About me

After graduating from RWTH Aachen University in 1995, I started my professional career as an exploration geologist in South Africa. This position taught me the “craft” of fieldwork, and during this time I gained my first experience with digitalisation in mining, through database work and geological modelling. Most of this work was still done using text-based systems in a UNIX environment.

In the years up to 2013, I held various positions, from technical management to partly management, in Johannesburg and Paris. During this time, I managed numerous geological and mining projects in South Africa, Indonesia, Colombia, Australia, China, and other countries. In addition, I participated in work on unconventional hydrocarbon energies, such as coal gasification or coal bed methane, and carbon abatement projects, such as CCS and CCU. In 2015 I returned to Germany to work as a freelance consultant for geology and mining, with a focus on digital models in the exploration and mining of solid raw materials as well as technical and economic evaluation of projects in the extractive industry. Since 2019, my offer also includes the sales and support of Carlson Software, which I use myself in a variety of applications. Additionally, I continue to work on projects about carbon abatement in the mining and energy industry, and provide external advise to research projects in the raw materials sector.

Why “greenvalleycoal”?

Why did I decide to use a name referring to coal, at a time when this is a very controversial subject and when I only occasionally work on coal projects?

Well, a first reference is the novel “How green was my valley“, written by the welsh author Richard Llewellyn and published in 1939, in which the writer describes the social, cultural and environmental changes caused by the ascend of the coal mining industry in Wales. The similarities to the historic developments in the Ruhr Valley are striking.

Another reference becomes obvious with a glance at the present day valley of the Ruhr river, where my current home is. Coal mine shafts used to line the banks of the river and coal barges used to transport their load to the steelworks. In stark contrast, this area is once again a “green valley”, which almost denies the close proximity of one of Europe´s most industrialised areas.

„“ is a link between my roots in the coal mining of the past and the digital world of the present and future. The hard coal mining industry is now history in Germany, but the knowledge of how to extract minerals in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner has never been more important.

AI-generated illustrations

Most of the illustrations on this website were generated using OpenAI´s Dall-E. The prompts were intentionally kept brief and rudimentary, to allow for maximum “creativity” of the algorithm. The results are astonishingly accurate in some ways, whilst simultaneously almost “naiv” in many other aspects. In any case, they are an interesting little experiment and somehow, in their own way, a form of “digitalisation in mining” 😊