Speakers

  • Robbie Aherne
    General Manager of System Resilience, Transgrid

    Session: Operating the current power system and preparing for the future state

    As General Manager of System Resilience Robbie is leading improvements in the resilience of Transgrid’s transmission network as the NSW / ACT power system transitions to renewable generation.

    Robbie has a deep understanding of the integration of renewables into a transmission network – ranging from system planning to infrastructure delivery to system operations. He also has strong engineering and technology knowledge of modern and legacy power systems and diverse exposure to the integration of legacy and future assets. He has previously held roles in EirGrid as Head of Future Networks, Head of New Connections and Head of Public Engagement. He possesses highly developed stakeholder management skills and a holistic view of the economic, policy, technology, and engineering impacts of the energy transition.

     

  • Malcolm Ballinger
    Principal Electrical Engineer - Energy Hubs, AGL

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How is the energy transition and electrification of everything impacting the engineering workforce?

    SessionSafety considerations and protection strategies in HV switchboard design

    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.

  • Malcolm Bambling
    Senior Manager Central Power Plant, University of Michigan (USA)

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How has best practice evolved in respect to operation and maintenance of rotating machinery?

    Session: ROUNDTABLE 7: Safety and risk management

    Session: INTERNATIONAL ADDRESS: Ensuring seamless operation during upgrades of rotary/turbine generation equipment

    Malcolm Bambling is the University of Michigan Central Power Plant Manager. This critical infrastructure facility provides energy for the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Campus and the University of Michigan Hospital (1,824,577 sq/m, over 600 buildings).

    Malcolm joined the University of Michigan in 2017 and prior to that, he worked as an Operations Manager for E.ON UK. He has over 30 years of experience in operating, maintaining and managing facilities in the energy production sector in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. Malcolm is a strong proponent of applying High-Reliability Organizational concepts in the energy sector. He continually works to ensure an excellent level of customer experience during the energy transition.

    Malcolm holds a Masters in Business Administration from The Open University, London.

  • Martin Boettcher
    Lead Asset Engineer, Ventia Engineering

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the performance of rotating equipment be enhanced without blowing maintenance budgets?

    Session: ROUNDTABLE 5: Best in class – Systems and processes for reliability maintenance planning

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Making informed decisions about whether to repair, replace, or run equipment to death

    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.

  • Christopher Breslin
    Technical Advisor, Environment One Corporation (E/One) (USA)

    Session: INTERNATIONAL ADDRESS: Monitoring generator cooling systems for risk mitigation

    Christopher has worked with E/One for more than 18 years and has been involved with manufacturing engineering and management, sales, pre/post-sales support and contract management. Known as an expert source for information pursuant to critical hydrogen auxiliary equipment serving large steam turbine generators, Christopher has presented at GE user groups; Siemens 501 User Group; EUEC; EPRI; and for various utilities across North America. He holds a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In addition to E/One, Christopher has held various engineering and management roles at Howmet Casting, SKF Bearings, IMAR Group, and Atlas Copco. He’s also a pretty good water-skier!

  • Connor Chan
    Rotating Machines Engineer, Iris Power LP (Canada)

    Session: INTERNATIONAL ADDRESS: Measuring partial discharge from inverter-fed medium voltage motors online

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How has best practice evolved in respect to operation and maintenance of rotating machinery?

    Session: ROUNDTABLE 6: Designing for reliability – large generators and machinery

    Connor Chan has been employed with Iris Power LP in Canada since 2001 and is currently Rotating Machines Engineer. Prior to this position, he was Field Service Manager. He received the BSc(Eng) degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hong Kong. Connor is a member of the Institution of Engineers Australia, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (formerly the Institution of Electrical Engineers, UK), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and is a Chartered Engineer. He has co-authored a number of conference papers and journal articles.

  • David Cliff
    Professorial Research Fellow- Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre- Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland

    Session: Risk Radar: Navigating operational hazards and risk assessment

    David Cliff was Professor of Occupational Health and Safety in Mining and Director of MISHC from 2011 to 2016. In January 2017 he was appointed Professor of Risk and Knowledge Transfer, reverting to Professor of Occupational Health and Safety in Mining in 2018. His primary role is providing education, applied research and consulting in health and safety in the mining and minerals processing industry. He has been at MISHC over fifteen years.

