2023 speakers:

  • Dr Gunilla Burrowes
    Director, SmartCrete CRC | Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Creating an inclusive future and a fairer, more functional workplace

    Dr Gunilla Burrowes is a nationally and internationally recognised electrical engineer, entrepreneur, gender equity advocate, angel investor and a driving force in the Newcastle technology startup ecosystem.

    As an electrical engineer (UNSW), Gunilla has completed a Master of Philosophy in Engineering Education and a Doctorate in Underwater Swarm Sensor Networks (University of Newcastle). She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia. In 2000, Gunilla co-founded an underwater technology company, BlueZone Group, in the Hunter Region, which now has two offices around Australia. Gunilla is the Founding Chair of Eighteen04, a co-working and incubator space for CleanTech and SmartCity-based startups in the Hunter area. She has graduated from the AICD Directors Course and is on numerous company boards including the Blue Economy and SmartCrete CRC’s. She has been a member of Engineers Australia’s (EA’s) Council and Congress and President of EA’s Newcastle Division.

    Along with Gunilla’s industrial expertise and her pro-active fostering of innovation across the Hunter region, she’s also dedicated to several gender equity projects. She is the co-founder of Gender Matters, a consultancy with a focus on cognitive bias mitigation, and has managed diversity programs at a number of research institutions, and was an instigator of EA’s Year of Women in Engineering in 2007.

  • Jenna Connellan
    NSW/ACT Committee member and Event Coordinator, Electric Energy Society of Australia

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Addressing the skill shortage – hiring and retaining successful engineers

    Jenna is an electrical engineer by training, with a masters in engineering management. Her decade of experience spans utility software technical sales and business development with Locusview, strategic transmission electrical network planning and operations in the Australian and South African utility spaces with AEMO and Eskom respectively, business development and energy management consulting in the South African and Australian electricity and solar markets with Sinani Energy and 5B respectively, and management consulting through business improvement and digital transformation with Deloitte Consulting South Africa.

    Jenna has recently re-entered the world of renewable energy as a project manager for Nextracker.

  • Sarah de Man
    Major Maintenance & TAR Manager – Asset Services, Origin

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION:  Identifying and elevating the key project management skills all leaders need to master

    Sarah de Man is the Major Maintenance and Turnaround Manager for Origin Energy Integrated Gas Business. Responsible for the delivery of the business’s upstream cyclic turnaround program and facility major maintenance campaigns. As a seasoned professional with over a decade experience in leading teams in the delivery of multidisciplinary infrastructure projects, she understands building a foundation of strong culture set on values, behaviour, process, and discipline is essential in enabling safe, compliant, and efficient execution, no matter the size or complexity of the task. 

    As a mother of young children Sarah has experienced the challenges emerging female leaders face in the Engineering sector and is passionate about empowering women in their career goals, enhancing the overall experience women receive in the workplace and expanding the visibility of their achievements.

  • Emily de Robillard
    Senior Human Resource Generalist, Delve Underground

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Addressing the skill shortage – hiring and retaining successful engineers

    Emily is energetic, passionate, and a driven business professional with ever-growing experience managing employee life cycle, experience, benefits and performance management processes.

    She is a dedicated and positive team player with the ability to communicate effectively and initiative to jump in and help where needed.

    She is skilled at building relationships with employees across all levels of an organisation and creating a collaborative environment.

  • Hester De Wet
    Principal, Energy, Aurecon

    Session: Fostering a successful, engaged and celebrated team

    Hester has gained global experience in a wide range of different industries ranging from Energy, Aerospace to Infrastructure. Her career focus stems from a strong project management basis gained in industry and applying it to areas of Business Strategy, Capability Development and Business Development. Continuously driving change through the application of data and technology.

  • Madeleine du Toit
    Associate Dean (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), Academic Program Director - Materials Engineering, University of Wollongong

    Session: Opening remarks from the Chair

    Session: FIRESIDE CHAT: Leadership, team management & an evolving career in engineering

    Madeleine du Toit joined the University of Wollongong as Professor in the School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering in 2014, and currently serves as Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Engineering & Information Sciences.

    She holds BEng, MEng and PhD degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and a Masters degree in Welding Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, a qualified International Welding Engineer (IWE) and a Certified Materials Professional (CMatP) with Materials Australia. She was elected as member of the College of Experts of the ARC from 2017-2019, and currently serves as Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors of Weld Australia.

    She is a passionate advocate for gender equity in engineering

  • Alison Every
    Director, Stem Careers, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Creating an inclusive future and a fairer, more functional workplace

    Dr Alison Every manages the Elevate: Boosting Women in STEM program at the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. After completing her PhD at WEHI, investigating immunotherapeutic approaches to prevent type 1 diabetes, Alison undertook research in vaccine development and inflammatory mechanisms in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne, before discovering a passion for mentoring and advocacy.

