Industry Professor – Commercialisation, UQ Sustainable Minerals Institute 
Liveris Academy Executive in Residence:
Present, 15 August – December 2023

As an Environmental and Chemical Engineer, Leigh has held a range of operational, commercial, project and strategy roles across the international resources sector, including ExxonMobil, Santos and Rio Tinto. She is a passionate advocate towards future-proofing Australian heavy industry and manufacturing and has held tenures as the Manager of the Port Bonython Refinery in South Australia and more recently as the Site General Manager of the Boyne Aluminium Smelters in Gladstone. Leigh sees the energy transition as a foundation for regional economic redevelopment and an increased approach to resource recovery of our critical minerals and metals. 

Industry Professor – Commercialisation,
UQ Sustainable Minerals Institute

Having completed assignments across Australia, the USA, Canada, the UK, Singapore and PNG, Leigh applies a truly global perspective to her work. She particularly enjoys leading teams to execute strategic plans into the delivery of tangible business outcomes. After representing Australia in 2001 at the Youth Environmental Summit in Switzerland, she is excited to see, 20 years on, that evolving society expectations combined with government regulatory changes may be the catalyst for achieving a ‘green’ economy at scale.

What you did during your time with the academy:

  • Provided keynote speeches to Liveris Academy scholars on the energy transition and future economy opportunities for Australia.  
  • Meeting one-on-one with Liveris Academy scholars to discuss their goals and offer guidance in relation to career progression and leadership styles. 
  • Engaged with Liveris Academy staff around the strategic direction and goals of the academy, exploring topics such as University Funding Models and the Liveris Academy.

Reflection on your experience working with the Academy: 

The calibre of the students at the Liveris Academy makes for an enjoyable, inspiring and unique environment. The students bring energy and curiosity to the topics being explored across the broad themes of leadership and innovation.  I was impressed by the initiative of the students to organise events and activities outside their core areas of study and to bring others opportunities for learning.  It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the Academy. 

Phone: 0417 725 950 
LinkedIn: Leigh Staines 
UQ Stories: Learning from an Industry Leader