The Management Team
Chief Executive Officer
Wynand is presently CEO of the BBE Group of companies. Apart from his role as CEO he also manages and contributes specialist technical input to a wide range of ventilation and cooling projects. He also has a passion for ventilation simulation software and stays involved with technical development.
Wynand joined BBE in 2003 and served as Director from 2004. He was Managing Director of BBE Consulting for 13 years before taking over the reins as CEO. During his 17 years at BBE, he was part of the team that expanded BBE to its current form. The BBE Group of companies consists of BBE Consulting, BBE Consulting Australasia, BBE Consulting Canada, BBE Projects, BBE Laboratory, VUMA Software Adco and BB Energy. The group of companies provides specialist services in the fields of mine refrigeration, mine ventilation, underground environmental engineering technology, mine energy management, consulting services and project execution.
Before joining BBE, Wynand held various leadership positions at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Mining Technology division from 1996 to 2003:
- Programme Manager (Future Mine) until 2003
- Programme Manager (Environmental Control) until 2002
- Research Area Manager (Ventilation and Refrigeration) until 1998
Wynand is a mechanical engineer with over 28 years’ experience in the mining industry starting with Anglo Vaal Gold Mines in the 1990s, followed by the CSIR and then BBE. His professional and practical experience in mine ventilation and refrigeration were gained at Mine Operations, Research and Development, and Consulting levels. He has successfully completed numerous projects including concept, pre-feasibility, feasibility and EPCM work in ventilation, refrigeration and main fan station studies covering all commodities in several countries across the globe. Wynand presented many courses to the international mining industry on ventilation and cooling design and planning, and simulation software tools and he authored and co-authored many papers in the field of mine ventilation and cooling.
1990 B.Eng Mechanical Engineering, North West University, South Africa
1992 M.Eng Computational Fluid Dynamics, North West University, South Africa
1993 Certificate in Mine Environmental Control- Chamber of Mines SA
1995 Radiation Protection Officer Certificate – Chamber of Mines SA
1998 Advanced Leadership Programme – CSIR
Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa Fellow (1994)
Honorary Treasurer (2010-2020)
Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Fellow (1994)
Richard is presently Managing Director of BBE Projects responsible for the company’s design and build projects, predominantly turnkey, ventilation, refrigeration and air cooling projects on mines across the African continent.
Richard joined BBE in 1999 as a senior engineer, bringing with him 20 years of refrigeration and ventilation experience from the consulting engineers’ division of a large mining house. After several years as a specialist engineer at BBE with a focus on systems energy efficiency and optimisation, Richard’s passion for project work took BBE through the EPCM world into complete turnkey project work, leading to the formation of BBE Projects in 2007, a business unit he has managed ever since. In addition to numerous installations in South African mines, BBE Projects’ footprint includes mines in Ghana, Tanzania, Mali and Zambia.
Before joining BBE Richard progressed his engineering career in the mines and the Consulting Engineers division of Gold Fields of South Africa from 1977 to 1998:
- Assistant Consulting Mechanical & Electrical Engineer until 1998
- Consulting Engineer (Ventilation) until 1993
- Consulting Engineer (Refrigeration) until 1988
- Section Engineer (Driefontein and Kloof Gold Mines) until 1982
Richard is a systems engineer (electrically educated and mechanically trained in the mining industry) whose responsibilities have included design and project engineering in the fields of refrigeration, mine ventilation and hoisting systems; from feasibility studies, through design and procurement, to commissioning. His experience of more than 40 years spans gold, platinum, base metal and, to a lesser extent, coal mining. In 1999 Richard was a significant contributor to the ventilation and refrigeration aspects of the Deepmine research project which is when he joined BBE. He has presented and published papers on the benefits of hydro-power for deep hot mines; the hidden costs for operating diesel-powered machinery at depth; energy-efficient systems designs and has been the industry representative on several research advisory and regulatory committees.
1976 B.Sc.Eng.(Hons) in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Imperial College, London.
1979 Government Certificate of Competency for Mines (Electrical)
1988 Advanced Certificate in Mine Ventilation and Control
1992 Executive Development Programme, Wits Business School, Johannesburg
Institution of Engineering & Technology (prev IEE), UK Member (1974)
South African Insititution of Mechanical Engineering (SAIMech) Member (1983)
Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa Fellow (1988)
Mr. Andrew Branch
Andrew is a director of BBE Projects. His responsibilities currently include project engineering and management, technical project support, commercial contract management, business development and tendering.
