at the University of Saskatchewan from 1986-96 and Chair in Geomechanics at Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, UK from 1996-2000, at which time he took up his current position at SFU. Doug was awarded the Canadian Geotechnical Society John Franklin Award for Rock Mechanics in 2010 and the CGS Thomas Roy Award for Engineering Geology in 2009. Dr Stead acts in a senior review capacity for geotechnical consultants and mining companies both in Canada and internationally. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada.