2023 speakers

  • Ali Abbas
    Professor, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Sydney

    Session:

    Ali Abbas is a Co-Founder and Director of Scimita Ventures where he focuses on technical and business strategy.

    In addition to his role at Scimita, Ali is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering where he serves as Acting Head of School, and is Founding Director of the Waste Transformation Research Hub, a national centre aimed at addressing the waste industry’s research and technological challenges. He is the founder and director of the Laboratory for Multiscale Systems.

    Ali received both his Bachelors and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney. He has held previous academic appointments at Singapore and visiting professor positions at several institutions including Harvard.

    Ali provides consultations to industry and government, and is active in commercialization activities, developing breakthrough deep technologies across multiple industry sectors in his capacity as company Founder and Director.

  • Malcolm Ballinger
    Principal Electrical Engineer - Energy Hubs, AGL

    Session

    Malcolm is a Chartered Professional Engineer and member of Engineers Australia. He holds a 1st class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Canterbury New Zealand. Malcom is currently helping AGL deliver energy hubs, utility scale energy storage and renewable energy systems. Previously, he was based on site at AGL Torrens Island Power Station as the Asset Manager for Electrical Systems. Malcolm gained Construction Management and Site Supervision experience when he was based in the EPC Contractor site office of the AGL Hallett 5 Bluff Windfarm construction project.

    For seven years, he worked as a consultant electrical system design engineer in Australia, the United Kingdom and China, with an additional two years of electronic product research and embedded control software development prior to this. Malcom has a broad range of experience in engineering design, construction activities, and plant operation reviews.

  • Martin Boettcher
    Lead Asset Engineer, Ventia Engineering

    Session:

    Martin Boettcher works as Lead Asset Engineer for Ventia Engineering. He has a passion for developing asset management solutions that are practical and efficient to implement. His specialises in criticality analysis, maintenance strategies & optimisation and the management of equipment condition. He also does a lot of work in equipment reliability and major failure analysis. He has over 30 years of experience in power stations and water infrastructure in a variety of system engineering, management, and consulting roles. His paper “High speed rule based criticality analysis” was awarded best paper at AMPeak 2021.

  • Lawrie Cleary
    Principal Technical Authority, TxMonitor

    Session: 

    Lawrie Cleary is the Principal Technical Authority for TxMonitor® and was the past Queensland Chairman and Board member of the Electric Energy Society Australia (EESA).

    Lawrie is an experienced Electricity Industry Professional, with a 40+ year career in manufacturing and service related roles within the Australian Electricity Market, integrating trade, engineering, innovation, development, change, leadership and commercial acumen in general management. He is a natural leader who drives innovative asset solutions and maintenance practices across private and government-owned infrastructure. Lawrie has a proven track record in Transformer and Motor plant failure investigations and more recently influential in the research and development of self-learning diagnostics health indexing for critical assets.

    Lawrie offers unique engineering capability that engages technical, engineering and management resources in both government and private sectors driving compliance, individual accountability, safety and sound business outcomes.

  • Rukmi Dutta
    Postgraduate Research Coordinator, School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, UNSW

    Session

    Rukmi Dutta, PhD, BE, SMIEEE, MIET is an Associate Professor in Energy Systems with the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. Her research interests include:

    • Electric Machines and Drive Systems
    • Electric and Hybrid Electric vehicles
    • Renewable Energy
    • Wireless power transfer
    • Electromagnetics
    • Power Electronics

    Areas of research expertise include design and control of novel electric machines such as permanent magnet machines in the automotive and renewable energy sectors. Provided consultancy to several global entrepreneuring companies in USA and Australia. She is the Vice Chair of the Electric Machine Committee of IEEE IAS and associate editors of several IEEE transactions.

  • Mark Faith
    Manager Operations Diagnostic Centre and Technology, AGL

    Session:

    Mark Faith is the Engineer for Reliability and Performance Systems for AGL and has worked in the power generation industry for the last 26 years. He is also the technical owner of the PI System. When not on the back of a motorbike or trying to plumb his homebrew setup into PI, Mark's focus is in realising operational excellence at AGL through the use of the PI System and its partners. AGL's power generation fleet spans the eastern seaboard of Australia and is quite diverse with coal, gas, wind, solar and hydroelectric generation. As AGL's Engineer for Reliability and Performance systems, Mark is responsible for implementing consistent tools and reporting to improve asset reliability, availability and increase overall Operational Excellence at Australia's largest and leading power company.

  • Carlos Gamez
    Founder and Director, Nova Energy Consulting

    Session

    Carlos founded Nova Energy Consulting in 2022, bringing more than 25 years' experience across the energy, asset management and digitalisation sectors.

