Keynote Speakers

Please click on name to view biography and photo.

Dr Pierre Audinet      (Plenary: Developing Countries Focus)
Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, World Bank, USA

Dr Pierre Audinet leads the Clean Energy Program of ESMAP, the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program of the World Bank. He is a team lead with twenty years of experience advising governments, formulating policies and preparing investment projects that expanded sustainable energy supply in more than 30 countries across Asia, Europe, Middle East, North Africa and the Americas. Pierre’s primary strengths include: strong expertise in energy policy, energy economics and project finance with an emphasis on electricity and renewable energy; skills to lead complex energy investment projects; and resourcefulness to build consensus in challenging environments. He is acknowledged for pragmatic and innovative solutions; interest in applying new energy technology; integrative results-generating leadership. Pierre joined the World Bank in 2004 to manage energy sector dialogue and to develop a wide range of energy investment operations in the Middle East and North Africa and in Latin America. Prior to joining the Bank, Pierre was a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Energy Agency where he pioneered a joint activities initiative between the International Energy Agency and the Government of India, negotiated the accession of Korea to the IEA and conducted multiple in-depth reviews of energy policies in OECD countries. Before, he restructured a European research think-tank based in India for the French Ministry of foreign Affairs. Pierre holds a PhD from the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France), a MPhil and a MSc in Economics from Paris University. He was a visiting fellow at the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad, India) and at the Energy Planning Programme of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). He has published extensively on energy policies.

Dr Subho Banerjee      (Plenary: Opening)
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Australia

Dr Subho Banerjee is Deputy Secretary, Adaptation, International and Regulatory Group of the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. Dr Banerjee has a PhD in physics from ANU. He was a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford, completing a MSc in economic and social history and a MSc in environmental change and management. Previously he had positions in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, at the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, at the Shadow Treasurer in Federal Parliament.

Dr Peter Coppin      (Plenary 3: World experts)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia

Dr Peter Coppin received the B.Sc. (Hons) degree in 1974 and the Ph.D. degree in micro-meteorology from Flinders University, Australia, in 1978.
After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in wind energy at the University of Hannover, Germany, he was appointed as a research scientist at CSIRO in 1980.
He was Director of the CSIRO Wind Energy Research Unit until 2009 and is currently Leader of the Storage for Renewables Stream at the Energy Transformed Flagship.
His research interests include boundary-layer meteorology, wind energy and renewable energy storage.

Mr Peter Cowling      (Plenary)    [NEW!]
GE Asia-Pacific, Australia

Mr Peter Cowling leads GE’s Sales team for Renewable Energy generation systems in the Asia-Pacific region. In this new role, Peter is responsible for selling GE Renewable Power Plant Solutions, incorporating wind turbines and thin film solar panels, as part of GE’s broader Power and Water business.
Peter recently joined GE after nine years in the wind industry in Australia and New Zealand. His background is in Law, and he holds law and history degrees from Melbourne’s Monash University. Peter has also been a Commercial Manager in the construction and property sectors before seeking out opportunities in the renewable energy industry.
During his career, he has been involved in contracting and delivering over 1000MW of wind power plants. Peter has also been a board member of the Australian Wind Energy Association, and its successor body, the Clean Energy Council. He is an enthusiastic advocate of renewable energy and energy efficiency as an essential part of a low carbon future.

Prof. John Dutton      (Plenary 1: World experts)
Prescient Weather Ltd and The World Climate Service, USA

Dr John Dutton holds BS, MS and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and served for three years as an officer in the Air Weather Service of the U.S. Air Force.
He is President of Prescient Weather, Ltd with operations focused on managing weather and climate risk.
John is also the chief executive of the World Climate Service which is a joint venture between Prescient Weather and MeteoGroup in Europe.
He is Professor of Meteorology Emeritus and Dean Emeritus at the Pennsylvania State University's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Mr Mersie Ejigu      (Plenary: Developing Countries Focus)
Partnership for African Environmental Sustainability, Uganda

Mr Mersie Ejigu is the founder and executive director of the Partnership for African Environmental Sustainability (PAES). His background includes: senior fellow at the Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability (FESS); visiting professor of Environmental Security and Sustainability at the UN University for Peace; assistant director general for programmes and policy of IUCN – The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland. In his home country, Ethiopia, Mersie served as Minister of Planning and National Development as well as Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources. As Minister of Planning, he guided, coordinated and managed the formulation of Ethiopia’s annual, medium term, and long-term development plans and the annual development budget. He also initiated and spearheaded the formulation of national development, food security, population, environment and investment policies and strategies. Trained in agricultural economics and macroeconomics at Alemaya College of Agriculture, Ethiopia, and University of British Columbia, Canada respectively, Mersie Ejigu has extensively written on wide ranging issues, including sustainable development strategies, poverty and environment, environmental security, and bioenergy.