    Previously David was the Safety and Health Adviser to the Queensland Mining Council, and prior to that Manager of Mining Research at the Safety In Mines Testing and Research Station. In these capacities he has provided expert assistance in the areas of health and safety to the mining industry for over twenty three years. He has particular expertise in emergency preparedness, gas analysis, spontaneous combustion, fires and explosions, including providing expert testimony to the Moura No.2 Warden’s inquiry, the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry and the Pike River Royal Commission. In recent times he has also devoted a lot of energy to fitness for duty issues particularly fatigue management. He has been a member of the organising committee for the level one emergency exercises in Queensland underground coal mines since their inception in 1998. He has also attended or provided assistance in over 30 incidents at mines. He has developed expertise in the development of Trigger Action Response Plans.
    David has also extensive experience in providing training and education in OHS in mining to in many countries.

    He has published widely in the area of occupational health and safety in mining including not just the physical hazards but also on the processes for the effective management of these issues. Examples of this include reviews of the annual safety performance report for the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines and assistance to the Mine Safety Advisory Council of NSW in developing Health Management Plans (HMP) and key performance indicators for HMP.

    In recent years he has collaborated closely with Nikky LaBranche researching respirable dust particularly coal dust and silica.

  • Victor Edo
    Senior Electrical Engineer - Capital Projects, Alcoa

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How has best practice evolved in respect to operation and maintenance of rotating machinery?

    Session: Applying Reliability-Centred Maintenance (RCM) principles for ongoing optimisation of rotating machinery performance

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Making informed decisions about whether to repair, replace, or run equipment to death

    Victor Edo is an astute leader with 15 years’ experience working as Maintenance, Reliability and Project engineer within the Mining, Oil & Gas and Manufacturing industries across Nigeria and Australia.

    Currently working at Alcoa of Australia WA, Victor is a Senior Electrical Engineer within the Capital Projects Team with the primary responsibility of ensuring that electrical designs meet company specifications as well as Australian standards and ensuring construction is per approved design.

    Victor holds a Bachelor degree of Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the University of Benin, Nigeria. A Master of Science in Engineering Control Systems & Instrumentation from the University of Huddersfield, England and a Certificate in Project Management Practice (PMP) from Australian Institute of Management (AIMS).

  • Ingrid Fuentes
    Manager, Network Safety and Risk, Energy Queensland

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How has best practice evolved in respect to operation and maintenance of rotating machinery?

    Ingrid Fuentes is the Manager Network Safety & Risk within the Engineering Division at Energy Queensland. Beyond her undergraduate degrees in Law and Business Management from the University of Queensland (Hons) (2006), Ingrid has been awarded a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (College of Law) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Leveraging a strong background as a lawyer and expertise in managing risk and governance frameworks particularly as they relate to health & safety, Ingrid is accountable for the Network Risk Framework and the associated application of the framework across the optimisation of the program of work at Energy Queensland. In addition to this and recognising the potential risks that the electrical industry faces, Ingrid has been instrumental in developing comprehensive frameworks supporting high consequence asset safety related investigations management and asset safety assurance activities at Energy Queensland.

    Whether partnering with senior stakeholders to design and implement risk management strategies or providing guidance on compliance and governance frameworks, Ingrid brings a dynamic approach that considers the unique safety needs and challenges of each stakeholder in order to mitigate asset related risks and protect employees and stakeholders. Ingrid’s ability to navigate complex regulatory landscapes and communicate legal requirements effectively, has earned her a reputation for providing practical and tailored advice to stakeholders across Energy Queensland.

  • Carlos Gamez
    Founder and Director, Nova Energy Consulting

    SessionUnlocking efficiency: building a digital twin for asset management

    Session: ROUNDTABLE 3: Digital twins and their role in optimising maintenance planning

    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
    Chief Operating Officer, OptMonitor, machinemonitor®

    Session: ROUNDTABLE 2: Advances in AI and maintenance for electrical machinery

    SessionScreening of large medium voltage network using AI as an engineering tool

    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.

