Meet our team

About Us

We are Queensland-based mining professionals who founded Optimised Mining in 2017 after developing strategies to study for statutory exams ourselves.
We began offering coaching to colleagues and – realising that there was a real need for quality exam preparation support – Optimised Mining was born.

Our Optimised Mining app was custom-built in-house, and we designed the courses and study materials ourselves based on proven study techniques. We’re thrilled to say that we have helped over 500 mining personnel to pass their statutory exams, first time.
Chris O'Donnell

DIRECTOR

Christopher O’Donnell

  • Site Senior Executive (WA & QLD), Member of RPEQ and AusIMM
  • B.Eng (Mining), M.Fin (Applied Finance)

 

Chris has more than 13 years’ experience in mining, spanning technical services roles from coal to iron ore, and consulting roles from mine planning to advisory. He has worked across all open-cut mining engineering disciplines for some of Australia’s leading coal and iron ore assets.

With special interests in coding and mining software, Chris has helped peers and clients to leverage high-productivity methods of learning and mine planning. He developed the Optimised Mining app, and designs and facilitates Optimised Mining courses alongside co-founder Kiernan Smithson.

Kiernan Smithson

DIRECTOR

Kiernan Smithson

  • Site Senior Executive (WA & QLD), Reg/Auth OC Surveyor (WA & QLD)
  • B.Eng (SSIS), M.Eng (Mining), MBA (Executive)

 

Kiernan has worked in mining operations for more than 12 years, in roles ranging from technical services to Site Senior Executive appointments. His multi-operational roles on both underground and open-cut mining projects span the mining life cycle, from concept phase through to large-scale operations and mine closure. His consulting roles include mine planning and advisory.

Kiernan has focused on applying his knowledge and experience in the areas of organisational management, tenements and technical services. He designs and facilitates the Optimised Mining courses with Chris, and is the trainer and assessor for Optimised Mining’s nationally accredited RTO courses.

Peter Hollenbeck

MINING EXAM COACH

Peter Hollenbeck

  • Site Senior Executive (QLD & WA), Exploration Manager (WA)
  • BS (Mining Engineering)


Peter has over 13 years of experience across two continents, in technical, operational, and leadership roles. He has managed Technical Services teams and mining operations, including experience as Site Senior Executive in Queensland. His background in coal mining and lithium hard rock has provided breadth of knowledge of mining practices – from bulk to boutique.

Peter’s technical expertise is focused on blasting practices and geotechnical risk management, while his management expertise focuses on safe management of operations and the human touch of leadership.

Peta Chirgwin

MINING EXAM COACH

Peta Chirgwin

  • PhD (Human Factors in Mining Automation), MMGT (OHS), GradCertPsych
  • Member of NSCA and AusIMM


Peta is an experienced mining leader with over 20 years’ industry experience and a passion for helping people thrive. Peta has contributed to numerous world leading mining automation projects and held leadership, consulting and operational roles in mining and construction. She has extensive experience in building and leveraging high performing teams, innovation strategy development and execution, technology project delivery, people and systems integration and transformation.

In addition to Peta’s technical mining knowledge, she holds a trainer assessor competency and has supported Tafe in nationally accredited curriculum development for mining.

Got questions?

Get in touch

Whether you’re an individual or a company interested in our mining statutory exam courses, we’re happy to chat.