    As Director of the In2science STEM peer mentoring program she championed diversity, equity and inclusion in high school STEM education. Now, as Elevate Program Manager, she supports women and non-binary people to study STEM degrees at Australian universities, grow their professional skills, and access positions of leadership and influence.

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

    Session: Mastering risk management for optimal outcomes

    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 (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 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.

  • Rowena Gamble
    Talent Acquisition Lead, Australia-Asia, Hatch

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Addressing the skill shortage – hiring and retaining successful engineers

    Rowena is an experienced HR leader with a depth of experience across all facets of people and talent predominantly in mining, energy and infrastructure market sectors.

    She has a performance mindset with people at the core and constantly seek ways to improve - both for better employee experience and business performance.

  • Tracey Gramlick
    Deputy Director, Growth and Strategy, Infrastructure Technology, CSIRO

    Session: Analysing the disruptive technologies shaping the engineering landscape

    Tracey Gramlick has a background in Engineering and a Masters in Technology Management and Administration. With extensive experience in the industrial metals, building products and accreditation sectors she has diverse experience in a number of manufacturing, R&D, advocacy, management and marketing roles in private, not for profit and government enterprises.

    Tracey joined the CSIRO in 2019 to lead their Verification Services team in Infrastructure Technologies with a diverse accreditation and certification portfolio including active and passive fire systems, paints and protective coating products and applicators, and road and pavement markings. She accepted the broader role of Deputy Director of Growth and Strategy for Infrastructure Technologies in January this year.

    Tracey is also a director and Chair of the Board of Standards Australia and a member of Macquarie University Engineering External Advisory Board.

  • Christina Green
    Principal Engineer, Connections Policy and Process, Ergon Energy | Energex

    Session: Pushing boundaries of renewable energy to meet the global energy challenge

    Christina Green is the Principal Engineer Connections Policy Process at Ergon Energy Network and Energex, part of Energy Queensland, Australia’s largest electricity distribution company.  Ergon Energy Network and Energex maintain more than 212,000 km of network and service 2.3 million customer connections in Queensland. Christina has worked for Energy Queensland and its predecessors for over fifteen years and has extensive experience in demand management, network planning, generation and customer standards, strategy and network connections.

    Christina has been strongly engaged in the growth of distributed generation in Queensland since Queensland’s first large-scale solar generator was installed in Barcaldine, in Central Queensland. She has been involved in the connection of both large and small generation projects, forming standards, policy and processes, and working with customer and stakeholder groups to shape the future network.

    In her current role in the Network Connections team, she focusses on the technical and policy aspects the connections process, from small-scale solar systems to large batteries, wind farms, and solar farms, concentrating on the rapidly changing regulatory landscape to ensure a secure and safe energy transition for all customers.

  • Sarah Hannah
    General Manager, Operations, Windlab

    Session: Tackling climate change and achieving net zero commitments

    Sarah is a chemical and process engineer who pursued her career in the power industry driven to provide affordable sustainable electricity to all.  Her passion is to bring people to the centre of The Energy Transition with impact, authenticity and equality. 

    She brings two decades of global experience in utility scale wind, solar, biomass, hydro, gas, coal, battery storage, and decentralised assets.  This experience spans the asset lifecycle from engineering design, development, construction, operations, and energy efficiency.

    Currently GM Operations at Windlab, and previously Head of Asset Management at AGL Energy, Sarah brings a depth of understanding of the operational challenges and opportunities that the electricity sector faces in achieving net zero.  Sarah also serves as a Board Director on the Asset Management Council.

  • Jacqui Hansen
    Senior Advisor, Asset Management, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION:  Addressing the skill shortage – hiring and retaining successful engineers

    Jacqui is an industry leader in Asset Management. For more than 25 years she has worked with councils to improve asset management practices and develop meaningful asset management plans. Her focus has always been on the needs of regional, rural and remote communities.

    Beyond her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Technology, Sydney (1997), Jacqui has been awarded Graduate Certificates in Environmental Engineering and Management (1999), and Infrastructure Asset Management (2011). She has also completed the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment at TAFE (2013).

    Jacqui is the Senior Advisor Asset Management at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) delivering the IPWEA Asset Management Pathway, Unit Chair for Graduate Certificate in Asset Management at the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE), and a sessional academic at Charles Sturt University, where she teaches asset management to undergraduate engineers.

  • Rita Henderson
    Professor and Deputy Dean (Societal Impact and Translation), University of New South Wales Engineering

    Session: OPENING REMARKS FROM THE CHAIR

    Rita Henderson is Deputy Dean (Societal Impact & Translation) at UNSW Engineering and a Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW. Her research interests are on water quality and treatment and algal biotechnology, and she leads the Algal and Organic Matter (AOM) Lab, working closely with the Australian water industry.