    Before that, Carlos served as Head of Asset Performance at Western Power. In this role he was instrumental in the enablement of the transformation of the grid whilst meeting the objectives of the in-service network.

    Throughout his career, Carlos has acquired a unique perspective of the industry with depth of technical expertise accompanied by a broad business acumen.

    This is the result of his engagements on a wide range of roles including design engineering, manufacturing, product development, customer service, field services, consulting, business development, mergers, acquisitions and other senior leadership roles in large and small organisations.

    As a published author, Carlos has contributed ideas that focus in shaping the future of the electrical energy industry.

  • Luca Garagnani
    Principal Technical Authority - Cables & Switchgears, machinemonitor®

    Session:

    Luca Garagnani holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with particular expertise in Partial Discharge Testing. Luca studied under the renowned Prof. Montanari and Prof. Cavallini at Bologna University. His experience has centred around the measurement and analysis of MV/HV cables, transformers, switchgear and rotating machines throughout Europe, USA, Asia, and the Middle East. During this experience he has also been involved in teaching and tutoring on the theory of partial discharge and measurement techniques.

  • Ahmed Halima
    Hydrogen & Fuels Lead ANZ – Principal Engineer, Mott MacDonald

    Session

    Ahmed is a leader in energy and industry decarbonisation and dedicated to influencing the development of infrastructure and energy projects that deliver positive environmental and social outcomes. Heading up Hydrogen & Fuels at Mott MacDonald in ANZ, he implements multidisciplinary chemical and electrolyser plant engineering, commercial, strategy and business in decarbonising energy in industrial, transport and primary sectors towards economies of scale.

    As Principal Engineer, he is managing the technical development, front end engineering and design, feasibility projects for hydrogen electrolyser and future fuels production plants, and brings insights from consulting, infrastructure development, R&D, chemical engineering, and scientific career for the design of multimodal hubs and integrated energy projects.

    He gained his PhD in design and scale-up of electrochemical hydrogen and synthetic fuels systems, and productively leads teams in the development of solutions to enable the nexus of sustainable and resilient industries, scale-up and readiness across energy, transport, industrial and primary sectors.

  • Craig Harrison
    Managing Director, I S Systems

    Session

    Craig has vast experience from electrical fitter/mechanic, engineer through to engineering superintendent at BHP. He has been involved in engineering company management, co-founding I S Systems and building the company to its present state. He has developed project engineering, switchboard manufacturing and product sales business into a wide range of industries, including mining, metals, paper, food & beverage and infrastructure. Recent focus has been on developing new products for the energy market and renewable energy applications. Craig has a number of patents and is the Managing Director of I S Systems.

  • Georgios Konstantinou
    Senior Lecturer in Energy Systems, UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute (DGFI)

    Session

    Georgios is a Senior Lecturer in Energy Systems with the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, UNSW Australia and coordinates the research work at the Real-Time Digital Simulation (RTS) laboratory of UNSW.

    He is also an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow, and was awarded DECRA in 2017 for project DE170100370: High-voltage DC grids for flexible and efficient electricity transmission, looking into the operation of Power Electronics in Multiterminal dc transmission systems.

    Georgios received a B. Eng in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2007 and a PhD in Power Electronics from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia in August 2012. From 2008-10 he was a PhD student with the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Sydney and in April 2010 joined UNSW Australia for the remainder of his PhD. He was a Research Associate (2013) and a Senior Research Associate (2014-2015) with the Australian Energy Research Institute (AERI). In 2015, he part of Australia-China Young Scientist Exchange Program and in 2016 he was awarded a Next Steps Initiative Grant for collaborations with Chinese partners.

    Georgios currently serves as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics and IET Power Electronics - the main two Power Electronics publication outlets.

  • Troy Kooloos
    Transformation Consultant in Energy,

    Session

    Over the past decade, Troy has worked as a senior leader across the electricity, gas and water utilities from operations, asset management, customer and business change with a focus on continuous improvement and optimising asset performance.

    While driving business-led improvements across technical environments, what excites him most are the opportunities he gets with connecting people and businesses to show a better way to drive successful outcomes. Recently, he just finished leading a two and half year business wide transformation helping teams across network and transmission electricity and gas assets reducing risk, improving efficiency and setting up a continuous improvement culture to help navigate the volatile energy market.

    Previous to that, Troy was a global design lead in Europe in the automotive sector and has a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from RMIT University and Diploma of Management from Australian Institute of Management.

