Plenary speakers

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Alison Andrew, Chief Executive, Transpower

Alison joined Transpower in 2014. She has held a number of senior executive roles across various industry sectors, most recently as Global Head of Chemicals for Orica plc. She has also been a Director for Genesis Energy. Prior to these roles, she held a number of senior roles at Fonterra Cooperative Group and across the Fletcher Challenge Group in Energy, Forests and Paper. Alison has a MBA from Warwick University, and studied Engineering (Chemicals and Materials) at Auckland University. Alison's presentation at Chemeca 2018 will involve comparing and contrasting electricity systems of New Zealand and Australia.

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Dr Michelle Dickinson, Fracture Mechanics Engineer and Founder, Nanogirl Labs

Dr Michelle Dickinson is a fracture mechanics engineer and founder of Nanogirl Labs which provides STEM outreach programmes across five countries and in five different languages. She is also known as "Nanogirl", an enthusiastic communicator on matters about science and engineering on radio, television, podcasts, YouTube, and in live stage shows. She obtained her PhD from Rutgers University (USA) and her MEng from Manchester University (UK) in Biomedical Materials Engineering.. At Chemeca 2018 she will speak about her philosophy and activities in communicating about science and engineering to potential students and the wider community.

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Professor Jimmy Yun, University of New South Wales

Jimmy Yun, FTSE, is a Professor with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), School of Chemical Engineering; and also, a professor with the Hebei Science and Technology University. After a stint of early careers in research development and industries in Japan, USA, Australia and Singapore, Jimmy founded Nanomaterials Technology Pty Ltd, Singapore and was the Founder and CEO between 2000 and 2012, providing specialized R&D services to some the most influential global pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals companies. These pharmaceutical companies include GSK, Schering Plough, Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk and Huabei Pharmaceutical Company etc., and specialty chemicals companies include BASF, 3M, Evoniks, Nitto Denko and Sinopec. The development areas, with more than 30 patents, covered advanced drug delivery system, particle system design, advanced environmental coating and catalyst, and polymer nano-composite etc. Currently, he is actively engaged in multiple environmental projects with the pharmaceutical industry in China. Jimmy will be speaking on the environmental challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry in China at Chemeca 2018.

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Paul Jacobson, Owner - Judge Rock Pinot Wines Central Otago NZ and Senior Engineer - Stantec

Paul Jacobson ME (Civil) CMEng NZ and his family planted and own a local four-hectare vineyard in Alexandra, Central Otago, specialising in Pinot Noir-"Judge Rock". The label has won multiple awards such as the Pinot Noir Trophy (2014 Pinot) and the Best Red Wine Trophy at the 2016 Australia & New Zealand Boutique Wine Show. Paul will address the topic 'Can Chemical Engineering improve Pinot Noir, Art or Science?' based on his 20 years personal experience of viticulture and winemaking in NZ and vintage 2012 in Burgundy, France.
By day Paul is a Senior Engineer for Stantec NZ and specialises in water and wastewater projects for local clients in Central Otago and Southland. Recent projects have included the procurement of a membrane water treatment plant and wastewater upgrades for Cromwell, Clyde and Alexandra.  Paul was also the lead author for the Code of Practice for Winery Wastes for NZ Wine Growers 2010. This will be a personal opinion and does not represent the views of Stantec NZ.


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Ken Rivers, President, Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)

Ken is the President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). He chairs the UK’s Control of Major Hazards (COMAH) Strategic Forum, which is the joint industry/regulator group tasked with raising standards and improving the effectiveness of major hazard legislation.

Ken’s extensive international career included being CEO of Refining NZ  and responsibility for Shell’s UK refining and petrochemical operations. He is a past President of UK Petroleum Industry Association and chaired the joint industry/regulator task force in the wake of the Buncefield terminal explosion. He was one of the founding members of the New Zealand Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum.  More recently, he chaired the “Midstream Oil Sector Government and Industry Task Force”, which considered ways of improving the resilience and viability of the UK refining and fuel import sectors following the recent government review. He is an Honorary Fellow of North Tec – Tai Tokerau Wananga for his services to the wider community. Ken will discuss the global perspective on chemical engineering to the Australasian community at Chemeca 2018.