    She is an Editor for Water Research, Editor-In-Chief for the IWA H2Open Journal and an Associate Editor for the AWWA Water Science journal. Rita also Chairs the UNSW Sustainable Development Goals Steering Committee.

  • Catherine Hollyman
    Founder | Leadership Communication Strategist & Coach, Behind the Scenes Communications

    Session: Masterclass A: Advanced leadership skills for engineering leaders

    "As a child, I was always taking on the role of some character or another. I didn’t need a stage, any garden or lounge room would suffice. I would change my words, the way I spoke and the way I moved to bring my new identity to life so I could tell their story. I knew that even subtle changes in my behaviour meant my audience (OK – my mum, dad, and elderly next door neighbour) would perceive me differently. As I got older, I became a student of acting and performing arts. I was captivated by the way actors, directors, set designers, script writers – the whole production crew in fact – use the written word, vocal delivery, body language and all manner of sensory signals to tell a story. To communicate a message. To create a connection with us, their audience and strive to cause a shift in our thoughts, attitudes or behaviours.

    This fascination with the way we send (and receive) information in order to build rapport with an audience, propelled me into a career as a public relations and communications consultant. I advised businesses of all shapes and sizes on how to tell their story and build their brand presence in a way that connected with their customers, employees and other key stakeholders, causing a shift in their perceptions and behaviours.

    In 2010, after speaking at a national sales conference designed to inspire and engage 2,500 employees to follow his vision and direction for the company, the Managing Director I was working with thanked me, saying: “you have provided me with the necessary coaching that has not only improved my communication and presentation style and capabilities, but has given me a lasting self-confidence that will remain with me for life.”

    Kapow!

    My focus shifted from helping organisations communicate their business brand messages, to helping high-performing individuals identify and express their leadership presence. I uncover how they want to show up and speak up as a leader and empower them with the skills and confidence to communicate their best, authentic self to the world, so they can connect more meaningfully with their stakeholders and contribute with more impact and influence."

  • Benita Husband
    Engineering Director – Victoria and Tasmania, CPB Contractors

    Session: Navigating and thriving in a male-dominated environment

    Benita Husband is CPB Contractors Engineering Director for Victorian & Tasmania, the Australasian construction company of the CIMIC Group and the largest contractor in Australia, which designs and builds major infrastructure across all key sectors including roads, rail, tunnelling, resources, water and renewables.

    In this role Benita is responsible for the engineering, digital and quality outputs of CPB Contractors projects across the project lifecycle, from business development and tendering to completion. Benita also represents CPB Contractors at industry forums and events, championing capacity, capability and diversity to create a skills legacy and a sustainable future for their people, clients and communities.

    Benita is passionate about building industry and government partnerships that will accelerate skills and development training and is particularly focused on upskilling and reskilling women interested in a career in transport construction. As part of CPB Contractors’ commitment to creating opportunities for its people, Benita is implementing a professional and leadership development program in collaboration with industry partners, including Engineers Australia.

    Benita has over 20 years’ experience in the construction and engineering sector as an electrical engineer, project director and technical advisor. Benita is recognised for her engaging leadership style, and passion for the built environment. She is a registered professional engineer, EngExec and Fellow of Engineers Australia. She’s also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an alumnus of Melbourne Business School Executive MBA.

  • Angela Jeffery
    Project Director – Western Sydney Airport, Sydney Metro

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION:  Identifying and elevating the key project management skills all leaders need to master

    Angela Jeffery is the Project Director for the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project. Responsible for the delivery and construction of this multi-billion dollar city-shaping infrastructure project, the new metro service will form the transport spine for Greater Western Sydney, connecting travellers with the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport and the growing region.

    With a background in construction management, Angela has delivered a range of critical projects for NSW Health Infrastructure, including several hospital redevelopments across Sydney and regional NSW.

    Prior to joining Sydney Metro in 2020, Angela was the Senior Project Director working on the Westmead Health Precinct Redevelopment project, a large brownfield campus with a vision to deliver design excellence, innovation, place-making and consumer satisfaction. Angela has also delivered projects in the justice, education and local government sector

  • Nina Kilpinen
    Managing Director, Seed Engineering

    Session: Building a successful long-term career in engineering

    Nina is a successful engineer, expert project manager and business leader, with almost twenty-five years of professional experience. She is the founder and Managing Director of Seed Engineering, specialising in the development and management of complex civil infrastructure projects, large team leadership and business management. Nina is recognised for her efficiency, versatility, creativity and team building leadership capabilities, which she brings to the large-scale civil infrastructure projects she has managed.