  • Rainer Korte
    Chief Operating Officer, ElectraNet

    Session

    Rainer is an experienced Energy Industry Executive with more than 30 years of experience in the electricity industry. He is responsible for overseeing the delivery of safe, reliable and sustainable electricity transmission services to customers in South Australia.

    Rainer is passionate about energising our clean energy future and has led key ElectraNet energy transformation initiatives in South Australia. He has also led business change towards strengthening customer and stakeholder engagement, and best practice asset management. He has extensive leadership experience within the market and regulatory frameworks of the National Electricity Market.

    Rainer is a Fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust), a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) and Engineering Executive (EngExec).

  • Jason Krstanoski
    General Manager – Network Operations, Transgrid

    Session: 

    Jason Krstanoski joined Transgrid in March of this year, as the General Manager of Network Operations. He is responsible for managing the network in real-time, and planning and overseeing system outages, to enable safe and reliable operations. This includes preparing for emergency network events and managing their resolution. Previously, he worked with Ausgrid for over 20 years, in a range of operational and commercial roles and ending as Head of System Control. Jason holds a BE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Technology Sydney and an MBA (Executive Masters in Business Administration) from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

  • Iain MacGill
    Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, University of NSW (UNSW)

    Session:

    Iain MacGill is a Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at UNSW Australia, Joint Director (Engineering) for the University’s Collaboration on Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM) and the leader of the techno-economic analysis work theme within the ARC Training Centre for the global hydrogen economy). Iain’s teaching and research interests at UNSW include electricity industry restructuring and the Australian National Electricity Market, sustainable energy generation technologies, distributed energy resources, energy efficiency options, energy and climate policy and environmental regulation. More broadly, he is investigating low carbon energy transition pathways involving electrification and clean hydrogen.

  • Iain Mackenzie
    Chief Electrical Engineer, Woodside Energy

    Session

    Iain graduated from RGU in Aberdeen with a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Post Grad Diploma in Offshore Engineering.

    First worked for Brown and Root in Electrical design for 13 years in Norths Sea developments and Ras Lanuf refinery Libya. He then moved to Melbourne with Davey McKee for two years, and then joined BHP petroleum for almost 19 years. During that time Iain has held various roles; Chief Electrical Engineer, Engineering manager, Field manager for the Griffin Field, Field abandonment planning Manager. Have always been keen to use new technology and design fit for purpose solutions.

    Currently Chief Electrical Engineer for Woodside Energy.

  • Paul Masterton
    Energy Sector Lead, Mott MacDonald

    Session

    Paul is a resourceful senior executive with over 25 years of professional expertise, with an acute and innovative understanding of the renewables, construction, engineering and operations & maintenance industries and market segments. Using his broad energy sector experience; power generation, renewables, transmission & distribution and infrastructure, he has the ability to align technical and commercial requirements with stakeholder needs.

    Having led large multi-cultural teams at both international and local level, Paul is committed to a values-based leadership approach whilst creating a safe and inclusive culture. His leadership expertise spans business development; business strategy; governance and compliance; customer service; financial and budget management; technical, project & operational management; stakeholder management; process integration; procurement and logistics; contractual engagement; quality control; and HSEQ oversight.

    Paul’s career has allowed him to develop a deep understanding and passion for innovative technologies and how the integration of these can allow a sustainable circular economy to thrive and improve our future energy needs.

  • Cameron McCulloch
    Head of Asset and Environmental Strategy and Risk, Hydro Tasmania

    Session:

    Cameron McCulloch is an electrical power engineer and has been in the energy industry for 12 years in roles including power system/machine modelling and testing, commissioning, maintenance engineering, project management, trading, design and broader asset, sustainability and environmental management.

    Cameron’s current role is Head of Asset and Environment Strategy and Risk in Hydro Tasmania’s Assets and Infrastructure department. He is responsible for developing the Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) which including significant asset renewals. Hydro Tasmania has been extensively upgrading and modernising its assets to be fit for purpose for a future market and progressing its Battery of the Nation vision to maximise the capacity of its existing scheme, upgrade existing assets and add pumped hydro energy storage. Cameron is leading the asset and environmental requirements for these projects and how they integrate into the existing portfolio. Cameron also leads the Operational Technology (OT) function which has a significant uplift program to embed new technologies as a core part of asset and environmental management for advanced operation, maintenance and decision making.

  • Andrew Orkin
    Business Development Manager, Coolon LED

    Session:

    As a Product Development Manager for Coolon LED Lighting in Australia, Andrew has spent over a decade in the lighting industry, focusing on making products that improve safety and productivity of the mining sector. Andrew has travelled across many mine sites around the world to learn about their specific operational challenges. This knowledge together with experiences gathered in the field has allowed Coolon’s teams of engineers and product designers to create the multi-award-winning range of Brilliant Connected Lights.

