Keynote Speakers

About the Keynote

Industrial Innovation and Mining

The purpose of this session is to highlight the importance of industrial innovation, including in the mining sector. What does innovation mean locally, nationally and internationally for promotion of sustainable production of minerals, both in the U.S. and globally?

An impressive slate of speakers will discuss their insight and perspective on:

  • U.S. and global minerals production, and the importance of the U.S. to maintain a major role in the minerals industry, both as a producer and as a technology leader.
  • What is required for Minnesota to continue to be a leading producer of minerals (e.g., iron ore, non-ferrous minerals, industrial minerals), and for other U.S. regions, the importance of developing and producing minerals domestically.
  • The role of the U.S. government in supporting innovation, particularly in research and development across industry, academia, and agencies.
  • What the minerals industry can do to increase the probability of opening mines in the U.S.

The session will include a Panel Discussion Emphasis will be placed on innovation, with respect to both technology and social responsibility, in developed and developing regions of the world. Topics will include:

  • Global innovation, and the need for dialog with “all stakeholders” for socially-responsive interaction with local and regional communities.
  • Environmental responsibility and industrial activities, including mining, in the 21st century
  • Joint U.S. government/industry funding of research and development in sustainable mining – as is now available in other countries – to ensure that the U.S. remains in the forefront of innovation and sustainable practice. What has been lost, and how can it be regained?
  • The decline of U.S. university mining engineering programs and its impact on innovation in mineral extraction technology, and recycling and substitution of materials.

About the Speakers

Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson is a senior Executive with over 25 years’ experience working for 3M Company, who is known for driving innovation on an international level. Bob is currently the Research and Development Vice President in a business group that leads the industry in Fall Protection, Reflective Materials, Traffic Safety, Graphic design, respirators and welding helmets. One of Bob’s priorities within this business group is product commercialization. Bob’s career spans a wide range of responsibilities from sales and marketing to the R&D and international management.





Christophe Beck

Christophe Beck is executive vice president and president, Nalco Water for Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 2016 sales of $13 billion and 48,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world.

Beck leads Ecolab’s $2.9 billion Global Nalco Water, an Ecolab company, the global leader in industrial water treatment. Under his leadership, the business provides water and process technologies and services that help companies across a broad spectrum of industries re-use and recycle water to operate more efficiently, increase productivity and minimize water use. Customers range from industrial operations such as paper, mining, manufacturing, food processing and power generation to facilities including hotels, restaurants and hospitals. In 2016, Ecolab helped conserve more than 161 billion gallons of water at customer locations throughout the world, the equivalent of the annual drinking water needs of 558 million people.

Previously, Beck served as Ecolab’s executive vice president and president, International Regions, a role in which he helped foster local execution of global strategies, the high performance of local and regional operations and alignment as the company integrated, merged and acquired companies.

Earlier, Beck was executive vice president and president of Global Integration, overseeing the merger of Ecolab and Nalco. Prior to that, he held other key roles, including executive vice president, Institutional Sector; senior vice president and general manager, Institutional Foodservice – North America; and senior vice president, Corporate Marketing and Strategy.

Prior to joining Ecolab in 2007, Beck was a senior executive at Nestlé for 16 years, where he was responsible for major regional and global businesses in several regions before leading European corporate sales. Earlier in his career, he worked on a space shuttle project for the European Space Agency.

In 2006, Beck was nominated as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum for his accomplishments and commitment to shape a better world. Beck holds a degree in Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He serves on the institute’s strategic advisory board.



Rolf T. Weberg

Experienced technology leader with strong leadership and communication skills; able to bridge between R&D, operations, marketing and end-use customers. Creative and effective in developing and delivering solutions to complex problems as either leader or member of cross-functional teams. Innovation leader; seeks to exploit new technology intersections to drive new materials & product development. Green Belt certified.

Specialties: Technology leadership, IP protection strategies, chemistry, formulation & product development, technical marketing development, polymer chemistry, coatings, composites, process development.



Rene Aguilar

René Aguilar joined the Antofagasta Minerals Group in the beginning of 2017. He holds a degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of Valparaíso, a Masters Degree in Human Resources from the University Adolfo Ibañez and a MBA from the University Católica de Chile.

He has over 20 years work experience in mining, including sustainability, safety, human resources and corporate affairs.

Previous Job Postings

  • Group Head of Safety at Anglo American plc, London
  • Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Codelco, Chile
  • Director Health and Safety at International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), London
  • Corporate Director, Health and Safety, Codelco Headquarters. Santiago – Chile
  • Risk Manager, El Teniente – Codelco. Santiago - Chile