Andrew joined BBE in 2003 as a mechanical engineer, focussing on mine refrigeration and ventilation project implementation. In 2007, he was part of the team that established BBE Projects and developed BBE’s turnkey design-build capabilities. BBE Projects provides full-service engineering and construction of fan stations and air and water cooling systems to a wide variety of mining industry clients across the African continent and globally.
Before joining BBE, Andrew held positions in industry with cooling tower manufacturers and thermal engineering contractors.
Andrew is a mechanical engineer with 20 years of experience in the field of mine cooling and ventilation infrastructure design and construction. As an engineer and later general manager of BBE Projects, he has accumulated experience in mechanical and piping engineering and design, contract and project management, and site commissioning work. Clients include most major mining houses across South Africa and Africa, Canada and Australia, and many different types of commodities.
Andrew has authored and co-authored numerous national and international papers in the field of mining refrigeration and has presented refrigeration courses at several international conferences and symposiums. Andrew was awarded the MVSSA J.P. Rees Award for Best Technical Paper in 2012.
1999 B.Sc. Eng. (Mech.), University of the Witwatersrand
2013 M. Eng. (Project Management), University of Pretoria
2007 Management Development Program, UNISA School of Business Leadership
2003 Certificate in Advanced Project Management, Damelin College
Engineering Council of South Africa Pr. Eng. (2009)
Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa Member (2003)
South African Institute of Mechanical Engineers Member (2008)
Mr. Ross Wilson
Ross Wilson is a Director and Senior Engineer of the BBE Group. Ross is an expert on mine refrigeration systems, main fan stations, deep mining, and mine planning. Ross has a strong academic background with in-depth practical experience.
Ross joined BBE in 1996 as a mechanical engineer where he has filled the roles of project manager, lead engineer, mechanical engineer, process and hydraulic engineer and has been responsible for the execution and project management, detailed design, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning as well as performance acceptance testing of a number of surface bulk air cooling installations for mine cooling across the globe.
He has over nineteen years’ experience in the field of refrigeration, mine ventilation, energy management and environmental control. This experience has been gained in industrial pollution control in local South African gold and platinum mines and internationally. His experience also includes aerodynamic design of critical areas in mine ventilation systems using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques. Special interests in the energy field include; renewable solar energy alternatives for mine cooling and mine mineral process plants, energy recovery and power generation from waste process heat and water pressure recovery and exploiting the opportunities provided by the Eskom Demand Side Management (DMS) programme to improve the energy efficiency of mine ventilation and cooling systems. Experience in this area includes design and implementation of ice thermal storage systems to minimise power costs by shifting electrical load from peak power cost periods.
Ross has authored numerous papers on this and other subjects and has received the Eskom manager’s award for the valuable contribution made to research on regenerative boiler air pre-heaters.
1999 M.Sc. (Cum Laude) University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
1995 B.Sc. Eng. (Mech.), University of the Witwatersrand
Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa (MVS) Member (1998)
South African National Energy Association [SANEA] Member (2011)
Mr. Ray Funnel
Raymond is a Director of the Board of the BBE Group of companies. He is a Principal Engineer with BBE with specific focus on leading feasibility studies and the engineering of mine ventilation and refrigeration projects. Raymond is also responsible for the development of in-house technical systems and quality control systems, as part of BBE’s growth and globalisation plan.
Raymond joined BBE in 1995 as a Mechanical Engineer to carry out mine heat load analysis and optimisation of mine cooling strategies. Between 1999 and 2000, he actively participated in a variety of deep-mine research projects and was responsible for the underground field trials. In 2002, he was appointed as Lead Engineer for a large mine cooling project in Brazil. In 2003, Raymond was appointed as Director of BBE and assigned the portfolio of South American mines. Subsequently, BBE has expanded into a group of companies consisting of BBE Consulting, BBE Consulting Australasia, BBE Consulting Canada, BBE Projects, BBE Energy, BBE VUMA Software and BBE Laboratory. The group of companies provides specialist services in the fields of mine refrigeration, mine ventilation, mine energy management, underground environmental engineering technology, consulting services and project execution.