Keynote speakers

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Richard Owen, Chairman, ExxonMobil Australia

Richard J Owen was born in Sydney, Australia and holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney. He joined Esso Australia in 1983 and began work at the Longford Plants. Following a number of engineering, operational and management assignments in Sale, Sydney and Melbourne, Richard moved to New Orleans, USA and was appointed as Operations Manager in 2001.

Richard transferred to Houston before being appointed as Joint Interest Manager for Alaska in 2004 based in Anchorage. In 2006, he transferred to Hannover, Germany where he was named Deputy Production Manager for ExxonMobil Production Germany.

In 2011, Richard was appointed to the position of President and General Manager for ExxonMobil Affiliates in Indonesia based in Jakarta. He returned to Melbourne in 2013 when he was named Chairman of the ExxonMobil group of companies in Australia.

Richard is President of the board of the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) and a Director of the Australian Petroleum and Exploration Association (APPEA). He is a Fellow of and of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and Engineers Australia, and a member of the Business Council of Australia. Richard will present on Energy Policy at Chemeca 2018.


Adrian Dickison, Technical Director, Chemical Engineering, Beca

A Fellow of IChemE, Adrian Dickison has 30 years’ experience in a wide range of process industries. Adrian has worked in New Zealand, USA, UK and France in fields including process development, industrial refrigeration and mining and metals.

Adrian’s current work includes new process development, ammonia refrigeration safety and simulation and modelling. He has worked on many of New Zealand’s industrial sites and is enjoying training a new generation of chemical engineers at Beca to apply systems thinking to today’s engineering challenges.

Adrian takes an active interest in chemical engineering education and currently chairs the Industrial Advisory Board for the University of Auckland’s Chemical and Materials Engineering Department. Adrian will be discussing refrigeration and process safety at Chemeca 2018.

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Kerry Williamson, Maintenance Engineering & Project Delivery Manager, Shell Todd Oil Services

Kerry leads the Maintenance Engineering and Project Delivery team for Shell New Zealand, based in New Plymouth, Taranaki.  He is on the Country Leadership Team and is responsible for the technical integrity, growth projects and operational support for the Māui and Pohokura natural gas fields, delivering a portfolio of works to support business objectives in operating 60% of New Zealand’s natural gas needs.  

Kerry has a degree in Chemical and Materials Engineering from The University of Auckland. He has been with the Royal Dutch Shell group for 21 years, with engineering and technical leadership roles in major US Production assets, Shell’s Upstream New Business Development, and supporting major developments in the Shell Project and Technology portfolio. Prior to returning to New Zealand in 2013, Kerry was leading the Detail Design Contractor for the production trains on Shell’s first Floating Liquified Natural Gas (FLNG) Asset Prelude.

Kerry is a Chartered Engineer and Member of IChemE. He takes an avid interest in Process Engineering development, has participated in local IChemE Energy Discussion panels, and was awarded the Young Energy Executive of the Year in the 2015 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards.
Kerry will be discussing the role of Chemical and Process Engineering in Asset Technical and Operating Integrity in light of evolving regulatory framework.


Stephen Drew, Consultant, SRD Consulting

Stephen has over 30 years of practical chemical engineering experience in the renewable energy sector. He has a track-record for pioneering new businesses in process heat and thermal storage integration, industrial energy efficiency, in the technology transfer of electro-technologies and in the use of aggregated loads to provide fast response products in smart grids.

Stephen participates on the ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) advisory panel and on the IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) Energy Centre. Stephen will be presenting 'Our Climate Planning Challenge  - Two Perspectives' at Chemeca 2018.


