WHITTY, Michael

Michael Whitty graduate profile imageDegree

Bachelor of Applied Science (Geology)

Graduation year

1996

Current position

Managing Director

Employer

Eidsvold Siltstone Pty Ltd

What are some of your career highlights?

  1. As an ex driller in mining surface and underground obtaining my Geology degree
  2. Discovering the Eidsvold Siltstone Beds, part of the Evergreen Formation mapped on the Mundubbera 1:250,000 sheet in year 2000.
  3. The realization that my stone comprises approximately one third kaolin that when fired to 650°C, becomes a metakaolin and can be used as a superior replacement for flyash in Portland Cement.
  4. This then opened a whole new world of opportunities including geopolymer cement, reconstituted stone and having this recognized by the French based Geopolymer Institute.
  5. A trip to Seattle to visit Advanced Cement Technologies, the world's major metakaolin producer and have my product recognized as a commercial metakaolin that could be marketed in Australia.

Describe the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of your job

My stone is being recognized as one of the finest dimension stone deposits in Australia and is being recognized in the form of tiles for floors and cladding, particularly my architects in Melbourne.

Seeing my product going into high profile jobs presently at Port Fairy, Toorak and Parkdale and being appreciated by professionals in the industry.

Speaking with professionals in the cement industry at a technical level and planning a way forward to have my metakaolin acknowledged by major cement players.

Being able to utilize my stone from the production of world class tiles and cladding bricks, the waste from which is tumbled into a fine white landscaping and decorative pebble, then right down to the micronized slurry powder (<20 microns)  from the pebble tumbling and diamond sawing process, so that it can be calcined into a metakaolin as mentioned above.

What are your strongest memories while you were studying at Federation University Australia?

The satisfaction in finally obtaining my Geology degree and setting me on a new career path at the age of 44.

Meeting my future wife who was studying Art at the same time, same university.

The companionship, bond and lifelong friendship established with certain students and lecturers.

Grasping scientific concepts previously incomprehensible, and understanding the world around us at a level that leads into an infinite scientific world.  Life opens up and being able to make your own way without depending on employment opportunities.

Do you have any advice about life after study to pass on to current students?

Take your knowledge from the university and make it a lifetime passion.  Don't just use it as a stepping stone for employment opportunities but develop your own individual path, think laterally.  Be passionate.