  • Rainer Korte
    Chief Operating Officer, ElectraNet

    Session: Electricity network asset management priorities during the energy transition

    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: PANEL DISCUSSION: How is the energy transition and electrification of everything impacting the engineering workforce?

    Jason Krstanoski is the General Manager of Network Operations at Transgrid, a transmission network service provider.

    He is responsible for managing the network in real-time, planning and overseeing system outages, and ensuring the timely repair and restoration of defective assets, to enable safe and reliable operations. This includes the preparation for and management of significant major network incidents or threats to the power system.

    Previously, he worked at Ausgrid for over 20 years, in a range of operational and commercial roles including Head of System Control and Head of Procurement.

    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 Mackenzie
    Chief Electrical Engineer, Woodside Energy

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the performance of rotating equipment be enhanced without blowing maintenance budgets?

    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.

  • Tony O’Brien
    Managing Director, Australian Winders

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Making informed decisions about whether to repair, replace, or run equipment to death

    Tony brings over 45 years of experience in the Electric Motor/Generator Repair industry to his role. His journey began with a comprehensive four year apprenticeship, where he honed his skills and expertise across all facets of the trade, igniting a lifelong passion for the field. Since the early 1990s, Tony has owned and operated a successful winding contracting business, traversing the globe to apply his craft in diverse locations.

    Throughout his career, Tony has held pivotal roles such as Technical Manager in the Philippines, Business Manager in Malaysia, and Project Manager in New Zealand. These experiences laid the foundation for the establishment of Australian Winders in 2008. Australian Winders has recently celebrated 16 successful years in business, a testament to Tony's leadership and dedication to excellence. His unparalleled knowledge and leadership have been pivotal in shaping Australian Winders into the exceptional international company it is today. His dedication to excellence continues to drive innovation and growth within the industry.al company it is today. His dedication to excellence continues to drive innovation and growth within the industry.

  • David O’Hara
    General Manager-Projects, Transgrid

    SessionOptimising performance in infrastructure project delivery - elevating the key performance measures when delivering essential energy transition projects

    David joined Transgrid in 2023 as the General Manager of Projects. He is responsible for the delivery of large scale connection and HV transmission network upgrade projects these projects are a key enabler of the renewable energy transition. David has delivered projects in the Australian energy industry for nearly 15 years in a range of senior and general management roles. He was formerly the General Manager of Projects & Infrastructure at Zinfra responsible for the delivery of power and gas projects throughout the National Electricity Market and East Coast Gas Market.

    David holds a degree in Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering from Trinity College Dublin, a Master of Engineering (Aeroacoustics) from ENSMA Poitiers, an MBA from AGSM at UNSW and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Jon Pemberton
    Chairman, machinemonitor®

    Session: Opening remarks from the Chair

    Session: Opening remarks from the Chair

    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

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How is the energy transition and electrification of everything impacting the engineering workforce?

    David is the CEO of the Australian Power Institute, a small but impactful industry-funded non-profit organisation focused on developing the technical professional workforce to support Australia’s energy future. David has worked as an engineer for 20+ years, internationally and across many aspects of the energy sector, including a PhD on implementing wind and hydrogen systems in Antarctica and other isolated communities. David has a strong commitment to sustainable development, stakeholder engagement and developing the next generation.

  • Praema Ranga
    Product Services Manager, Boeing Defence Australia

    Session: ROUNDTABLE 4: Security of our Critical Infrastructure – How resilient are our physical facilities?

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Making informed decisions about whether to repair, replace, or run equipment to death

    Praema Ranga, Product Services Manager at Boeing Defence Australia, is a mechanical engineer with over 20 years’ experience, currently leading teams in the field of Air Combat and Electronic Attack.

    Praema began her career in manufacturing and production in the resources industry in Western Australia. She has gone on to work in control room operations, major projects, asset management, design management, operations, sustainment and leadership in the resources, energy and defence industries. Her career has seen her leading teams on complex programs in high risk environments in cities and remote regions across Australia.

