Speakers at the 2022 Technology and Innovation Summit

Want to see who spoke at the 2022 Geelong Technology & Innovation Summit?

You can learn all about the speakers from this event here!

Scott Barnett

Senior Research Fellow, Machine Learning Architecture, A2I2

A member of the senior management team responsible for delivery of cyber-physical and complex software systems that embed machine learning. Leading and building the capability of a team, providing high-level guidance on technical architecture and client engagement. Scott is also a Chief Investigator for the ARC Hub for Digital Enhanced Living.


Roxie Bennett

Director, Author & Radio Personality

Roxie Bennett combines her high-powered roles as Director, Strategic Relationships and Advisory Board member with global innovation company, Scale Facilitation™, with that of co-hosting the Bay 93.9 drive time show, The Catch Up.

She’s a high-level communicator and relationship builder who loves evoking emotion with all she does and doing it with authenticity which saw her successfully running her own boutique PR, events and marketing agency, Plan.it Roxie for more than a decade before joining her then clients, Scale Facilitation™, permanently.  Roxie is also an author, releasing her wellbeing and weight loss book, The Butterfly Plan in 2020.

Mark Burgess

CEO and Managing Director, Quickstep

Mark had a long international career before moving to lead Sydney composites manufacturer, Quickstep, in 2017.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the global aerospace and defence industry, Mark has held leadership positions throughout Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.
Prior to joining Honeywell in 2013 as Vice President Asia Pacific, Mark began his career with BAE, working across sales, contracts project and general management.

Quickstep also has an R&D base in Geelong.

Jennifer Conley

CEO, Geelong Manufacturing Council

Jennifer Conley is an advanced manufacturing advocate with two decades’ experience at the intersection of industry, research and government. Working with companies and organisations to achieve competitive advantage in the global market place, champion greater Asia-Australia business and investment, and develop thought leadership campaigns around advanced manufacturing, energy and tax policy, as well as global social issues.

She’s passionate about building support, capability and opportunity for Australia’s innovative small and medium sized companies.

Kate Cornick

CEO, Launchvic

Kate is passionate about the role of innovation in our economy and has considerable experience in technology innovation across start-ups, academia, corporates and government. She previously held positions at the University of Melbourne including Director of Industry Engagement and Innovation, and Executive Director of the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society.

Kate also co-led the establishment the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications – a joint venture between the University of Melbourne, the State Government and global telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent.

Shaun Cumming

General Manager Infrastructure and Technology, Barwon Water

Shaun and his team at Barwon Water build and operate their world-standard water, sewerage and recycled water infrastructure. The group’s core responsibilities are infrastructure optimisation and operations, information and communications technology, and the delivery of infrastructure and technology projects.

Over a 20-career in the water industry, Shaun has worked across the public and private sectors. He has extensive experience in strategy, operations, construction, business development and large-scale project delivery. Shaun spear-headed a private sector partnership and oversaw the largest capital investment program in Barwon Water’s history.

Shaun holds a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Business Administration. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Simon Dawson

IMCRC Director of Industrial Transformation

Simon is an experienced manufacturing operations executive who has worked across a range of different industry sectors including fast-moving consumer goods, industrial, automotive, rail and medical devices. Simon brings a wealth of experience in the delivery of organizational growth and operational performance improvement. Prior to joining the IMCRC, he led the establishment of Walkinshaw Automotive’s new facility in Victoria.

Within the IMCRC team, Simon focuses on supporting manufacturers to find their path into Industry 4.0 through the deployment of IMCRC’s proprietary business diagnostic, futuremap®. He is passionate about helping small and medium enterprises to think through their change dynamic and to identify how Industry 4.0 can strengthen their own, and Australia’s, manufacturing capability.


Jake Dingle

CEO, Carbon Revolution

Jake has led carbon-fibre wheelmaker Carbon Revolution from a small start-up to an international market leader aiming to revolutionise the automotive industry. The company manufactures carbon-fibre wheels for some of the world’s most prestigious car brands. Carbon Revolution is developing highly sophisticated automated manufacturing processes at its Waurn Ponds factory.

In leading the company since 2012, Jake has drawn on a background spanning engineering, management consulting, operations and strategy.

Matt Dingle

MD, Formflow

Matt is a leader of innovation in building technology. His growing Geelong business, FormFlow, has developed a world-first process that enables sharp bends to be created in corrugated iron. The bend technology revolutionizes the design and construction industry by delivering smooth transitions between corrugated sheet section at a range of angles.

FormFlow is using the technology to develop new building products, systems and solutions to address housing affordability, accessibility and sustainability.

David Doral

Executive General Manager of Engineering & Technology at Quickstep

David works across two overlapping areas of the Quickstep business.
He helps shape company direction by researching and assessing technology that the company might invest in and work with on future projects and he manages all engineering resources.

David has been actively involved in the aerospace industry since the mid-1990s. He started his career with Aernnova’s composites division in Spain and spent several years working as a senior aerostructures engineer between Boeing (Seattle and Sydney) and Airbus (Madrid and Ankara). During this time, he participated in the development of the most relevant aircraft programs launched at the time, including the Airbus A380, Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A400M and Embraer E170.

