Key Staff Members

Our Staff

Rick Hughes
Rick Hughes
Managing Director / Principal Consultant

Microanalysis is the brainchild of Rick Hughes. After spending 15 years managing CSIRO’s Particle Analysis Service at Waterford, he saw the need for a commercial particulate characterisation laboratory that offers value adding consultancy, accurate results and expedient turnaround times.Rick graduated from Robert Gordon University with Honours in Physics. He has over 27 years’ experience in the industry in all facets of particulate characterisation and sizing. He specialises in forensic particulate science, assisting clients from a broad spectrum of areas to identify and understand their particulate matter and how this impacts on their processes.Over the last 5 years Rick has equipped the laboratory with state of the art instruments and nurtured a team of exceptional and dedicated scientists to support our clients in all their analytical needs.

Debbie Hughes
Debbie Hughes
Director - Strategic Development

As co-founder of Microanalysis, Debbie’s vision was to establish a working culture where employees feel valued and are passionate about the science and the work we do for our clients.With over 20 years experience as a management consultant within the mining, manufacturing and utilities industries, Debbie is responsible for the establishment of all our support systems and processes and aligning our work practices, policies and procedures with our strategic direction, corporate governance and compliance. Building the foundation which enables Microanalysis to be an exceptional consulting laboratory, with exceptional staff, providing exceptional service to all.

Nimue Pendragon
Nimue Pendragon
Lead Consulting Scientist

Nimue graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Science (Nanotechnology) majoring in Physics and Chemistry.  Since joining Microanalysis in May 2011 she has been an integral member of our team.Nimue has recently taken on the role of Lead Consulting Scientist, liaising with clients and other industry experts in complementary fields to provide a well-informed consultancy service, backed by a team of professional scientists.We offer a comprehensive problem-solving service. From helping you to understand and act on your results, to developing game-changing methods and compliance procedures.

Sandy Lam
Sandy Lam
Analytical Scientist

Sandy graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Science (Multi-Disciplinary), specialising in Chemistry and Biotechnology. Sandy joined the team in July 2011 as a Laboratory Technician and soon showed her talent in operating and interpreting analysis using the Scanning Electron Microscope and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. Sandy was promoted to Analytical Scientist and is responsible for a large volume of our SEM.

Ian Davies
Ian Davies
Supervisor - Analytical Scientist (secondment)

Ian has worked in the Western Australian scientific field for almost 30 years encompassing research, heavy industrial and commercial environments. Primarily specialising in mineral characterisation using X-Ray Diffraction he is used to complex analytical challenges. Ian has a wide expanse of knowledge across many fields of analysis with some of his favourite areas of interest including, but not limited to, micro-characterisation using scanning electron microscopy, automated mineral analysis using SEM/QEMSCAN, thermal analysis using DSC/DTA-MS and auto-titration particularly focusing on both Bayer and Cyanide plant liquors.

Greta Brodie
Greta Brodie
Quality/Safety Manager

Greta Brodie is an Industrial Chemist with a Bachelor of Science, Applied Chemistry from Curtin University. With 17 years’ experience working within both the public and private sectors within Australia and abroad.Greta’s areas of expertise include precipitation chemistry, impurity control, solid/liquid separation, analytical chemistry including particle analysis, quality control, value adding process improvement, the Bayer process, uranium acid leaching processing and manganese beneficiation. 

Rhiannan Horton
Rhiannan Horton
Analytical Scientist

Rhiannan completed a Bachelor of Science (Forensic and Analytical Chemistry) at Curtin University, graduating with First Class Honours. With over seven years’ experience in teaching both theoretical and practical aspects of chemistry at a tertiary level, she brings to Microanalysis a range of skills incorporating both chemical knowledge and analytical techniques. With a strong interest in science outreach, Rhiannan endeavours to collaborate with colleagues and clients to increase the understanding of chemical science techniques across all levels of industry.

Lynette de Silva
Lynette de Silva
Analytical Scientist

Lynette has extensive experience working within public and private laboratories within Australia as an Industrial Chemist and Research Officer, using a wide rage of analytical instruments and techniques including titrations, AAS, XRF, SEM and classical wet chemistry. Lynette has a Bachelor of Science (Applied Chemistry from Curtin University.

Jack van der Pal
Jack van der Pal
Graduate - Analytical Scientist

Jack graduated from Curtin University at the end of 2017 after completing an undergraduate degree in Applied Geology and Geophysics. Following this he pursued a career as a Geologist, which initially led him into underground gold mining. Here he gained experience in core logging and underground geological interpretation. In 2019 Jack joined the Microanalysis team to apply his passion for science to a diverse role in the geosciences.

Our Talented Support Staff

Ben Rainer
Ben Rainer
Laboratory Technician

Ben worked in a mineral sands processing lab for 9 years after completing his diploma in laboratory science. Working his way up to laboratory supervisor. He has extensive knowledge of XRF analysis and quality systems as well as physical and wet chemistry testing techniques related to the industry.

Angie Thorpe
Angie Thorpe
Laboratory Technician

Angie has completed a Bachelor of Science (Biological) from Murdoch University and has many years of laboratory experience using a variety of instruments including  ICP, XRF, particle counters, Viscometers, FTIR and UV/VIS.

Dawn MacGregor
Dawn MacGregor
Executive Assistant/Bookkeeper

Dawn completed a Bachelor of Science in 2009, and worked within the solid and liquid waste industry for a number of years in varying roles from Health and Safety to operations and administration. This offered exposure to many differing industries within the Industrial Services and Solid Waste sectors. Dawn joined the Microanalysis administration team in June 2019.

Harrison Pitts
Harrison Pitts
Laboratory Technician

Harrison has worked as an Archaeologist for a number of years after gaining his Bachelor of Archaeological Practice from the Australian National University in Canberra. He has always had a passion for the sciences, and enjoys applying his knowledge and experiences at Microanalysis Australia as a Laboratory Technician.

Julie Darwin
Julie Darwin
Laboratory/Accounts Administrator

Since commencing with us in 2015, Julie’s welcoming smile and ever-cheery demeanour have been ready to greet all whose paths cross with Microanalysis. Although her twenty-plus years’ experience in administration and accounts receivable roles is evident in many ways, it is clear that what Julie loves most about her position is the opportunity to meet and converse with people from all walks of life. As the first port of call for most who contact Microanalysis, Julie’s openness and willingness make her an invaluable member of the team.

  • NATA
  • Australian Institute of Petroleum
  • Australian X-Ray Analytical Association
  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • Telstra Business Awards
  • Scientific Partners Australia