E. Jun Cowan

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, FSEG, FAusIMM, MAIG
Director, Principal Structural Geologist

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Dr Jun Cowan received a BSc (Hons Class I) from Macquarie University (1985), and from University of Toronto a MSc (1990) and a PhD (1996).  He worked as a research assistant for Prof John Veevers and Associate Prof Chris Powell at Macquarie University (1986–1987), after which he was awarded a Canadian Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship to study at the University of Toronto (1987–1996). His PhD research topic was the deformation of the world-famous Sudbury impact structure that hosts some of the largest nickel-copper deposits in the world.  He returned to Australia in 1996 as an Australian Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Western Australia (1996–1999).  During these full-time research years, Dr. Cowan published his research in the wide-ranging fields of basin analysis, fluvial sedimentology and structural geology in international journals.  He currently holds an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow position at the School of Geosciences, Monash University.

Dr Cowan began his work in the mining and exploration industry as a structural geological consultant for SRK in 1999. During his time as a consultant, he worked on a variety of commodities as well as consulting to the petroleum industry.

In 2001, Dr Cowan began research within SRK Consulting to develop a concept for a new implicit modelling method to process drillhole data based on 3D interpolation. Although various multi-elemental datasets were becoming available to companies, there was very little opportunity for companies to maximise the use of this data because traditional explicit 3D modelling methods were inefficient. After an internet search, mathematicians at ARANZ in Christchurch, New Zealand were contacted as they were considered the world authority on 3D interpolation, but they were unaware of the application of their interpolation code to the resource industry. This business opportunity led to the development of Leapfrog software and in 2003, as the General Manager of the SRK–ARANZ joint venture company Zaparo, Dr Cowan was responsible for directing ARANZ staff of the design and functionality of the software. He was also responsible for the international marketing of Leapfrog.

After eight years with SRK, and with Leapfrog now starting to become a recognised brand in the industry, Dr Cowan formed Prestologic Pty Ltd in 2007 and became an independent structural consultant and a third-party distributor of Leapfrog software. Between 2001 and 2012, Dr Cowan modelled more than 500 deposits from all over the world using Leapfrog software; he is the most experienced applied Leapfrog user in the world and is the leading authority on implicit geological modelling.

Although Dr Cowan is no longer directly involved in the development of Leapfrog, he remains passionate about using Leapfrog correctly as an effective geological tool and in particular to unravel first-order structural controls of mineral deposits. He teaches the correct use of the software along with workflow solutions he has developed to help unravel the structural controls of mineral deposits.  

Dr Cowan continues to publish new innovative methodologies that benefit the mining and exploration industry. As an adjunct staff member at the School of Geoscience at Monash university, Dr Cowan is currently co-supervising a PhD student, Stefan Vollgger, on the relationship between deformation and mineralisation on several deposits. He also runs a three-day MSc module for the University of Tasmania every two years for their Industry MSc coursework program.
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