Paul Ebert

Group Director Energy Transition for Worley

As Group Director Energy Transition, Paul is involved in guidance around strategy and response to the business as this transition unfolds, development of related capability and support of teams working with key customers.

Paul has spent much of his career developing and delivering lower emissions technology-based projects. These have included the application of renewables and their enabling technologies and his experience has centred on integration of such into grids and markets, but also hybrids with fossil fuels and energy storage technology, and the integration of these into heavy industry. This has included value chain vectors such as low emissions hydrogen, process electrification, decentralised energy systems and virtual power plants, and decarbonisation technologies for fossil fuels such as CCS and both bio and e-fuel variants.

Richard Farkashazy

Director of Programs & Engineering, Hanwha Defence Australia

Richard is currently the Director of Programs and Engineering for Hanwha Defence Australia and is responsible for the delivery of all Australian programs and the technical solutions and engineering that support them.

Richard has over 25 years experience in Australian defence industry and has worked for domestic and global defence organisations including Wolfhouse Engineering, Northrop Grumman Australia, Marand & Thales.

Lee Finniear

Chief Executive Officer, Li-S Energy

Lee has more than 25 years’ experience as a senior executive, including 10 years with Intergraph Corporation, (a US-based Fortune 1000 technology company) in roles including Vice President – Asia Pacific, plus 5 years as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of NASDAQ and ASX listed technology company, Metal Storm Limited.  Over the past 5 years, Lee has been the founder and director of a company delivering innovative Internet of Things (IoT) products to business and consumer markets.

He was also the Vice President – Asia Pacific for a European telecommunications operator with a market focus on automotive manufacturers and enterprise IoT solutions.

Matthew Fletcher

Associate Director, Geelong, KPMG

Matthew is part of the KPMG Accelerating Business Growth team specialising in grants, funding and innovation services.

Matthew previously worked in grants administration in the Federal Government, in a boutique grants consultancy and in Federal Politics as a Senior Advisor. He was the founding President of Entrepreneurs Geelong, founder of the Geelong Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Mapping Project (GEEMap) and is a graduate of the Leaders for Geelong program.

Lyn George

Chair, Geelong Manufacturing Council

Lyn is the co-owner and corporate director of Austeng, a boutique engineering business that specialises in the design, engineering and development of customised equipment for industry.

Lyn has been instrumental in re-structuring and re-positioning Austeng’s focus from very much reliant on the automotive industry to operating in several new sectors and working with start-up companies and leading universities. Lyn is also an adviser to a number of start-up companies.

Ben Gust

Managing Partner, Virescent Ventures

Ben has almost 20 years’ experience in venture capital, including as Managing Director of GBS Venture Partners, one of Australia’s leading life-science venture capital firms, before moving to climate technology venture capital as Executive Director of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s $200m Innovation Fund in 2018.

He has invested in and held numerous board roles with Australian and US based companies such as Hatchtech, Spinifex and Ivantis.

Ben holds a legal practicing certificate and degrees in Science and Finance. Ben currently leads investments in JET Charge, SunMan, OmniTanker and GreenSync.

Murray Height

CEO, HeiQ Australia

Murray is a co-founder and the chief science officer of HeiQ, a world leader in textile innovation creating some of the most effective, durable and high-performance textile technologies in the market. Headquartered in Switzwerland and listed on the London Stock Exchange, HeiQ has subsidiaries in Australia, China, Portugal, Taiwan and the US.

The company excels in the R&D field, where it tends to be significantly faster and more lateral than peers as it works with six tech platforms  to foster innovation.

Thys Heyns

GMC deputy chair

Thys has 35 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, most recently with Viva Energy as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Viva Energy in February 2015, Thys was with BP for 28 years in an international career across four continents that covered Supply Chain, Oil Trading and Refining.


Robert Hill

Chair, Viva Energy

Robert is a former barrister and solicitor who specialised in corporate and taxation law and who now consults in the area of international political risk. Viva Energy has a vision to develop the site of the Geelong Refinery into an energy hub featuring a gas import terminal, solar farm, hydrogen development and other alternative fuel sources.

Robert was previously Australia’s Minister for Defence, Minister for the Environment and Leader of the Government in the Senate during his time as a Senator for South Australia. He served as Australia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

Nick Jacometti

Director, Boomaroo Nurseries

Nick is Director of the award-winning Boomaroo Nurseries, one of Australia’s largest vegetable seedling suppliers, renowned for its premium-quality commercial seedlings, greenlife products, customer service and innovative approach to horticultural production.

The family-owned business has facilities in both Lara, near Geelong, and Southbrook in Queensland. Its state-of-the-art operations include 20 hectares of specialised growing areas and automated handling systems. Combined, the two facilities have the capability to produce up to 400 million vegetable seedlings annually across over 150 individual varieties and up to 2 million greenlife potted plants. An architect by profession, Nick pivoted careers recently when his father Theo retired.

Professor Iain Martin

Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University

Since 2019, Iain has led Deakin University as its principal executive officer. The Vice-Chancellor plays a key role in cultivating and sustaining the university’s relationship with its many external stakeholders. One of Australia’s largest universities,

Deakin continues to expand Its community and industry connections through research excellence and global reach.

