In the ever-evolving landscape of mining technology, RockMass Technologies takes pride in recognizing and celebrating individuals who have demonstrated exceptional innovation, dedication, and leadership. The year 2024 promises groundbreaking advancements, and we are thrilled to present our list of the Top 12 Innovators to Watch Out For. These forward-thinkers are pushing the boundaries of what's possible in their industry, contributing significantly to the growth, efficiency, and sustainability of their workplace.
If you’re looking for leaders, trailblazers, and inspiring individuals to expand your network in 2024, you can first learn more about their own stories and contributions in this brief blog post. Without further ado, in no particular order, we'd like to introduce you to our top innovators of 2024:
With over 14 years of industry experience, Elen Toodu emerges as a passionate and driven leader in the mining landscape. As the current Director of Strategic Product Portfolio at Sandvik, Elen aligns product strategy, roadmap, and commercialization plans for the Digital Mining Technologies portfolio. Her role encompasses overseeing business units Automation, Deswik, and Newtrax, ensuring continuous improvement in world-leading products in mine automation and digitalization.
Davide Elmo, a Professor of Rock Engineering at the University of British Columbia, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. His research spans discrete fracture network modelling, advanced numerical modelling of block cave mining, mechanical behaviour of hard rock pillars, slope stability analysis, and applications of synthetic rock mass modelling. What sets Davide apart is his exploration of Behavioral Rock Engineering and Engineering Philosophy, unraveling the cognitive biases in rock engineering design. With over 160 published papers, he's reshaping the foundations of the industry.
Iain McKillip stands out as a strategic and imaginative engineer committed to connecting current and emerging processes, strategies, and technologies. Leading the Mine Technical Services Department, he plays a pivotal role in establishing safe and effective mining plans, incorporating cutting-edge technologies like autonomous UAVs, holographic design tools, and AI/ML. His commitment to integrating emerging technology reflects in his diverse responsibilities, from Long Term/Strategic planning to risk management.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Dwyka Mining Services, Jamie van Schoor leads a pan-African mining technology platform, actively contributing to 80+ underground mining operations. Dwyka Mining Services focuses on software, IIoT hardware, and connectivity challenges, aiming to improve safety, health, and environmental conditions to support the digital mine of the future.
Innovation, people, and sustainability drive Federico Foria's core values. Acknowledged as the best Future Leader in the European geographic area by EFCA in 2022, Federico's impact extends to international projects like the Nenskra Dam, the Grand Paris, and the 3rd Bosphorus Bridge. At ETS, he leads the Geotechnics, Geology, and Hydraulics Department, steering groundbreaking projects like the MIRET project, a Digital Innovation winner of the Ground Engineering Awards 2020.
Connor Langford, a recognized leader in the engineering industry, specializes in risk management and the design of critical underground infrastructure. As the Canadian Tunnels Team Lead at Mott MacDonald, he manages over 40 staff across three offices, showcasing his strategic thinking, communication skills, and commitment to building strong client relationships. Connor's contributions have earned him prestigious awards, including the 2020 Canadian Young Tunneller of the Year Award and the 2021 Young Professional Award.
Helmut Wannenmacher, Deputy Head at Implenia AG in Vienna, is a skilled tunnelling and geotechnical expert from Vorarlberg, Austria. A 2001 graduate of the Technical University of Graz, he has contributed to notable projects like the Niagara Tunnel and Semmering Base Tunnel. In 2023, he earned a Ph.D., delving into the correlation between geological factors and Tunnel Boring Machine performance. Beyond his TBM endeavours, Helmut collaborated with colleague Manuel Entfellner on a groundbreaking initiative. Together, they designed and implemented a novel yielding element, pushing the boundaries of innovation to address squeezing conditions in tunnelling.
Gino Vogt, the Division Manager of Herrenknecht Separations and add. Equipment at Herrenknecht AG, brings over 12 years of experience to the table. Specializing in solids treatment and handling, Gino's expertise contributes to sustainable equipment solutions, optimizing overall jobsite performance. His journey from project management to a global sales management position demonstrates his comprehensive understanding of the industry.
Dani Delaloye, a Project Design Manager, leads the design for projects of varying complexity, from small trenchless jobs to large-scale tunnel projects. Her technical expertise spans planning, leading fieldwork assignments, technical design and coordination, tunnel condition surveys, and inspections. Dani's contributions have left a mark on transportation, mining, hydropower, water, wastewater, and oil and gas.
Amanda Truscott, the Co-Founder and CEO of Rithmik Solutions, leads a venture that provides advanced analytics for mobile mining equipment optimization. The approach at Rithmik combines decades of industry experience with artificial intelligence, proprietary data processing, and innovations in cloud computing, resulting in accurate insights for improving fuel burn while increasing production.
A passionate and visionary leader, Gary Agnew is the Co-founder and CEO of Ideon Technologies, a world-pioneering muon tomography company. His expertise spans strategic planning, operations, digital transformation, sales and marketing, and M&A. Gary's hands-on experience, including building the strategy and global digital division at Finning International Inc., has left a transformative impact on the industry.
Chih-Ting Lo, the founder of EELO Solutions, leads a consulting firm delivering high-quality solutions for the industrial sector to improve ESG performance, achieve decarbonization targets, and leapfrog in innovation. With over 20 years of experience, Chih-Ting is committed to making a global net-zero carbon future a reality. His approach involves collaborating with clients, partners, and colleagues to set and implement strategies, monitor progress, and build strong relationships across mining, marine, energy, and international financial institutions.
These 12 innovators represent the driving force behind the transformative changes in their industry. RockMass Technologies is excited to watch their continued impact on their sectors, pushing the boundaries of what is achievable and inspiring the next wave of advancements.