    Our new generation of smart lights automatically mesh together to form a wireless network across the whole site. Each luminaire continuously detects and reports on any surrounding activity or important environmental changes. The network enables services like hazard identification, real-life asset tracking and personnel locating, and provides a digital backbone for invaluable sensor-based data-insights. It opens unprecedented possibilities for operations management, providing key insights to boost site safety and productivity.

  • Tony O’Brien
    Managing Director, Australian Winders

    Session: 

    Tony has worked in the Electric Motor/ Generator Repair industry for over 40 years. He started out completing his 4 year apprenticeship learning all aspects of the trade which led him to further his passion for the industry. He has owned and operated a winding contracting business since the early 90’s, working in many different places around the world plying his trade.

    His experience in positions as Technical Manager in the Philippines, Business Manager in Malaysia and Project Manager in New Zealand led to the establishment of Australian Winders in 2008. Tony’s outstanding knowledge and experience in the industry has been instrumental in developing Australian Winders into the exceptional international company it is today.

  • Richard Parsons
    Founder & CEO, Kite Magnetics

    Session

    Richard is the founder of Kite Magnetics, a deep-tech hardware startup with a mission to accelerate the transition to emissions-free aviation. Kite Magnetics are hard at work developing the world’s highest performance electric motors and generators so that future aircraft can fly further, carry more and emit less. Their electric motors use a newly developed propriety magnetic materials technology that Richard co-invented along with Professor Kiyonori Suzuki. This new material allows electric motors to be significantly lighter and more efficient than anything available on the market today.

    Before starting Kite Magnetics, Richard spent 10 years at Monash University as a researcher and lecturer developing advanced magnetic materials for use in high-performance electric motors. Richard also managed the Monash X-ray Platform from 2021 to 2022.

  • Max Pemberton
    Managing Director, PSG Cyber

    Session

    Max is the Managing Director of PSG Cyber Intelligence. Prior to commencing this role, Max served in the military for 20 years, 15 of which were spent as a team leader in the Special Forces. Since leaving the military, Max has specialised in the provision of holistic risk management and intelligence solutions across the physical, technical and human domains for high-risk companies, including fulfilling the role of principal cyber security advisor for numerous financial services firms. Max’s extensive cyber experience includes training financial institutions throughout the region, helping organisations implement their cyber strategies, incident response and cyber threat hunting.

  • Jon Pemberton
    Chairman, machinemonitor®

    Session:

    Dr. Jon Pemberton is the Chair/ Non-Executive Director and a major shareholder of Machinemonitor Pty Ltd, a company focused on condition monitoring and assessment of critical electrical assets, such as high voltage motors, generators, cables and transformers. Machinemonitor services an extensive blue chip customer list throughout Australia and New Zealand.

    Jon is also the Managing Director of Zest Energy Pty Ltd a company he formed in 2007, along with fellow Director Dr.Tony Vassallo. Zest Energy is an Australian company specialising in Renewable Energy, Hydrogen and Energy Storage solutions. When Zest was working with leading Korean Lithium battery manufacturer Kokam, ground breaking projects were undertaken under Jon’s leadership, such as the 35MW/12MWh spinning reserve displacement project for Alinta Energy, a world first at the time.

    As well as the Energy Sector, Jon has extensive experience in the heavy engineering sector, having held Executive General Management roles running major divisions of Australian National industries and Evans Deakin Industries. At that time these companies were leading ASX listed companies. He was also a former Managing Director of CCI Pope, now acquired by Bureau Veritas. CCI Pope was the Australian market leader in the provision of outsourced reliability engineering solutions for the mining and process industry sectors.

    Jon has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London University. He is a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers London and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy

  • David Pointing
    Chief Executive Officer, Australian Power Institute (API)

    Session

    Appointed by the API Board in December 2019, David is an engineering-sector executive and leader with extensive experience in creating and delivering projects and initiatives that build capacity and capability in communities, with a focus on sustainable development solutions and energy systems.

    David has a deep portfolio of skills and experience in program development, project management, business development, stakeholder engagement, and the creation of collaborative solutions, including research and development projects, tertiary education and workforce development initiatives.

    David has qualifications in Materials Engineering (UNSW), Antarctic Studies (UTAS), and completed a Ph.D. (UTAS) on the implementation of sustainable energy solutions in isolated communities.

    David is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has been recognized with the EngExec credential and is Chartered in engineering leadership and management.