Peter Meikle

Interim CEO Universal Motion Simulation

Peter joined UMS in October 2021. His role is to lead UMS to achieve its vision of becoming internationally recognised as the leading supplier of the most innovative and realistic motion platforms for military ground vehicle simulation.

Peter’s previous experience includes Chief Executive Officer, Product Development Director, Strategic Marketing director, project manager, consultant and engineering roles across small and large technology based companies,  technology commercialisation consulting and small high-tech manufacturers, including in highly regulated environments.

His experience includes Invetech, Xtralis, CRM Advisory and Grey Innovation.

James Mullins

CTO Flaim Systems

James is the founding researcher of FLAIM Systems which develops world-leading multi-sensory immersive learning solutions for training in hazardous and emergency situations.

James created FLAIM after completing a Bachelor of Engineering at Deakin University and has since completed his PhD in robotic engineering. As a third-generation firefighter, he was uniquely positioned to apply his deep knowledge of advanced engineering principles to solve the problem of increasing and improving training opportunities for firefighters through the development of a world first immersive technology virtual training solutions.

Lachlan Pfeiffer

Chief Business Development and Sustainability Officer Viva Energy

Lachlan joined Viva Energy in 2014 and has held roles with the Group including as Executive General Manager, Legal and External Affairs and General Counsel. From 2018 to 2020, he also served as a Non-Executive Director of Viva Energy REIT (now Waypoint REIT).

Prior to joining Viva Energy, Lachlan worked as a corporate lawyer for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom (UK) LLP, based in London for seven years. Lachlan started his career in Melbourne working for Norton Rose Fulbright (Australia).

Genevieve Reid

Director, Research Sectorial Partnerships, Government and IndustryDirector, Research Sectorial Partnerships, Government and Industry, Deakin University

Genevieve is highly experienced in developing and executing strategic and profitable growth partnerships for large complex B2B organizations, including strategic navigation across all levels of government relations and parliamentary engagement. She brings experience with SaaS businesses, Aconex-Oracle, Computershare and the Non-Profit sector.

Genevieve provides visionary and strategic leadership in building research partnerships and new alliances, while maximising performance, impact, and revenue in the face of scale and complexity.

Thomas Schmitz

Head of Energy Markets, Equis

Thomas is a senior energy market and infrastructure executive with more than 20 years of experience in renewable energy, green hydrogen, energy commodities, financial services and derivatives trading and clearing.

Infrastructure asset development company Equis is a leading renewable energy and waste infrastructure developer and operator, having developed over 200 renewable energy and waste infrastructure projects across the Asia-Pacific region. Equis has offices in Australia, Korea, Japan and Singapore.

Steven Skala

Chair, Clean Energy Finance Corporation

The Vice Chairman, Australia of Deutsche Bank, Steven has more than 35 years of experience in law, business and banking sectors. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation invests commercially to increase the flow of funds into renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies.

Created by the Australian government, the CEFC’s mission is to accelerate Australia’s transformation towards a more competitive economy in a carbon constrained world by acting as a catalyst to increase investment in emissions reduction.

Rohan Stocker

CEO, Marand Precision Engineering

Rohan began his career working for global mining organisation BHP. In 2001, he joined Marand – a diversified engineering solutions company. Marand designs and manufactures special purpose equipment, tooling and automated production systems for the automotive, aerospace, defence, renewable energy and rail industries.

During his time at Marand, Rohan has been at the forefront of the company’s successful transition from Manufacturer to Innovator. He has overseen considerable growth of the Marand business both in Australia and in various export markets including its work as Australia’s largest exporter on the F-35 programme for Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems.

Alessandra Sutti

Associate Professor, Institute for Frontier Materials

Alessandra leads a team focused on short polymer fibres, textiles research and microplastics. The team’s mission is to bring greater “circularity” in the world of materials manufacturing, alongside industry.

Her work brings together several fields of science, to support the development of novel fibre manufacturing technologies and of novel materials, with disparate applications such as performance textiles and biomedical devices.

Vicki Tutungi

Director, Capricorn Power

With over twenty years’ experience as a board director, in both executive and non-executive positions, Vicki has held roles in both listed and unlisted entities.  She has worked in a diverse range of technology based companies including medical device, sustainable energy, digital marketing and furniture design.

Vicki currently sits on the board of Capricorn Power a company that has developed a unique energy from waste solution which is currently being constructed and tested in Geelong.

Professor Rajesh Vasa

Head of Translational Research & Development

Professor Rajesh Vasa heads translational research in the Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A²I²) at Deakin University, Australia. Rajesh specialises in building robust AI infused technology.

He has a strong record as a technology leader with work spanning creating smart manufacturing processes, building intelligent homes for aged care, reducing traffic congestion, large scale complex simulations to support decision making, using gamification to improve dementia care, and improving patient health outcomes in clinical settings.

Prof. Vasa brings over a decade of experience from technology industry across the world having held roles spanning engineering and executive leadership. The research lead concepts he developed resulted in spinouts of four companies (in 2017-2021).

Event Partners & Sponsors