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Hunter Region Branch

8th Annual Jameson Distinguished Lecture

PD Hours
Gekko and innovation – lessons learnt from COVID-19.

About this event

When COVID-19 hit, and the local medical community looked to Gekko to design ventilators as a back-up plan, the design and projects team realised that their core competencies and capabilities, developed over 25 years in the mining supply sector, were ideally suited to this challenge.

Technologically Gekko’s world class capability in hydraulics, pneumatics and control systems meant it could design a unit from first principles both using a very limited supply chain and creating new components where necessary.

But rapid innovation requires much more than design. Other cultural, relational, and reputational factors played a key role. These included a cultural focus on teamwork, resilience and proactive collaboration using the company’s manifesto of “smarter together”. Deep learning and experience in design thinking assisted with a focus on agility, flexibility, client focus and rapid minimum viable product prototyping. All these capabilities had been forged in the fires of innovation success and failures in the mining supply sector.

Pivoting, to become the first Australian company to successfully develop and receive permission to manufacture an invasive ventilator for COVID-19 by the TGA, has enhanced and strengthened the culture, generated pride inside Gekko and the community, strengthened and grown their networks and reputation and taught the team what it is capable of.

Gekko’s mission of “transforming mining and the environment” continues to drive innovation with a focus on energy efficiency and digital instrumentation and analytics in mining as well as diversification into bioenergy through the company’s Gaia division. Maintaining a focus on competencies such as proactive collaboration and using design thinking methodologies continues to be at the core of the innovation program.

An informal dinner will be held at a nearby restaurant following the address to allow further discussion. 

Those wishing to attend this dinner should advise or at the start of the evening.


Sandy Gray

Co-founder and Technical Director of Gekko Systems
Sandy Gray is co-founder and Technical Director of Gekko Systems. He has a background of 20 years in mining operations and management and more than 40 years’ combined experience in mining and METS.
Mr Gray has been recognised globally for his skills in inventing, developing and commercialising technology largely in the mining sector including the following awards:

- Clunies Ross Science Award
- Futers Gold Medal – IOM3 (UK)
- AusIMM Mineral Operating Technique Award
- Premier’s Design Award (Victoria)
- International Mining Hall of Fame (inducted)
- Warren Centre Innovation Heroes Award

His inventions and technologies focused largely in mineral processing, have been employed in over 50 countries worldwide and he has worked closely with research institutions and mining companies to accelerate positive change in the sector towards greater efficiency and lower energy consumption and footprint flowsheets.
More recently during the COVID-19 pandemic Sandy led a team in the development of the GeVentor fully invasive ventilator. This unit was the first unit in Australia to be given permission for manufacture by the TGA under the COVID19 exemption.
Sandy is currently undertaking research and development into automation and real-time measurement of gold and carbon in gold circuits as well as coarse liberation, fine crushing and energy reduction in processing.

Newcastle Museum
McIntyre Theatrette
6 Workshop Way
Newcastle NSW 2300

Thursday, 11 November 2021
5.30pm – 8.00pm (UTC+10:00)

Date and Time

Thursday, 11 November 2021
5.30pm – 8.00pm (UTC+10:00)


Newcastle Museum
McIntyre Theatrette
6 Workshop Way
Newcastle NSW 2300
View Google Map


AusIMM Member $0.00
Non Member $0.00

Refreshments – will be available prior to the address
Register now

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