    Nina has a depth of business experience. She has founded and operated successful retail businesses, worked as non-executive director at the Australian Theatre for Young People, is a casual academic and member of the Professional Advisory Board at the University of Technology Sydney, a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She holds tertiary qualifications in engineering, construction law and engineering management and is passionate about building leadership skills in the next generation of engineers. Nina was awarded the highly commended Consult Australia Female Leadership Champions of Change award in 2017, in recognition of her support for women in engineering. She is an active and founding member of the NSW Construction Industry diversity and inclusion roundtable, which includes representatives from over twenty construction, consulting, government and academic organisations.

    Nina lives in the upper Blue Mts with her husband, three children and two dogs. She is a keen snow sports enthusiast and aims to spend at least forty days per year, on the snow.

  • Maria Koutsimpiris
    Project Controls Manager – Southern Program Alliance | Chair - National Committee for Women in Engineering, ACCIONA | Engineers Australia

    Session: Optimising project controls for success

    Maria has had over 20 years’ experience in complex, capital-intensive multinationals, leading large cross-functional teams on multi-year, billion-dollar projects. She is the Project Controls manager for the delivery of the Southern Program Alliance (~$3B) at ACCIONA and prior to this had a successful international executive automotive career with General Motors.

    She has an MBA from the Melbourne Business School and BEng(Mech) Hons/ BSc(Mathematics) from the University of Melbourne. She is an EngExec and Fellow with Engineers Australia and is Chartered in Leadership & Management and Project Management. She is the Chair of the National Committee for Women in Engineering and a NED with ANCAP and Community Bank Highett.

  • Chloé Leclerc
    Chief Marketing Officer, Fleet Space Technologies

    Session: FIRESIDE CHAT: Leadership, team management & an evolving career in engineering

    Chloe moved to Australia from France and then joined Fleet Space as Head of Marketing & Commercial Strategy in October 2021. In her former role, Chloe led various campaigns to promote Fleet Space and the Australian space sector on a global scale, such as “We are Explorers” or “New Frontiers” campaigns. In her new CMO position, she continues to build Fleet’s global marketing strategy within the wider context of Australia’s burgeoning space sector. The launch of Fleet’s new product, ExoSphere, targeting the critical minerals industry, resulted in more than 25 new customers across the world within the first 12 months globally.

    Chloé was born and educated in France, earning a Master’s degree in International Business & Marketing at KEDGE Business School in Marseille. She began her space career as Marketing & Strategy Manager at AIRBUS in Beijing, Paris and Toulouse before moving to European spaceflight services company Telespazio France as Head of Marketing.

    Chloe is already an established figure in the industry. A Finalist in the Aviation/Aerospace Australia Awards 'Outstanding Next Generation Professional' in 2022, she’s appeared in a University of Queensland webinar entitled ‘Women Leading Exploration’ talking about space technology revolutionising mineral exploration, and a LinkedIn event highlighting Top Australian Start-Ups. A passionate advocate for women in the industry, she is actively involved in a Women in Aerospace Mentorship programme, sharing her knowledge and experience and encouraging women to pursue careers in space; she has also featured in Space Australia’s ‘Women of the Australian Space Community’ initiative.

  • Nina Lee
    Senior Associate - Structures, BG&E

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION:  Identifying and elevating the key project management skills all leaders need to master

    Nina Lee is an Associate in the Structures team in Sydney at BG&E. She is a pro-active and well-regarded technical professional with extensive design and project management experience on a wide range of projects. Nina has been responsible for the structural design and documentation delivery of numerous building projects including mid to high rise commercial and mixed-use towers, large scale residential developments, industrial and carpark facilities, existing building refurbishment, and major retail centres in Australia and overseas.

    Nina has also devoted time outside her technical role to drive improvement in gender diversity and culture within BG&E where she has worked for since 2005.

    Nina contributed to creation of a company Inclusion and Diversity Working Group (IDWG) in 2020, for which she occupies the role of Chair. Nina has since become a member of the BG&E’s Board-appointed Diversity Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Committee where she had a heavy hand in many of the major initiatives implemented to date. Nina continues to represent and implement change on behalf of those with a continued interest in the topic, ensuring their feedback and ideas are heard at the highest levels.

    Excelling throughout 17 year’s of engineering design, including when she returned from maternity leave in 2014 to manage one of the firm’s largest building projects at the time – the $350 million Dubai Mall Zabeel Expansion, Nina’s career trajectory and flexible work legacy contributed to paving the way for enhanced gender diversity for the upcoming generation in the industry.

  • Eleanor Loudon
    Chief Executive Officer, Engineers Without Borders

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Building an effective engineering leader’s toolbox

    Eleanor Loudon is a highly experienced international development leader with a deep, lifelong commitment to social and environmental justice. She is passionate about the for-purpose sector’s role and critical contribution to local, national and global conversations, ensuring that those with lived experience have a voice in the decisions that affect them.

