May 17, 2022

Keynote Speakers

Jeffrey Mauk

United States Geological Survey

Topical Session: The Critical Mineral Potential of the USA

Presentation Title: Uncertainties in translating U.S. critical mineral resources to domestic supply

Biography: Jeff Mauk has a BSc degree in Biology and Geology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MSc degree in Geology from the University of Montana, a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Michigan, and seven years of industry experience as an exploration and mine geologist. He led the Mineral Deposit Research Group at the University of Auckland in New Zealand for nineteen years. He is currently a Research Geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver Colorado, and an Associate Editor for Ore Geology Reviews.

Adam C. Simon

Adam C. Simon

University of Michigan

Topical Session: The Critical Mineral Potential of the USA

Presentation Title: The Transition to Renewable Energy: Truths and Consequences

Biography: Adam C. Simon is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan. He earned degrees in geology and geochemistry from the University of Maryland and Stony Brook University and was a postdoctoral fellow at The Johns Hopkins University. His scholarly work focuses on the global flow of energy and mineral resources with an emphasis on the geologic availability of energy critical metals. Adam has co-authored the textbooks Mineral Resources, Economics and the Environment, and Earth Materials: Components of a Diverse Planet and published extensively in the field of energy and mineral resources. Adam has done research and given invited lectures on all seven continents, including a TEDX talk in 2022.

He has earned numerous awards for under-graduate teaching including the University of Michigan Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize.

Saskia Duyvesteyn

Rio Tinto

Topical Session: Mineral Processing and Recycling

Presentation Title: Unlocking new resources through full-value copper mining

Biography: Saskia Duyvesteyn is the Chief Advisor Research & Development for the Rio Tinto Copper product group managing the portfolio of innovation projects across the entire value stream including ore body knowledge, underground & surface mining, mineral processing & metallurgy, tailings and digital projects. Saskia has over 20 years of experience in operational, technical and leadership roles based in Nevada, California and Utah for a range a commodities, including copper, gold, silver, borates, molybdenum and other critical minerals. Prior to her career in mining, Saskia was an assistant professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Metallurgical Engineering. Saskia has a Ph.D. in Extractive Metallurgy & Mineral Processing and a Master of Science in Minerals Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She has a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science & Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also a Senior RioExpert.

Isabel Barton

Isabel Barton

University of Arizona

Topical Session: Mineral Processing & Recycling

Presentation Title: Developing the critical minerals workforce: roadblocks and opportunities

Biography: Isabel Barton is an assistant professor of mining and geological engineering at the University of Arizona. Her major area of research is geometallurgy, integrating geology, mineralogy, and extractive metallurgy to understand how rock and mineral properties affect process behavior. In collaboration with ASU and with the UA School for Mining & Mineral Resources, School of Anthropology, and Aerospace Engineering department, she is also running an NSF-funded study of recruitment practices to enhance and diversify engineering disciplines. 

Thomas Sonderman

SkyWater Technology

Topical Session: Critical Mineral Policies

Presentation Title: To be announced


Thomas Sonderman is the president and CEO of SkyWater Technology. He joined the company in 2017, driving successful business transformation and transitioning SkyWater from an integrated device manufacturer to a pure play foundry. He has effectively diversified SkyWater’s customer base by defining new product markets and target customers while simultaneously improving operational efficiencies.

A widely recognized subject matter expert, Mr. Sonderman is the author of 50 patents and a highly sought-after industry speaker. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri University of Science Technology and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from National Technological University.

Michelle Michot Foss

Rice University’s Baker Institute

Topical Session: Critical Mineral Policies

Presentation Title: New Sheriffs in Town? Part Deux, In Which the Minerals Wild West Gets Wilder

Biography: Michelle Michot Foss, Ph.D., is a fellow in energy, minerals, and materials at Rice University’s Baker Institute, developing policies and conducting research to help build capacity on non-fuel minerals supply chains. She has nearly 40 years of experience in senior positions in energy (oil, gas/LNG, electric power) and environmental research, consulting, and investment banking, with early-career exposure to mining and mined land reclamation.

Over the past three decades, Michot Foss developed and directed research on energy value chain economics and commercial frameworks to support worldwide investment while serving in several positions at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston. She previously served as the chief energy economist and head of the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Center for Energy Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. She was also a UH Shell Interdisciplinary Scholar with grants on North American gas and power integration and national oil companies. Her career research highlights include reviewing oil, gas, and minerals markets for local, national, and international government bodies, including the Texas Comptroller, U.S. Energy Information Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, World Bank, Japan’s External Trade Organization, and other institutions.

Michot Foss also led a university-based LNG industry consortium for North America. In addition, she implemented energy development assistance and engagement programs sponsored by USAID and the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources in more than 20 countries and regions, including Central Asia, Ukraine, West Africa, Uganda, India, Bangladesh, and Mexico. She built and led the New Era in the Oil, Gas & Power Value Creation program for energy sector professionals from more than 40 countries. She also was previously a director of research at Simmons & Company International and at Rice Center.

Michot Foss remains an executive instructor for the Texas Executive Education program at UT’s McCombs School of Business, and she was named an Exxon Mobil Instructor of Excellence.  She has served on the advisory committees for the UTA Jackson School of Geosciences Energy & Earth Resources graduate program and Jackson School Endowment.

She is a member of the advisory boards for Haddington Ventures LLC and Energy Intelligence Group.  She is past president of the International Association for Energy Economics, past president of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics, and was named USAEE Senior Fellow for service. Michot Foss is a partner in Harvest Gas Management LLC. She created and leads a nonprofit organization, Friends of Briargrove Park Green Space LLC, to coordinate activities with Harris County Flood Control District for post-Harvey rehabilitation.

Michot Foss received her B.S. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, an M.S. from Colorado School of Mines, and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston.

Roderick G. Eggert

Roderick G. Eggert

Colorado School of Mines

Topical Session: Resource Sustainability

Presentation Title: Key considerations in thinking about public policy toward critical minerals

Biography: Roderick G. Eggert is Viola Vestal Coulter Foundation Chair in Mineral Economics at Colorado School of Mines, where he has taught since 1986. He also is Deputy Director of the Critical Materials Institute, an energy innovation hub (research consortium, led by the Ames Laboratory) established by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2013 to accelerate innovation in energy materials. He chairs the Independent Advisory Board of the UKRI Circular Economy Centre for Technology Metals (United Kingdom) and serves on the Advisory Board of the international Rare Earth Industry Association. His research and teaching focus on mineral economics and public policy. He chaired the U.S. National Research Council committee that wrote the 2008 book Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the US Economy (National Academies Press). He has testified on mineral issues to committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Canadian House of Commons and European Parliament. He has a B.A. in earth sciences from Dartmouth College, a M.S. in geochemistry and mineralogy from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. in mineral economics also from Penn State.

José M. Cerrato

University of New Mexico

Topical Session: Resource Sustainability

Presentation Title: Metal mixtures in uranium mine wastes from tribal lands

Biography: José M. Cerrato is Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico. He obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Honduras, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech. He was also a Postdoctoral Researcher in Washington University in St Louis. He serves as Associate Director of the UNM Center for Water and the Environment, and is affiliated to the UNM METALS Superfund Research Center. His research interest is related to biogeochemical processes occurring at molecular and macro scales at the interface of water and energy. He has been a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Senior Research Award to Spain.