The principal in profile

Jim has a special interest in the history behind heritage projects and is fascinated by the hidden aspects of a structure that can be uncovered during the testing and evaluation processes.

Meet the Principal

James (Jim) Mann is the principal and chief materials testing specialist within the company. He has an extensive background in earth sciences, ranging from exploration, primary metallurgy to ceramics and materials production.

History and Experience
After studying geology at the South Australian Institute of Technology, Jim began his career with BHP Exploration where he carried out geochemical and geophysical mapping for mineral and diamond resources throughout Australia.

After BHP, he began employment with Amdel Ltd, which, before privatisation, was the research and development branch of the South Australian Mines Department. He began his time with Amdel in the Geological Services department before being promoted to the position of Chief Mechanical Testing Officer where he was involved in the testing and analysis of a wide range of metallic, non-metallic and raw materials.

After working overseas as a teacher for a period, Jim returned to Amdel, and in 1995 he was appointed as Dimension Stone Testing Specialist. During his time in this role he gained NATA technical accreditation for the department.

After a productive time at Amdel, Jim could see that the boom in the use of dimension stone throughout the world needed the establishment of a laboratory that was dedicated to the testing and evaluation of dimension stone, so in 2003 he founded Stone Initiatives.

Current Involvement
Jim leads a diverse team at Stone Initiatives. His role today specialises in the forensic examination of stone material failures, including floor finishes and building facades, for both heritage and new buildings. Jim has a special interest in the history behind heritage projects and is fascinated by the hidden aspects of a structure that can be uncovered during the testing and evaluation processes.

Jim is an active member of the ASTM standards committee C18 that develops and maintains dimension stone standards and specifications. He is also a Director of the Australian Stone Advisory Association.

He has written articles on dimension stone use and evaluation for publications including:

Living and Building with Stone
Discovering Stone
Luxury Home Design
Stonedge

Jim has also presented seminars on stone selection, testing and evaluation at Full Frontal Stone Expo, Global Stone Technology Forum, Designbuild and Form and Function.

Jim Mann, Principal of Stone Initiatives

“Jim is one of the most experienced – if not the most experienced – dimension stone experts I have dealt with. Having worked around the world, he is up there at the top. I have no hesitation in recommending Stone Initiatives for any project that is considering stone as a cladding material.”

Peter Bouras, Principal, BG&E Facades

Get to know Jim. Read a Q&A with the principal here.

Read more stories from clients here.

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