    In her career she spent over 10 years in professional leadership roles overseas, including in Sri Lanka (ChildFund International), and Cambodia and Thailand (Australian Volunteer Program). These roles enabled her to apply her professional qualifications (Masters in For-Purpose Business Management, UTS) alongside her skills working cross-culturally and engaging deeply with communities.

    Back in Australia, Eleanor is the CEO of Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB), an ACFID member. She leads more than 30 staff and hundreds of volunteers, as well as pro bono partners, to implement EWB’s SDG-aligned 2030 strategy. In this role, she empowers engineering teams in Australia, Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu to deliver technology, designed with communities to support their plans for better health and livelihoods, whilst ensuring the protection and vitality of our planet. In this role she also supports a team that drives education, training and mobilisation of values-driven engineers to deliver technology that benefits all, so that one day EWB is no longer needed.

    Since joining EWB, Eleanor has led strategic growth and organisational visibility, expanding EWB’s portfolio of projects to include humanitarian work in Australia and in the region. This has included a large-scale emergency water infrastructure repair program in Timor-Leste (supported by DFAT and led by the Timorese government), as well as the mobilisation of volunteers and pro bono support into the NSW Northern Rivers district in response to the devastating floods early this year.

    She has also expedited EWB’s scope of work in “doubling-down” on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to live and thrive On Country. Two major initiatives as part of this direction include EWB’s flagship ‘Water for Remote Communities’ program, and an industry-first ‘Pathways’ program that supports indigenous career pathways to the technical sector. This is in partnership with the engineering peak body Engineers Australia, and led by their Indigenous Engineers Group; EWB helps facilitate their vision.

  • Jie Lu AO
    Director, Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute, University of Technology Sydney

    Session: Exploring the impact of automation and AI on the engineering sector

    Distinguished Professor Jie Lu is a world-renowned scientist in the field of computational intelligence, primarily known for her work in fuzzy transfer learning, concept drift, recommender systems, and decision support systems. She is an IEEE Fellow, IFSA Fellow, and Australian Laureate Fellow. Prof Lu is the Director of the Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute (AAII) at University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia.

    She has published over 500 papers in leading journals and conferences; won 10 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects as first chief investigator, and over 20 industry projects; and supervised 50 doctoral students to completion. Prof Lu serves as Editor-In-Chief for Knowledge-Based Systems and International Journal of Computational Intelligence Systems. She is a recognized keynote speaker, delivering over 40 keynote speeches at international conferences.

    She is the recipient of two IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems Outstanding Paper Awards (2019 and 2022), NeurIPS2022 Outstanding Paper Award, Australia's Most Innovative Engineer Award (2019), Australasian Artificial Intelligence Distinguished Research Contribution Award (2022), and the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day 2023.

  • Ashley McCarthy-Griffiths
    Business Improvement Principal | President, Stanmore | Power of Engineering

    Session: Building confidence and self-esteem to find success in engineering

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Creating an inclusive future and a fairer, more functional workplace

    Ashley is passionate about combining Technology and Engineering to solve our world's challenges and creating an inclusive environment for all. She believes we need to attract and retain a diverse group of people within STEM to ensure we are creating solutions that are inclusive to everyone in society.

    She now works at Stanmore as the Business Improvement Principal. Previously to Stanmore she worked at BHP where Ashley managed the strategic performance of a mine site in Queensland. Working with the operational teams to identify bottlenecks and deliver sustainable solutions to exceed safety, production, culture and cost targets. Previously, Ashley designed BMA’s digital future by leading the development of our Integrated Remote Operating Centre (IROC+) Technology Roadmap. Working across Coal Assets to challenge the teams to envision the future and explore how to leverage technology to achieve it. She has been involved in the framing and definition of leading edge technology projects across BHP, incorporating artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data.

    Combining volunteering and work experience, she strives to be a role model for young females interested in pursuing a career in STEM and raising the profile of STEM by breaking down the associated stereotypes to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to consider a career in STEM. Ashley is a true believer that to create an inclusive environment for all and remove unconscious bias designs, we need to have an Engineering workforce that reflects our community.

    As President of Power of Engineering, Ashley leads a team of exceptional volunteers across Australia working with the Engineering industry and education sector to grow diversity in the Engineering pipeline in Australia. Power of Engineering offers programs targeted at female and regional high schools students by getting them to apply their skills to understand the different types of Engineering and how Engineering is applied in their local community. In her time as President, Power of Engineering has launched events in Tasmania and Northern Territory increasing our reach to over 10,000 students across Australia. As a result, 80 per cent of those students participating said they were considering a career in Engineering.

