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Dr Chris Vernon

Senior Principal Research Scientist


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Chris completed a double degree in Organic Chemistry and Physical & Inorganic Chemistry, followed by Honours and a PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Western Australia in 1988, with co-supervision by the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (now ANSTO).

After his PhD, he joined CSIRO for 4 years, using X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy to probe mineral surfaces and the interactions between reagents and different phases. This was followed by 5 years as a senior research chemist at Alcoa’s Bayer processing R&D centre, advising their worldwide operations on crystallization, kinetic and thermodynamic modelling, and performing audits on Alcoa's 9 refineries worldwide.

Chris re-joined CSIRO in 1997 and has worked in a variety of scientific and management roles, stealing time for project involvement where possible. He was a Program Director in the Mineral Resources business unit from 2014 to 2020 and is now leading the Green Mineral Technologies initiative - seeking greener and more economic methods to extract, process and manufacture using Australia's minerals endowment.

He is also CSIRO's Critical Minerals Lead and co-leader of the Renewable Energy Powerhouse Mission (in development).

Current Roles

  • Green Minerals Technologies Initiative
    Creating maximum value from Australia's mineral endowment

  • Site Leader, Waterford WA
    Site Lead

Academic Qualifications

  • 1988

    University of Western Australia

  • 2019

    Graduate, AICD
    Australian Institute of Company Directors

Professional Experiences

  • 2020-present

    Leader, Green Minerals Technologies

  • 2014-2020

    Research Director, Mineral Processing

  • 2013-2014

    Deputy Chief, Process Science and Engineering

  • 2012-2013

    Stream Leader, Strategic Materials (MDU)

  • 2010-2013

    Research Program Leader (CPSE)

  • 2007-2010

    Theme Leader, Alumina (Light Metals Flagship)

  • 2006-2010

    Alumina Program Manager/RPL, CSIRO Minerals

  • 2006-2012

    Market Leader - Alumina, Parker CRC for Hydrometallurgy
    Parker CRC for Hydrometallurgy

  • 1997-2006

    Research Group Leader, CSIRO Minerals

  • 1992-1997

    Senior Research Chemist, Alcoa of Australia

  • 1988-1992

    Project Scientist, CSIRO Minerals