Albury-born Leonard Gould is making waves in the mining industry after one of his ideas won the Rio Tinto Pioneering Pitch program, and another saved the company $44 million.
Mr Gould, a control systems engineer with Rio Tinto, and his teammates Chris Jackson and Paul Forsaith, created one of four winning pitch ideas that gained funding through the company’s inaugural ‘Shark-Tank’-like competition.
The 39-year-old said four winning teams shared in a $5 million development fund.
The process of pitching and presenting was captured and turned into a television episode.
Mr Gould was responsible for pitching the team’s idea to provide real time production and plant systems data to people’s devices.
“They can be anywhere in the world and see real time data on their phones and can analyse off that data,” he said.
“It’s a bit hard to quantify the potential in dollar value, so under a normal arrangement it could be hard to gain funding – that’s why the Pioneering Pitch idea is great.”
Mr Gould said he was nervous but excited to present to international Rio Tinto high-ups, though it wasn’t his first time in the spotlight.
In 2016, a code created by Mr Gould was installed in Rio Tinto systems, saving the company about $44 million.
Mr Gould had been working on the Dynamic Speed-rate Control algorithm on and off in his spare time since 2012.
He said the code ensures the company is utilising process facilities to their maximum throughput.
“It was a little bit overwhelming at times but at the same time exciting,” he said. “It’s good to get recognition.”
Mr Gould followed in his father Nigel’s footprints by joining Rio Tinto.