  • Olivia Mirza
    Associate Dean Engagement, Professor in Structural Engineering | President – Sydney Committee, Western Sydney University | Engineers Australia

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Addressing the skill shortage – hiring and retaining successful engineers

    Professor Olivia Mirza was one of the sixteen Golden Jubilee Scholarship holder at University of New South Wales in 2000. She graduated in Honours Bachelor of Civil and Environmental in 2002. She worked as a structural engineer for 10 years before pursuing her academic career. She worked for Leighton Contractors (Student Engineer), Australia Consulting Engineers (Structural Engineer) and Cardno Group (Senior Engineer – International Projects). Professor Mirza is currently Professor and Associate Dean Engagement in School Engineering, Design and Built Environment. She is also Research Theme Champion at University level under Pro-Vice Chancellor Research, Enterprise and International.  Some of her outstanding projects she worked on was M7 motorway, One Shelley Street, King Street Wharf, Sydney where the external structural support system supported by diagrid for sustainable purposes. She was the lead structural engineer for the diagrid. The building was awarded a 6-star Green Star "World Leader" rating and the highest environmental building rating achievable in Australia. She is also leading the fire design in the Tower 5 of the New York World Trade Centre.

    She is distinguished in her forensic bridge rehabilitation. She was the lead design engineer for Sydney Harbour bridge where she proposed a resilient alternative by incorporating steel-concrete composite theory and capability of being precast and modular. This project also involved in retrofitting the new precast modular section onto the existing steel girder.

    Professor Mirza is a strong advocate for encouraging more women into the engineering profession. Australia like most other countries in the world has a shortage of engineers and it is Olivia's vision to increase the number of women engineers. In 2016 she set up a group called "WoW" Women of Wisdom for Western Sydney University. WoW is to help with the retention of female student in Construction and Engineering field. She managed to increase the female participation from 17% to 35%.

  • Margarita Moya
    Chair, Engineers Without Borders

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Creating an inclusive future and a fairer, more functional workplace

    Margarita is an experienced Non-Executive Director with a passion for diversity on all decision making levels. She is the current Board Chair at Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) - a for-purpose organisation with over 20 years experience harnessing the potential of engineering to create an equitable reality for the planet and its people.

    Margarita is also Director of BI Enablement (APAC) at JLL - global real estate services firm specialising in commercial property and investment management. In this role, she is part of a global team which ensures analytics professionals continue to have the tools and capabilities they need to help people see and understand data.

    She holds a Bachelor degree in Engineering (Industrial Chemistry) and Bachelor of Arts (English).

  • Madison Page
    Senior Indigenous Affairs Advisor, Laing O’Rourke

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Creating an inclusive future and a fairer, more functional workplace

    Madii is a Wiradjuri woman working as a Senior Indigenous Affairs Advisor at Laing O'Rourke.

    She has worked across many tenders and projects throughout her career developing strategies and plans to generate social outcomes for First Nations people.

    Over her career she has led internal diversity networks and delivered Reconciliation Action Plans to create and sustain meaningful outcomes for diverse groups.

  • Tamsyn Parker
    Business Manager, Customer Engineering Services NSW/ACT, BOC South Pacific

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Building an effective engineering leader’s toolbox

    As a seasoned process engineer, Tamsyn Parker has discovered her true calling in leading and managing dynamic, skilled teams across multiple business functions. With expertise in managing Profit and Loss statements and ensuring high levels of Delivery In Full, On Time (DIFOT), she has honed her skills in driving business success through effective team management.

    Tamsyn's passion for promoting diversity and inclusion has been a guiding force in her leadership style. By fostering an inclusive workplace culture, she strives to create a collaborative environment where every team member's unique perspective and contribution are valued and celebrated.

  • Susan Pearce
    Chief Executive Officer, Australian General Practice Network

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Building an effective engineering leader’s toolbox

    Susan has 20 years of experience in research and engineering as a technical and project engineer; and as a safety and innovation workshop facilitator. She is an experienced Project Manager and Mechanical Engineer, with a PhD in Welding and has worked in the mining, oil and gas, industrial, power and water sectors.

    Susan moved into Operations Management in March 2020, using her engineering, project management, team building and problem-solving skills to guide a South Australian General Practice business through the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    Susan is a passionate believer in the transferability of the systematic skills of an Engineer and is recognised as a problem solver with a focus on using innovative methods to enhance both project delivery and internal company collaboration.

  • Vikki Pink
    Chief People Officer, Worley

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Creating an inclusive future and a fairer, more functional workplace

    Vikki is accountable for all aspects of the People function including talent acquisition, capability, learning, reward, mobility, diversity & inclusion, human resources and communications. Vikki joined Worley in June 2019 and brings multi industry, global experience and sound leadership capability in maximising performance, organisation effectiveness and business transformation.