  • Ron Scollay
    Principal Engineer, machinemonitor®

    Session

    Ron Scollay FIE (Aust) CPEng NER APEC Engineer Int PE Aus FSAIEE is a Specialist Electrical Engineer with 35 years’ experience in the field of electrical machines and auxiliary equipment. His experience covers general design, re-design, construction, testing and investigating application problems and failures of AC, DC and high voltage motors, generators and auxiliary equipment.

    Ron is currently Principal Engineer at Machinemonitor where he has been assisting the Australian mining and industry for the last 22 years. Achievements have included assistance with failure recovery of strategic motors, preparing detailed repair specifications and audit plans, preparing procurement specifications for new motors, to be customised to suit existing installations.  A focus is the development of specialised test strategies for integrity evaluation of machines and then applying engineering diligence to test and condition monitoring results using Riskmonitor® proprietary tools and software. The Riskmonitor® method quantifies a health index for the electrical rotating machines and identifies failure mechanisms used to direct condition monitoring and maintenance.

    10 years’ experience in the design office an international OEM served as the foundation for Ron’s interest in machines and drives. The wide range of machines large DC drives, high voltage asynchronous and synchronous motors and generators in Australia has presented the tapestry maintaining Ron’s interest, never a dull moment! 6MW DC mine winders, specialised rewind of 60 year old 20MW generators with ekiimeier roebelled bars and push through windings, modelling and considering the incident voltage on motor, cable and VSD systems are some examples of recent projects.

    Ron is continuing this work and mentors the undergraduates and new engineers in machinemonitor and the customer base, sharing this knowledge and encouraging inquisitive analysis to provide an expert consulting service in the field of electrical machines.

  • Bianca Shepherd
    Engineering Support Workshop Manager, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

    Session:

    Bianca Shepherd is ANSTO’s Engineering Support Workshop Manager, confidently overseeing the manufacture and fabrication of equipment and specialised parts for critical Australian scientific and landmark infrastructure.

    In particular, Bianca oversees the manufacture of specialised parts for the OPAL multi-purpose reactor, which is required for the production of nuclear medicine that benefits half a million Australians each year. Bianca also enables the continued operation of infrastructure relevant to important health, environment and nuclear fuel cycle research.

    Bianca began her career almost thirty years ago as an Electrical Engineering Cadet at BHP. During that time, she completed an Associate Diploma in Electrical Engineering whilst undertaking an electrical trade, and working in the steel industry.

    Bianca remains grateful for her trade expertise, and developing the next generation of young trade professionals in STEM has become her passion. She possesses strong education and training skills, and has worked at the University of Ballarat to teach electrical modules to apprentices and tradespeople.

  • Bandula Subasinghe
    Senior Electrical Engineer, Arup

    Session

    Bandula is a Chartered Professional Engineer with over 17 years’ experience in design, design management, project management and technical review roles across multiple geographies on educational, art and culture, healthcare, pharmaceutical, industrial, residential and commercial projects.  Bandula has gained broad exposure and expertise in building services engineering in in Australia, USA and Sri Lanka. She is currently working at Arup Sydney as a Lead electrical engineer and Project Manager.

    Bandula is passionate to deliver emerging sustainability strategies for new and existing buildings and focusing on sustainable outcomes, decarbonisation and electrification. Her extensive technical skills include electrification of buildings, whole of life carbon approaches, climate resilience, energy and sustainability masterplans and building services electrical design.

    She is a specialist in providing electrical engineering services for development of full electric buildings, general and essential power systems, lighting system, communication, security and access control systems, and offers experience in Level 3 ASP services coordination.

  • Kate Summers
    Principal Consultant, Ekistica

    Session

    Kate is an experienced power and control engineer with over 25 years of electrical, market and regulatory experience. She is a leader in Australia’s renewable energy field.  Awarded the National Professional Electrical Engineer of the Year 2020, Kate is passionate about ethical approaches to energy and dedicated to bringing about an orderly transition to a zero carbon future.

    Experienced in transmission planning, generator controls and system operations, she has negotiated many network connections for large scale wind and solar projects.  Kate has provided technical leadership for the wind industry in NER working groups, has been the chair of the Grid Directorate of the CEC and is a current Board Member of Engineers Australia’s Electrical College.

    As a Principal Consultant with Ekistica, Kate is developing and strengthening remote and regional Australia’s capability to deliver reliable power solutions in the renewable energy sector.

  • Tri Tran
    Principal Electrical Engineer, AGL Energy

    Session

    Tri Tran has been Principal Electrical Engineer at AGL since 2013. Previous to this role, he was Electrical Asset Manager for TXU Energy in the USA. Tri holds a Masters in Engineering (Electrical Engineering) from the University of South Australia.