Dr Pietro Guj has been appointed director of the Geological Survey of Western Australia, a division of the Department of Minerals and Energy.
Announcing the appointment today, Mines Minister Gordon Hill said Dr Guj was a worthy successor to the previous director, Dr Philip Playford, who retired earlier this year.
Dr Guj is presently manager of the financial planning and revenue branch of the Water Authority of Western Australia.
"Dr Guj has extensive experience in both geology and management," Mr Hill said.
"I am confident he will be an asset to the department."
Dr Guj was born and educated in Italy and has worked as a geologist in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Namibia and South Africa. He came to Western Australia in 1970 in the wake of the nickel boom, joining MIM Holdings as senior geologist.
While working for MIM, Dr Guj was involved in exploration for iron ore, base metals, gold and energy minerals before moving into the areas of joint venture management, financial and strategic planning.
He was later promoted to the position of senior commodities analyst in Brisbane, involved in formulating survival and diversification strategies beyond the year 2000.
Dr Guj returned to Perth as chief financial planner with the then newly-formed Water Authority of Western Australia, and was later promoted to the position of manager, financial planning and revenue branch.
"Dr Guj has been associated with a number of major changes and initiatives during his time with the Water Authority," Mr Hill said.
"Besides being involved in the merger of the Public Works Department and the Metropolitan Water Authority to form WAWA, he participated in other initiatives including regionalisation, program management and the move to commercialisation and away from CRF funding.
"He has maintained strong links with the mining and securities industry - lecturing at tertiary level - and has been extensively involved in negotiations with mining companies for the provision of water infrastructure as part of his role within the Water Authority."
Mr Hill said Dr Guj’s broad-based experience made him well equipped to lead Australia's foremost geological survey.
"His extensive knowledge, coupled with his experience in both government and private industry, will be invaluable in his new role," he said.
Dr Guj holds a Bachelor of Science in geology from the University of Rome, a PhD in geology from the University of Capetown, and a Masters degree in business administration from the University of Western Australia.