    Previously, Vikki was President People and Organisation at Wood (2012-2019), Head of Human Resources at PGG Wrightson (2009-2011) and Principal Consultant Organisational Development at Sheffield (2007-2009). Her extensive senior experience in diverse sectors brings a solid foundation for continuous improvement. Vikki is co-chair of the Worley Diversity & Inclusion Council. She holds a Master of Education from the University of Canterbury and a Master of Management from Massey University.

  • Anita Rajalingam
    Head of Talent Acquisition and Community - Engineering, Kogan.com

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Addressing the skill shortage – hiring and retaining successful engineers

    As the Head of Talent Acquisition and Community Software Engineering at Kogan.com, Anita develops and executes strategies to attract, recruit, and retain top software engineering talent. Collaborating closely with company leaders, she understands Kogan.com’s current and future talent needs, and takes lead in driving initiatives that support them.

    One of her key focuses is to build an employer brand for the Kogan.com Engineering team within the tech community. She employs innovative and creative channels to showcase its strengths, attract top-notch talent, and establish Kogan.com as a sought-after destination for software engineers.

    Community building is also another aspect of her role where she sharpens the sense of belonging and collaboration within the software engineering team. She leads programs which provide extensive opportunities for professional development, mentoring, and promotes continuous learning initiatives. By creating an environment that fosters growth and empowers individuals,she ensures that the software engineering team at Kogan.com thrives with the sharpest minds and the most cutting-edge skills.

  • Emma Ram
    Manager, Electrical Programs, Major Works, Sydney Trains

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION:  Identifying and elevating the key project management skills all leaders need to master

    Emma is an engineering and management professional with over 10 years of experience within the infrastructure construction industry. Emma is the current Manager of Electrical Programs within Sydney Trains Major Works Division. In her current role, she is accountable for strategic development and delivery of a rolling annual works program with a 1 - 3 and 5 year asset replacement outlook, both CAPEX and OPEX investment stream to uplift and build capacity within the rail corridor, signal & systems and electrical distribution/ traction network. Emma leads a multidisciplinary team of Program and Project Mangers.

  • Praema Ranga
    Engineering Capability Manager, Boeing Defence Australia

    Session: Considering safety culture in projects and operations environments

    Praema Ranga, Engineering Capability 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’s been a committee member of Women in Engineering Queensland since Jan 2022, and a board member of the Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association since Sep 2021. Earlier in 2023, she joined the Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership’s ANZSP chapter as a Board member.

    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.

  • Margaret Rogacki
    General Manager, Australia LNG, ExxonMobil

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Building an effective engineering leader’s toolbox

    Margaret Rogacki has worked for ExxonMobil for nearly 25 years, holding positions of increasing responsibility in the upstream oil and gas sector, centred on facilities engineering, project management and strategic planning. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with a degree in Chemical Engineering and diploma in Modern Languages in Mandarin. Having worked in Australia early in her career, and more recently in the USA and UK, Margaret returned to the country in 2021 and is now the General Manager for Australia LNG. She is responsible for ExxonMobil’s interest in the Gorgon Venture and other West Australian late-life and decommissioning assets.

    Throughout her career she has supported early childhood STEM initiatives and also focused on mentoring and development of young engineers. Margaret lives in Perth with her husband and daughter, and is enjoying exploring Western Australia and beyond.

    Credentials: 

    • Degrees: University of Melbourne B.Eng (hons) in Chemical Engineering and Diploma of Modern Languages (Chinese)
    • Further training in Leadership and Management through the Thunderbird Global School of Management and the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.
    • Networks, programs and conferences: has been a member of ExxonMobil Women’s Interest Network groups at various work locations, attended the Women’s Forum Global Meeting (Paris) in 2019, SWE Local (Berlin) conference in 2019 and member of the Hawthorn Club. Member of the OGA MER UK Forum Asset Stewardship Taskforce and lead for the Cross-Industry Learning Group, ASC STEM Ambassador.
  • Eva Simak
    Project Manager, Founder, Performance Coach & Author, Pinnacle Coaching and Consulting

    Session: Masterclass B: Project management fundamentals for engineers – building your essential toolkit

    Eva Simak is a global force in empowering professional women to shatter barriers and embrace limitless, guilt-free success. With an unwavering commitment, Eva champions women across diverse roles, guiding them from department heads and CEOs to team managers and visionary entrepreneurs, as they forge the rewarding and balanced lives they desire.

    Originating from a traditional Old World European backdrop, where life trajectories are often preordained, Eva defied cultural norms in the 90s to become an engineer in Australia. Her journey has since blossomed into a dynamic career as a distinguished project manager and consultant. Grounded in a robust foundation of chemical engineering spanning decades, Eva thrived within the male-dominated landscape. As a project manager, consultant, and adept team leader, she skillfully navigated projects, ensuring their triumph within rigorous schedules and budgets.

