The Board of Directors
Leonie Walsh ( Chair )
Leonie Walsh is a leader and adviser in strategic technology development and commercialisation. She has a background that spans more than 30 years of experience both locally and internationally across a diverse range of industries and applications.
Leonie’s career has traversed Government, industry and academia, involving participation on a diverse range of advisory Boards and committees. Most recently she performed the role of Lead Scientist for the Victorian Government, an inaugural position she held from 2013 to 2016.
Leonie’s current focus is within the renewable energy sector, involving an advisory role with Mondo’s Commercial Energy Services Forum and recent roles as Chair of the Victorian Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund and Battery Storage Initiative, Governance Chair of the Renewable Certificates Purchasing Initiative, and Working Group Chair for the formation of the Centre for New Energy Technology.
Adrian Panow is an experienced energy, resources and agrifood executive with international, private and public sector expertise in business and technology development, joint ventures, stakeholder engagement, commercialisation and program leadership. As the Director, Deakin Energy, Adrian provides leadership in positioning Deakin University as a preferred partner for industry and government in the delivery of innovative solutions to the sustainable energy supply challenges facing modern society. Adrian has responsibility for delivery of the 7.25MW solar and storage microgrid on the Deakin University Waurn Ponds campus to address research, energy cost and sustainability objectives.
Anna Skarbek has led ClimateWorks since its inception in 2009, guiding ClimateWorks’ independent research and advisory work analysing emissions reduction opportunities and partnering with government and business to unblock barriers to implementation. She brings considerable private and public sector knowledge to the role as an experienced non-executive director, investment banker, policy advisor and lawyer. Prior to ClimateWorks, Anna was Vice President, Advisory at Climate Change Capital in London, working as an investment advisor dedicated to raising and deploying capital for low carbon activities.
Neil has 30 years consulting experience specialising in the utility and energy industries with a focus on business unit strategy, electricity market design and development, management of major utility reform programs, organisational change management, and performance improvement. Neil’s depth of Australian experience has been augmented by significant work throughout Asia, and in the USA, Europe and selected countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Neil’s network in the Australian electricity industry is well developed, across public and private market participants, government policy agencies, market authorities and regulators. Neil also has a strong track record in business leadership.
Violette’s current role executive General Manager of Emerging Markets and Services of includes the responsibility for strategies relating to AEMO’s Distributed Energy Resources program and data initiatives, including Consumer Data Right in energy.
Since joining AEMO in February 2009, Violette has held various roles across gas and electricity in market design development, market change implementation, and operational roles.
Violette has more than 17 years’ experience in the Australian energy industry holding various positions in Commonwealth Government departments and regulatory bodies.
Her experience includes economic regulation, energy policy development, development of regulatory frameworks, market development and design, and market change implementation. This includes the establishment of energy governance framework and national planning arrangements, network and retail pricing reforms, establishment of the gas Short Term Trading Market, implementation of Power of Choice and demand side initiatives, including the AEMO/ARENA DR trial, and the COAG Energy Council’s Gas Market Reform Group gas reforms.
Violette has a Bachelor of Economics and Commerce with Honours.
Syed Mofizul Islam
Syed Mofizul Islam
Syed received his PhD degree in electrical power engineering in 1988. He is currently the Dean of the School of Engineering, Information Technology and Physical Sciences at Federation University, Victoria, Australia. His research interests are in Renewable Energy, Condition Monitoring of Transformers, Wind Energy Conversion Systems, Grid Integration of Renewable Energy Sources, and Smart Power Systems. He has over 8000 citations, h-index of 43 and an i-10 index of 155.
Prof Islam was a member of the steering committee of the Australian Power Institute and a founding member of the WA EESA board.
He was a board member for the IET Power Academy in Australia. He is the current (2020-2021) Chair of the Australasian Universities Committee for Power Engineering (ACPE). He is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the IET and a chartered engineer in the United Kingdom and Australia.
He is a member of Technical Advisory Panel of the Victorian Centre for New Energy Technologies, CSIRO Data 61 University Planning Committee (UPC) and Latrobe Valley Smart Energy Specilaisation Steering Commitee.
He pioneered the development of a Green Electric Energy Park (GEEP) at Curtin University where he is currently an Adjunct Professor.
Jacek J. Jasieniak
Jacek J. Jasieniak
Jacek completed a PhD from the University of Melbourne (2008, Chancellor’s Prize). He then undertook a postdoctoral work at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of California Santa Barbara (2011-12). In 2020 he become Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Engineering.
In his capacity as Director of the Monash Energy Institute, he led the transformation in the energy ecosystem across Monash over the past 5 years, co-developing numerous cross-disciplinary research initiatives, including the Grid Innovation Hub, the Net Zero Initiative, and the Woodside Monash Energy Partnership.
His current research interests further delve into addressing major materials and engineering challenges in the development of a hydrogen economy.
He has published ~100 manuscripts, which have been cited > 5700 times, and has made broader contributions across topics ranging from energy poverty, to batteries and solar windows, which have reached millions of people.
Mark has extensive senior executive experience in utilities and consulting, working across a range of industries including energy, mining, heavy industry and water.
He is responsible for managing network safety and reliability performance with an optimal capital, inspection and maintenance program. This includes consideration and application of non-network solutions, distributed energy resources, and real time analytics using smart meter data.
Prior to joining United Energy, he held roles at Sinclair Knight Merz and BHP spanning operations, engineering, project and business management, both in Australia and overseas.
An electrical engineer by training, Mark has a deep understanding of electrical power systems, and his broad experience includes applying this expertise for generators, networks, and end-use customers.
Ivor Frischknecht has vast energy sector experience and is an expert in the transition of energy markets. He serves on the Board of Queensland clean energy generation entity CleanCo and on the Advisory Board of renewable infrastructure investor Elliott Green Power. He was founding CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and was previously a venture capital investor in clean energy. He is highly knowledgeable about energy in all Australian jurisdictions and spent a decade in energy and technology innovation in California.
Steven Neave is General Manager of Electricity Networks for Victoria Power Networks (VPN), a role he was appointed to in December 2015. He is responsible for Asset Management, Strategic Planning and Augmentation, Compliance and VPN’s day to day Operations activities. Steve commenced his career with VPN in 1989 when it was still known as the State Electricity Commission. He began his 30-year career as an electro-mechanical draftsman, engineer, moving into senior management roles responsible for design and more recently Control and Operations. Steven is an expert in Victoria’s electricity distribution system and more widely, operation of the National Electricity Market.
James Seymour ( Chief Executive Officer )
James is an experienced and passionate leader in the development and deployment of new technologies, particularly within the rapidly evolving energy sector. With more than 20 years of technology commercialisation experience, James has led the development and management of IP, technology, corporate strategy, policy and innovative business models both in Australia and internationally.
James has focused in particular on commercialisation of new energy technologies driven by changing consumer preferences, technology advancement and government policies. These technologies have included solar, battery/storage, IoT, microgrids and alternative networks, and the financing and policy environments that support such growth.
James’s professional career has spanned roles in venture capital, leading energy businesses in gen-tailing and distribution, government, solar manufacturing and new ventures.
James has been awarded a BEng (Chem), Grad Dip (Applied Science) and MBA from The University of Melbourne.
Monishka Narayan ( Program Manager )
Monishka Narayan is a Physicist by research profession. She has performed research on emerging technologies such as hybrid and organic solar cells. Monishka has worked for Energy Networks Australia as a program coordinator where she managed projects related to innovation and asset management. She has also been an energy correspondent for PV magazine where she published media articles on emerging technologies. Monishka is an experienced researcher and communicator and is now the program manager at C4NET.