A stalwart of the mining industry has received top honours for his revolutionary software.

Jeff Whittle was made Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia in this year’s Australia Day honours list for his distinguished service to the information technology sector and the mining industry.

“It’s certainly the best award we’ve had,” Whittle told Information Age. “We’ve had a number of awards over the years but as far as I’m concerned, this is the one that counts.”

Over his career Jeff has disrupted the mining industry, creating and developing mining software that now has more than 2,000 licenses currently in use in over 70 countries globally.

Locally, Whittle’s software is now used in 35% of operating mines in Australia.

In 1998 he founded Whittle Consulting, focusing on developing tools that can optimise mining and maximise natural resource recovery.

His Whittle Four-D and Whittle Four-X software gained high regard throughout the late 80s and early 90s, while his more recent Prober software is widely used today.

Prior to this he worked as an experimental physicist.

He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Mining Geology Research Centre, University of Queensland.

Whittle’s work at the intersection between computing and mining has led to him becoming a household name.

“There’s a lot of computing done in mining, and the Whittle name is widely known in the mining industry,” he said. “If a mining engineer has not heard of Whittle, he’s been living under a stone!”

Whittle is also a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society, after joining in 2006.

He explained that his membership has provided him with a connection to the ICT industry while he enjoyed success in the mining industry.

“It helped me in the sense of community,” he said about his ACS membership.

“I’ve appreciated keeping up to date in what’s going on in the computing industry and in that sense ACS has been good to me.”