    Eva's versatile expertise extends across diverse industries, from coal seam gas, natural gas, and oil refining to chemicals production and minerals processing. Guiding multifaceted teams throughout all project stages, from inception to operation, she embodies unwavering dedication.

    With a profound understanding of resilience stemming from her role as a mother to extraordinary children with unique needs, Eva fosters an environment of inclusivity and equality. She values individuals for their accomplishments, amplifying her ethos.

    An accomplished author, Eva penned "Limitless & Guilt-Free Success – For Successful Professional Women Who Want to Go To The Next Level Without Sacrificing Their Personal Lives." This work emboldens women to embrace bold choices, assertiveness, and unwavering self-worth, transcending guilt and subservience. Eva's words ignite readers to hurdle obstacles and nurture a resolute mindset.

    Eva's fervor extends to raising awareness about unconscious bias against women in workplaces. Her commitment resonates with empowering women in their holistic journey towards success. She crafts strategies that invigorate women, fostering thriving coexistence with their male counterparts.

    Having ascended through the ranks within Australia's largest industrial engineering firm, Eva embodies the essence of navigating male-dominated landscapes and harnessing success through challenges.

  • Elizabeth Taylor AO
    Chair, SmartCrete Cooperative Research Centre

    Session: Leading through technical expertise: balancing technical proficiency with leadership skills

    Elizabeth Taylor is the current Chair of the SmartCrete CRC Board and is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). She is a passionate and intelligent professional with a range of skills that she brings to all facets of Board activities.

    Elizabeth is a civil engineer, starting her career at the Maritime Services Board where she contributed to the design and construction of marine structures. She also has a law degree, and this assists her decision making. Presently she is a consultant specialising in complex procurement and sustainment. This brings a deep understanding of the challenges of practice, the role of innovation and the complexity of decision making.

    Along with her practice in engineering, Elizabeth has academic experience, including 10 years at UTS designing curriculum and co-op. She finished her academic career as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, Central Queensland University. She is a former Chair of the Australian Council of Engineering Deans.

    Elizabeth has held a number of board leadership roles including Chair of Engineers Australia Accreditation Board, the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland, and she is presently Chair, Washington Accord, and Deputy Chair, Governing Group, International Engineering Alliance. She was Chair of Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief (RedR) Australia and of RedR International. She relaxes playing with the grandchildren, and “thundering” the lanes in basketball 2 nights a week.

    Elizabeth is particularly passionate about and advocates for diversity and has written academic papers on engineering culture. Her appreciation for complexity and her strong background in engineering, academia and governance support Elizabeth to make decisions with integrity and in the best interests of the company.

  • Beatriz Toribio Lopez
    Head of Asset Engineering, RES

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: Building an effective engineering leader’s toolbox

    Beatriz has over 6 years of experience in the renewable energy sector. Her experience covers several areas including monitoring systems, contract and site management, and operations supervision for medium scale solar sites. Coming from the recently integrated Blueshore team, Beatriz has led site analysis on over 1GW of projects including onsite inspection and defect identification for over 250MW of plants.

    Prior to working for Blueshore, Beatriz was a founding employee of Bluefield Services where she played an instrumental role in the build out of the business including the development of its systems and procedures. Beatriz gained experience in electrical supply chain management at Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), including the specification of electrical equipment  for supply to high voltage substations and photovoltaic projects, along with management of Quality, and Health and Safety processes.

    Beatriz studied a Master’s in Industrial Engineering at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, specializing in electronics and process automation, followed by an electrical engineering intensification at Katholieke Leuven University, supplemented by a Master’s in Renewable Energies, Universidad San Pablo CEU, and a postgraduate degree on business practices at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid.

  • Luz Vasquez-Castro
    Project Controls Manager – Eastern Region, ACCIONA

    Session: Optimising project controls for success

    Luz Vasquez Castro has over 15 years’ experience in the Construction Industry, mainly site based in Major Transport NSW projects, focusing in the Pavements and Structures disciplines.

    She has an International Master in Project Administration (IMPA) from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and Beng(Civil) from UTS.

  • Gladys Woods
    General Manager, Corporate Governance/Human Resources, Haslin Construction

    Session: Bridging the engineering skills gap – building your skillset & strengthening your team

    In 1991 while Gladys Woods was pursuing an academic career, her partner started a Civil Contracting business.  From inception, Gladys took on responsibility for the financial, legal, compliance, HR and ESG aspects of the business.   While the company was still fairly small she was able to maintain her teaching career but by 2008 after a decade of juggling 2 part time roles it became untenable to keep doing both, so she moved into the full time role of GM at Haslin.

    The company has grown considerably since then and over the years the role has presented many different challenges, particularly in leadership, strategy and organisational management.   Along the way she have developed a passion for Civil and is dedicated to making it an even better industry through diversity, innovation, equality and social and environmental responsibility.