The Long Story

It all started at the age of six playing with crackers, bisecting them to understand how they worked and finding different methods to get them to work more efficiently. I’ll never forget the old man that came up to us one day as kids playing with crackers. He was one of the old style Bedouin Arabs from Dubai that are extinct today. “What are you doing boys, that’s not a cracker” he said pulling out a huge cracker from under his robe, “Here try this, this is a real cracker”. Excitedly analysing the huge cracker we never noticed the old man disappeared as smoothly as he had appeared. After hours of trying to light the huge fuse we disappointedly decided to bisect the cracker to see if the old man had tricked us with a dud. The pink marzipan like paste within the waxed paper wrapping was a disappointment that I’ll never forget. You could say that my first blast attempt ended up being a misfire, one that I’m very grateful for today.

Since then my track record has improved considerably. Starting in 1989 I have had the privilege to work with a large number of great people and projects in every aspect of civil D&B activities. After my mining degree in Sweden I worked for Nitro Consult for 11 years with very exciting high tech projects mainly within Scandinavia with the occasional trip to Europe, Africa and Asia. Environmental monitoring, control and analysis was heavy on the agenda as was D&B consulting and risk assessments, mainly within the tunnelling and construction industry. After a number of years as a construction manager in 2 of Sweden’s largest and most technically advanced tunnelling projects it was time for a change. The journey down under with my family in 2004 opened a new chapter in my professional life with a job at Dyno Consult concentrating in all aspects of mining, UG, open cut and coal. I finally left Dyno Nobel as the technical manager in 2010 to further develop my technical skills as a specialist technical services engineer at Orica. Many life long friendships later and with a big bag of experience I’m at a stage in life now that I am ready to break out on my own. A short stint running my own consultancy in Stockholm has left me wanting more.

My curiosity in life and interest to learn every thing I can has left me with experience with every form of civil D&B as can be seen in the list below:

  • Construction blasting – building foundations, trenches, road cuttings, etc
  • Tunnelling – road tunnels, rail tunnels, installation tunnels, caverns etc
  • Demolition blasting – High rise buildings, water towers, chimneys
  • Sculpture blasting
  • Frozen ground, negative cover advance tunnelling – Both horizontal and vertical
  • Slotting and blasting in highly sensitive areas
  • Sawing and blasting combinations – Ventilation shaft and cut and cover
  • Running advanced drill and blast courses in all segments
  • UG mining – stoping, SLC, narrow vein, block caving etc
  • Open cut hard rock mining – Big and small
  • Coal mining – Cast, through seam, dynamic buffering etc
  • Quarry blasting

Another one of my good attributes is abstract thinking. I am a creative and flexible thinker that can conceptualise, understanding that each concept or theory can have multiple meanings. This helps me see patterns beyond the obvious and able to solve larger problems by using a variety of concrete ideas or clues. Some people think out of the box but I usually say that I’m still looking for my box. These skills have helped me throughout my career to find alternative and improved solutions to problems that has lead to a number of patents, concepts, theories and trade secrets summarised below.

Sole inventor of:

  • Circular Pre-split rise – CPS patent
  • Vertical String Charge – VSC patent
  • Lateral Gassing patent

Methods and systems that I pioneered the use of:

  • Transfer function method to accurately predict resonant characteristics of materials
  • Transfer function method to determine the degree of pre-conditioning in pre- conditioning blasts in block caving
  • Limp timing design using electronic detonators
  • Reverse stope mass-blasting
  • Single monitoring point to determine P-wave velocity
  • Filming within an explosive column

My concepts:

  • Compressive Breakage Mining concept
  • Blanket Cover Ultra High Intensity Blasting – trialled and used successfully
  • Emulsion perimeter hole tracker
  •  Water cushioning for mitigation of confined explosives energy, explosive storage, fly rock and air blast protection
  • Slotting with direction charge against coal damage

Industry firsts and records that I managed or was involved in:

  • Responsible for the design of the longest development rounds (6.3m) used in Australia.
  • Responsible for the designs for 2 rapid development projects in Australia, both claiming Australian records of 300 meters/month for single decline development
  • Was involved in the testing of the first string charging system introduced in 1995 in Sweden.
  • Heavily involved and project managed the first development string charging system introduced into Australia
  • Lead the trials of the first remote monitoring instruments built for vibration monitoring.
  • Designed the first circular ring design for single shot drawbell blasting with dynamic void creation.
  • Achieved a world record high level of flow through dynamic void creation of single shot drawbell firing
  • Project managed the longest pre-conditioning holes (165m) used
  • Designed and project managed the largest vibration dampening slot ever used
  • Involved in the first sawed and blasted shaft ever attempted.
  • Construction managed the first and largest sawed and blasted cut and cover attempted.
  • Construction managed the first horizontal frozen soil, negative rock cover tunnelling attempt