ACSMP's team of interdisciplinary researchers focus on relevant, real-world solutions responding to sustainability priorities globally.  We have international linkages with other institutes (academic and other) and boast a suite of specialty areas that distinguish us as world-leaders who are in demand.  


Associate Professor Michael Hitch

Michael Hitch is the Director of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining Practices. He is a registered professional engineer and professional geoscientist. Dr. Hitch’s research interests centre on the mine of the future.This notion challenges one to consider not only the traditional aspects of mine design, extraction and closure but also aspects of greenhouse gas emissions and the social implications of mine operation. Dr. Hitch’s research considers operational efficiencies through the lens of sustainability and appropriate extraction that seeks to provide a platform for local prosperity and sustainable livelihoods for all actors. Dr. Hitch has travelled to 189 countries in various capacities including as a senior mining executive in his prior life including; a Mining Analyst and Corporate Finance professional for several Toronto brokerages; as Executive Vice President Corporate Development for Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., Vice President Corporate Development for AngloGold Ashanti, Director of Corporate Development – Western Hemisphere for Echo Bay Mines, and Manager of Business Development for TeckCominco. Michael served on the board of directors and as a technical advisor for several TSX and NASDAQ companies.

Research Theme: Mine Waste Management 

Associate Professor David Laurence

David Laurence is an Associate Professor in the School of Mining Engineering and The Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining Practices (ACSMP). With over 25 years experience in sustainable mining practices, David’s research expertise includes mine closure, mine safety and minerals education. In recent years he has worked extensively in capacity building within South East Asia, particularly in the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, India and China as well as Africa, South America and the Pacific. He is a fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy having previously been chairman for the Sydney and Darwin branches. He is also the co-founder of the Asia-Pacific Mining Education Network which is designed to build capacity in minerals education and research while also working with industry and government for community benefit.

Through several multi-disciplinary research collaborations, David remains one of the key Australian government and industry advisors within his speciality of sustainable mining practices.

Research Theme: Sustainability & People


Dr Timms has over 16 years of professional experience in consulting, government and research and has worked in Canada and Australia on water and waste issues in both mining and agriculture. She holds a B.Sc HonsI (Newcastle) in geology, hydrology and chemistry and a PhD (UNSW, 2001) in Environmental Engineering. She is currently working on recharge, seepage and water quality issues at sites in the Gunnedah area, Sydney Basin, Queensland and Saskatchewan, Canada. She has also trained in geochemical and flow modelling at the Colorado School of Mines, applying that knowledge to help protect aquifers that are essential for water supply.

Wendy brings a new focus to Mining Engineering education on water, dewatering, waste management, and to leading practices for water and environmental issues. Wendy and Associate Professor David Laurence are working collaboaratively to discuss key questions on water in mining and coal seam gas extraction.

 Wendy is currently a Chief Investigator of the ARC co-funded National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), leading research on low permeability seepage barriers known as aquitards. The $3.5 million aquitard program funds a team of researchers on seepage assessments using  geochemistry, geophysics and a new geotechnical centrifuge facility located at UNSW. 
Research Theme: Water Management


Simit Raval is a Lecturer in the School of Mining Engineering. He has more than 16 years of combined experience in the mining industry and academia. His research skills have a great potential to address the wider issues of sustainable mining practices using advanced satellite based spatial analysis tools.

Research Theme: Environmental Management