Board of Directors

Leonie Walsh (Chair)

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Leonie Walsh (Chair)

Leonie Walsh’s broad, international career is built off a science and technology base, overlaid with strong strategic business and governance credentials  across diverse industries including advanced manufacturing, clean technologies, defence and education.

Leonie’s career has traversed Government, industry and academia, involving participation on a diverse range of advisory Boards and committees including the role of Lead Scientist for the Victorian Government, an inaugural position she held from 2013 to 2016.

Leonie’s current portfolio of activity includes Independent Director of RayGen, Swinburne University of Technology Council member, Board Director of the Victorian Clean Technology Fund, Independent Director of the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Deputy Chair of veski and Advisory Council Chair for the DST OCE STaR Shot.

Patricia Boyce

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Patricia Boyce

Patricia’s experience in the energy industry includes advising potential new participants on the market and regulatory environment they confront in the energy market, and, where necessary, participating in the successful amendment of the regulatory environment; wholesale trading, risk management and analysis; regulatory strategy; strategy; and mergers and acquisitions. Before founding Seed Advisory, Patricia was the National Lead Partner, Energy Markets, Australia for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Seed Advisory has provided expert advice to governments, market operators and participants in Australian energy markets on strategies, markets and the route to market for nearly 15 years. Their work has been incorporated into or been used to support consultation papers and decisions for a range of clients including the Australian Energy Market Commission, AEMO, the COAG Energy Council, and several other Commonwealth and State government entities and departments, as well as an extensive range of private clients, including energy market participants and potential disruptors.

Anna Skarbek

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Anna Skarbek

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 Gibbs

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Neil Gibbs

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 Mouchaileh

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Violette Mouchaileh

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

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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

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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 Clarke

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Mark Clarke

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.

Professor Maria Forsyth

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Professor Maria Forsyth

Professor Maria Forsyth is the former ARC Laureate fellow and currently an Alfred Deakin Professorial Fellow at Deakin University and an Ikerbasque Visiting Professorial Fellow at University of the Basque Country. She is the Deputy Director of the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) at Deakin University in Australia, based at the Burwood campus, where she leads the research effort in energy storage and corrosion science. She has worked at the forefront of energy materials research since her Fulbright Research Fellowship in 1990. Specifically, her work has focused on understanding the phenomenon of charge transport at metal/electrolyte interfaces and within novel electrolyte materials.

She is a co-author of over 650 journal and conference publications that attracted more than 29000 citations. She also currently serves on the Research Implementation Advisory Committee for the Future Battery Industry CRC. She is the recipient of the Galileo Galilee award for her contributions to the polymer electrolyte and energy storage field, has received the Australian Corrosion Association Corrosion Medal and was awarded The Victorian Prize for Science and Innovation (VESKI) in 2017 as well as the 2020 Victorian Honour roll for Women.

Steven Neave

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Steven Neave

Steven Neave is General Manager of Network Management for AusNet Services since July 2020. He is responsible for Asset Management, Network Engineering and Network Safety across AusNet Services’ three regulated networks. Prior to that he was the General Manager for CitiPower/Powercor’s Electricity Networks and a member of its Executive team. Mr Neave has extensive experience in the energy sector and a track record of achievement in areas such as risk-based asset management practices, network performance, reliability improvement and capability development. 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.

Staff Members

James Seymour

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James Seymour

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

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Monishka Narayan

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.

Sanaz Tabasi

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Sanaz Tabasi

Sanaz is a passionate energy specialist with interests in solar and building energy efficiency. She has an M.Sc in energy systems engineering, focusing on sustainable energy system designs for zero-energy homes. Sanaz’s areas of expertise include conducting techno-economic feasibility assessments and analysis of big data projects. With a strong administrative background, she is enthusiastic about project development, and conceptualises practical and effective project plans.

Ruchika Deora

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Ruchika Deora

Ruchika has worked in marketing and strategy with over 20 years of global experience in the energy sector. She has a strong commercial acumen in electricity and oil wholesale, distribution, retail, demand response and energy efficiency programs, helping companies from emerging start-ups to Fortune 5s, incorporate data driven customer insights to drive profitability. She is skilled in developing successful Go-To-Market programs, Negotiation, Business Planning, Corporate Communications, and Market Research. She has an MBA from American University and is passionate about the energy transition.

Shriya Kakar

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Shriya Kakar

Shriya is a data analyst with expertise in the following data modelling languages Python, R and RDBMS, as well as Cloud services. She combines this with data visualisation skills in Tableau and a strong communications capability to translate data into commercial insights. With a Master’s degree in Data Analytics, she’s experienced in managing and analysing big data, whilst supporting and communicating project and client requirements.

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