Emeritus Professor, Australian National University
The creation of a global standard for tailings management
He was an expert witness at the Royal Commission into the 1998 Exxon gas plant explosion near Melbourne. He was a consultant to the US Chemical Safety Board in its investigation of the BP Texas City Refinery disaster of 2005, and also for its investigation into the .BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. He has written books about these accidents. Over 100,000 copies have been sold.
He has also written books about the Moura and the Gretley coal mine disasters.
He has been involved in various government reviews of Work Health and Safety regulation and regulators and has done consultancy work for major companies in the mining, petroleum, chemical and electrical industries, as well as for Defence. He speaks regularly to audiences around the world about the human and organisational causes of major accidents.
He was recently involved in developing an international standard for tailings facility management.
He has a BSc and an MA from the Australian National University, a PhD from the University of Connecticut and is a Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia.
He was the winner of the 2008 European Process Safety Centre safety award, the first in time it was awarded to someone outside Europe.
He is an honorary fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in recognition of his “outstanding contributions to process safety and to the analysis of process safety related incidents”.
He is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of his “distinguished service to industrial safety and accident analysis”