    A chartered professional engineer (CPEng) and a registered professional engineer of Queensland (RPEQ), Praema is also a fellow of Engineers Australia (FIEAust) and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia (FGIA).

    Praema is passionate about developing talent in engineering and operations, and building diverse and high performing teams. She is the Deputy Chair of Women in Engineering Queensland, and a board member of the Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership’s ANZSP chapter.

    Praema has an honor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Curtin University, MBA from University of Western Australia and a Master of Science in Renewable Energy from Murdoch University.

  • Ron Scollay
    Principal Engineer, machinemonitor®

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the performance of rotating equipment be enhanced without blowing maintenance budgets?

    Session: Best practise condition monitoring and risk assessment for HV motors and generators

    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.

  • Kate Summers
    Principal Consultant, Ekistica

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Making informed decisions about whether to repair, replace, or run equipment to death

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How is the energy transition and electrification of everything impacting the engineering workforce?

    Kate is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, and an experienced power systems and control engineer with extensive electrical experience, market and regulatory knowledge. Her broad engineering knowledge has been gained over 29 years of engineering practice covering a wide range of practical field experience, power system analysis, transmission planning, operational control, regulatory compliance and project connection negotiation. She has worked on all aspects of renewable energy projects and is passionate and dedicated to bringing about an orderly transition to a low carbon future.

    In 2020 Kate was jointly awarded National Professional Electrical Engineer of the Year for her work identifying the root cause of the deterioration in system frequency. 

    Kate’s recent focus is on the bulk integration of multiple large generation projects within new high voltage transmission associated within Renewable Energy Zones. Kate has been working through the challenges of how to collectively model and tune a large number of Inverter Based generators to study their connection to a transmission network under design in a broader system that is itself undergoing significant change.

  • Dane Thomas
    Manager Isolated Networks, Energy Queensland

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How is the energy transition and electrification of everything impacting the engineering workforce?

    Dane Thomas, Manager Isolated Networks with Ergon Energy, leads a team which is transforming the energy supply in 39 diverse and beautiful communities in the remotest parts of Queensland. Dane is passionate about supporting and enabling a bright future for these communities and sees clean, safe and reliable energy as a key. These ambitions have been further supported by the state governments with actions in Queensland Jobs and Energy plan. Over the past 5 years he has led the continual transition from reliance on diesel generation to decarbonisation through integration of renewable energy. In 2021 the team successfully took two communities to 80% instantaneous renewable energy in far western Queensland, through an innovative solar monitoring and control system. In 2024 the team is progressing taking four communities to 50+% renewable energy including operating in diesel-off mode. Dane lives in Cairns with his chief inspiration and wife Jacqueline and his Lego wielding daughters Grace and Faith, outside of work he enjoys mountain biking and does his own stunts.

  • Joshua Walker
    Senior Manager, Transgrid

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How has best practice evolved in respect to operation and maintenance of rotating machinery?

    Joshua Walker is the General Manager of Infrastructure Delivery at Transgrid, he holds a BE in Electrical (Power) Engineering from the University of Sydney. With over 20 years’ experience, Joshua started off as a hands-on electrician and over time moved into various project roles, he is now responsible for the engineering design, development and delivery of Transgrid’s capital program. This includes the field teams who manage project sites, commissioning and energisation of new and refurbished assets, including new grid connections.

     

  • Nishan Wettasinghe
    Director, Principal Engineer, Spring Power Solutions

    Session: Partner presentation

    Fellow member of IEA, Chartered Professional Engineer, Engineering Executive, NER, Apec Engineer, and International Professional Engineer. Since 2010, Spring Power Solutions (SPS) has been delivering expert services in high voltage testing, protection testing, design consultancy, and specialized solutions to a broad spectrum of clients. Our clientele includes power stations, utilities, government agencies, and prominent industrial entities. Furthermore, SPSdelivers high-quality products to the Australian market. With a focus on precision and innovation, SPS remains dedicated to ensuring the reliability and efficiency of critical electrical infrastructure for our valued partners.