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Priyan Perera, Operations Manager, Water Supply, Watercare Services

Priyan Perera is a Process Engineer with over 12 years’ experience in the water industry. He was appointed to his current role as Operations Manager – Water Supply at Watercare Services Limited, in May 2015. Priyan is responsible for the operational management of the Auckland Region’s municipal drinking water supply system, managing Auckland’s water sources, treatment plants and bulk distribution system. He has held a number of water supply management positions during his time in the water industry and is passionate about the provision of safe drinking water to Watercare’s customers in Auckland. Priyan will be presenting a keynote address on the water industry at Chemeca 2018.


Professor Rose Amal, ARC Laureate Fellow, Scientia Professor, Particle and Catalysis Group, UNSW

Professor Rose Amal is a chemical engineer and the leader of the Particles and Catalysis Research Group. Rose is recognised as a pioneer and leading authority in the fields of fine particle technology, photocatalysis and functional nanomaterials having made significant contributions to these related areas of research over the past 15 years. Her current research focuses on designing nanomaterials for solar and chemical energy conversion applications and engineering systems for solar induced processes. Rose recently received an Order of Australia (AC) for her research into cost-effective ways to treat water, eliminate greenhouse gases and produce renewable energy through photocatalysis. Rose will be presenting a keynote address on catalysis at Chemeca 2018.

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Professor Krist V. Gernaey - Technical University of Denmark


Professor in industrial fermentation technology ("The Novozymes professor") at DTU Chemical Engineering since 2013 and head of the Process and Systems Engineering Center (PROSYS). Krist is also a Principal investigator of the BIOPRO2 strategic research center, a center with focus on development of more efficient biotechnology-based production processes.
Research activities, often in collaboration with industry, have focus on large-scale fermentation, mathematical modelling and process simulation, and on investigation of mass transfer issues across reactor scales. Application domains include the fermentation, food ingredients and pharmaceutical industry, as well as wastewater treatment and resource recovery processes.Krist will present 'Biochemical engineering and process systems engineering for resource recovery' at Chemeca 2018.

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Allyson Woodford, Operations Manager - BP Kwinana

Allyson Woodford BEng, CEng, FIChemE is the Chair of IChemE in Australia. Allyson is the Operations Manager at Australia’s largest oil refinery BP Kwinana in WA. Allyson’s industry experience spans more than 17 years in Process Engineering, Operations, Business Improvement and Corporate Strategy. Allyson will present 'An asset owner’s personal journey with Process Safety' at Chemeca 2018.



Prof Andrew Livingston, Professor, Director Barrer Centre, Academic Lead Rosalind Franklin Institute - Imperial College London

Andrew Livingston (AGL) is from Taranaki NZ, and studied Chemical Engineering at University of Canterbury. He then worked at an NZ food processing company followed by a PhD at Cambridge UK, and in 1990 joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, serving as HoD 2008-2016. He leads a research group of 20 PhD students and Post-Docs, with interests in membranes for molecular separations in liquids. Awards include the Junior Moulton Medal, Cremer and Warner Medal, and Underwood Medal of IChemE, and Silver Medal of Royal Academy of Engineering. Elected FREng in 2006. Andrew will present Membranes for Separating Molecules Where are we, and where are we going?

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Phil OMalley, Commercial Manager - Capital Projects - Synlait Milk Ltd

Phil OMalley is a chemical engineer with over 25 years experience in the dairy industry. During this time, Phil has worked in the fields of milk powder and infant formula manufacturing in New Zealand and the USA. He joined Synlait Milk is 2010 from previous employment with Fonterra in core research, manufacturing, capital projects and new product development.

Phil’s industry experience includes involvement in a number of important capital projects in the dairy industry in New Zealand and the USA. His current role is to lead the Synlait capital projects programme across New Zealand. The strong growth of Synlait Milk since commencing processing only 10 years ago, has been matched by a series of capital projects. Phil is currently managing the execution of three substantial capital projects including a greenfield second processing site for Synlait Milk.   

He holds a Bachelor in Chemical and Process Engineering (Hons) from Canterbury University. Phil will present “A Sustainable Dairy Future” at Chemeca 2018.