Before joining BBE, Raymond held the following positions:
- Production Manager, Trendmark Signs and Graphics (family business), 1993-1994
- Research Assistant / Lecturer, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, 1991-1992
Raymond is a mechanical engineer with over 25 years’ consulting experience in the mine ventilation and refrigeration industry, including the design and commissioning of primary fan stations, booster fan stations, bulk air coolers, refrigeration plants, underground pump and energy recovery stations, piping systems and ancillaries such as dust filtration and reverse osmosis desalination systems. His experience has been gained at some of the deepest and hottest mine sites globally, including deep-level gold, platinum and diamond mines within South Africa and on base metal, potash and other mines throughout the world. Raymond has been the Lead Engineer on mine refrigeration projects in South Africa, Brazil, USA and Australia. He has authored several papers on mine ventilation and cooling optimisation and presented at international conferences.
1991 M.Eng.(Mech) University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, with a distinction for the final year mechanical project.
1987 B.Eng.(Mech) University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, with a distinction for the thesis titled: Prediction of Flow Patterns and Pressure Gradient in inclined Two-Phase Flow Systems.
Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) Professional Engineer (1999)
Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa (MVS) Fellow (1996)
Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) Member (2013)
Mr. Johan Viljoen
Chief Financial Officer
Johan is presently Chief Financial Officer of the BBE Group of companies. He has been elected to the Board of Directors in January 2017.
Johan joined BBE in 2008 as General Manager and was responsible for introducing formal Financial Management systems in the company as well as establishing formal Payroll systems in the company. He was also involved in the formation of our two overseas subsidiaries and maintains a close involvement in the daily management of BBE Consulting Australasia.
Before joining BBE Johan was employed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as Financial Manager of their Mining Technology Division between 1993 and 2003. After that Johan headed up the CSIR Business Applications and System group responsible for financial systems for five years (Oracle, Peoplesoft ERP system).
1982 B.Com Accounting Science, University of Pretoria.
2002 Master of Business Administration (MBA), Graduate School of Management, University of Pretoria
Management of change in complex organisations – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Cost of Quality – Groman Consulting
Leaders and Leadership – Groman Consulting
Me Marle Hooman
Marle is currently the General Manager of BBE Consulting, Johannesburg office and Director at BBE Australasia. Her current responsibilities include writing proposals, project management with project leads, resource management, invoicing forecasts, mentoring, technical report writing, compiling specifications, engineering design and drawings, quality control and optimisation.
Marle joined BBE in 2009 as a chemical engineer and developed a specific focus on cave operations and was a key member of the team that looked at Palabora Mining Company (RSA), Venetia Underground Project (Musina), Wafi-Golpu JV mine (PNG), Subika mine (Ghana), Khoemacau Copper Mining (Botswana), Sukinda Underground Mine (India), Prieska (RSA), Jwaneng (Botswana). She has also been involved with ventilation planning at gold and platinum mines including Mponeng, Zondereinde, etc. Apart from cave and block cave mines, Marle has developed enhanced ventilation experience in incline and sub-level open stope mines.
Over the last eight years, her role has expanded to include leading engineering teams as a professional engineer in positions including lead engineer and project manager. Work includes design requirements for surface and underground main fan stations and refrigeration/air cooling systems. This includes equipment specifications, process and mechanical engineering detail designs and drawings, managing civil, structural steel, electrical, control and instrumentation engineers and design requirements, completing project/construction schedules and interfacing with other construction and engineering teams.
Marle has authored and co-authored numerous national and international papers in the field of underground refrigeration and cave mining operations and has presented at several national and international conferences and symposiums. Marle was awarded the best student (2013) by the Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa.
2007 BEng Chemical, North-West University, South Africa
2011 BEng Hons Mining, University of Pretoria, South Africa
2013 MEng Mining, University of Pretoria, South Africa
2013 Certificate in Mine Environmental Control- Chamber of Mines SA
Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) Professional Engineer (2013)
Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa (MVS) Member (2013)
Mr. Morné Beukes
Morné is currently the Director of Operations for the BBE Canada Office. The role entails the co-ordination of resources and liaison between the Sudbury and Bryanston offices, financial oversight support and financial management support, project scoping and costing, project management, technical project support, business development, marketing, and mentoring. Morne joined the BBE team in 2019.
Morné has been in the mining industry for over 26 years and has fulfilled various Ventilation, Refrigeration and Safety roles within the mining industry during this time. He started his mining career as learner official ventilation at Goldfields Field Training Services in 1994, and during his career moved up the ranks to Group Environmental (Ventilation) Engineer of AngloGold Ashanti in 2008 where he remained until 2018.
As head of discipline for AngloGold Ashanti his key performance areas included:
- To promote, engineer and manage a working environment that is conducive to health and safety.
- To oversee the occupational hygiene management plan.
- Review the utilisation of ventilation and refrigeration resources and then optimise.
- Life of mine ventilation and refrigeration planning.
- Emergency response and disaster management.
- To coach, develop and manage, safety & health staff in ventilation, health, and hygiene matters.
- Morné also served on Mine Rescue Services Board of directors as alternate representative for AngloGold Ashanti for 5 year and as director for an additional 5 years.
Some of the projects completed during Morné’s 25-year mining career include:
- Planning, implementation, and review of various deep and ultra-deep gold mining projects up to 4500 meters in depth.
- Radiation walk through risk assessment and implementation of radiation protection function for Driefontein Gold Mine
- Safety transformation project for AngloGold Ashanti – Global
- Implementation and certification of the ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Standard for AGA West Wits operations
He is a member of the Examinations Committee and sets/moderates’ papers for the Chamber of Mines Certificate in Mine Environmental Control
1997 Radiation Officers Cert.(Accredited – 2-year project) National Nuclear Regulator of SA
1998 Certificate in Mine Environmental Control, Chamber of Mines
- Management & Modern safety Management (IRCA)
- Occupational and Environmental Toxicology Certificate (University of the Witwatersrand)
- Advanced Principles of Refrigeration (University of the Witwatersrand)
- Risk Management (University of the Witwatersrand)
- Control Room Managers Course (Mines Rescue Services of South Africa)
Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa Fellow
Past President (2012)
Honorary Educator (2013 -2019)
Mr. Kobus Van Zyl
Kobus is currently employed as a Senior Engineer at BBE Consulting. His current responsibilities include project scoping and costing, project management, technical project support, business development, marketing, and mentoring.
Kobus joined BBE Consulting in 2007 as a mechanical engineer and progressed to the position of Senior Engineer. He was part of the teams that established BBE Laboratory and developed the coal component of the initial BBE VUMA Software suite of products.
Before joining BBE Consulting, Kobus held various positions at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Mining Technology division from 1994 to 2007:
- Research Group Leader (Occupational and Health) until 2006
- Programme Manager (Environment Control and Ergonomics) until 2005
- Research Area Manager (Klopperbos Explosion Research Facility) until 2003
Kobus is a mechanical engineer with over 26 years of experience in the field of underground mining environments. At BBE Consulting he initially focused on ventilation and cooling system design and optimisation for all major commodities and underground mining methods across Africa, South America, North America, Canada, Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Australia. Currently, he conducts international fire and explosion assurance assessments, emergency response assurance assessments, equipment fire risk and mitigation assessments, energy optimisation studies, detail fan station assessments and general, occupational hygiene related work.
Kobus has authored and co-authored numerous national and international papers in the field of underground mining occupational working environment has presented at several national and international conferences and symposiums.
Kobus was awarded the South African Colliery Managers Award for Best Technical Paper in 2013, 2012 and 2001. In 2000 he was awarded the CSIR Mining Technology Innovation Award. In 2006 NIOSH in the USA invited him to represent the South African perspective at the ‘Mine escape planning and emergency shelters workshop’ in Washington, DC after the Sago coal mine explosion disaster.
1991 B.Eng. Mechanical Engineering, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa.
Post Graduate Courses Completed
- Management of Technology (University of the Witwatersrand)
- Risk Management in Mining (University of the Witwatersrand)
- Special Study: Assessment of main fan energy saving potential for coal mines (University of Pretoria)
- Digital Marketing (University of Cape Town)
Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) Professional Engineer (2013)
Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa (MVS) Fellow (2013)
South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) Member (2002)
South African Institute of Mechanical Engineers Member (2013)