Mr Tim George      (Plenary 4: World experts)
Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Australia

Mr Tim George joined AEMO in March 2009 as Executive General Manager Planning after several years as GM Grid Development with Transpower in New Zealand. A professional engineer with an MSc in electrical engineering, Tim is originally from South Africa. He began his engineering career in Namibia before moving to Australia in 1982. He has worked in the Australian electricity transmission sector for over 25 years, including with the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, Powerlink in Queensland, the Victorian Power Exchange and NEMMCO. The AEMO Planning role encompasses both gas and electricity networks and includes the production of Gas and Electricity Statements of Opportunity, an Annual Planning Review for Victoria and the National Transmission Network Development Plan (NTNDP) for the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Prof V.V.N. Kishore      (Plenary 2: World experts)
Center for Energy and Environment — TERI University, New Delhi, India

Prof V.V.N. Kishore is a Chemical Engineer by training. After graduating from Andhra University, Waltair, he obtained M Tech and PhD from IIT Kanpur. He started working in the area of renewable energy technologies in 1978, first at I.I.T.Kanpur and later at CSMCRI Bhavnagar. He joined TERI in 1984 and served in various capacities as Area Convener, Dean (EET), Advisory Board member and Resource Advisor. Over a long span of about three decades, he has acquired a vast experience in the broad area of renewable energy utilization, covering basic research, product/process development, field testing, technology transfer, execution of turnkey projects, policy research, consultancy, training and capacity building, and teaching.
His current activities include study of distributed power generation systems, high performance biomass cook stoves, high rate biomethanation, lignocellulosic ethanol, passive building design and solar thermal systems. He has eight books, 160 publications in journals/conference proceedings, numerous reports, 30 products/end-use packages, and eight patents to his credit.
He was a visiting fellow at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA and a consultant for the World Bank and for Winrock International, Washington. He is also a Visiting Professor at the UK Open University, where he has collaboration for running a PG Diploma in renewable energy through distance learning. He is currently the program Director for the National Renewable Energy Fellowship (NREF) program of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Mr Shanti Majithia      (Plenary Special: World Experts)
Energy and Climate Advisory (ex National Grid), United Kingdom

Mr Shanti Majithia is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and Royal Meteorological Society with extensive experience in the Energy Industry and Climate Change adaptation. He headed the Energy Forecasting Department and also carried responsibility for delivering a climate adaptation programme as Energy and Climate Strategy Manager at National Grid UK. Shanti was instrumental in bringing together all the major energy companies in the UK to deliver a ground-breaking study on Climate Change. The project set out to establish the effect Climate Change will have on the industry infrastructure and business, with the view to translating the climate science to practical business application.
Shanti has been a leading stakeholder for the internationally published Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) projects on Climate Change. Shanti has for a number of years worked closely with a range of government agencies. Shanti has been an active contributor to a range of research papers over the last 25 years. Notable contributions include, a chapter in the publication “Power engineering series 22 Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Power systems.”; a CIGRE paper on Application of Modelling Techniques, to assess geomagnetically induced current risks on the NGC transmission system. Shanti has additionally chaired and presented various papers on Energy Forecasting at both UK and international conferences. Shanti is currently working in an independent advisory capacity to all stakeholders in the energy sector; linking to the Climate Change adaptation and mitigation challenges

Mr Andre Martin      (Plenary 5: World experts)    [NEW!]
Swiss Re, Sydney, Australia

Mr Andre Martin is a Vice President and Senior Underwriter for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions in Sydney and responsible for the origination and underwriting of Engineering & Construction insurance in Australia and New Zealand. With his technical background in the power sector, a particular focus of Andre's is the origination and structuring of non-traditional or parametric risk solutions in the energy and weather space. Andre joined Corporate Solutions in January 2011 after having managed Swiss Re's Reinsurance Engineering and Construction portfolio within Australia and New Zealand since 2007. Before moving to Australia in 2006, Andre was based at Swiss Re's Headquarters in Zurich and responsible for technical re/insurance business in the Middle East, Turkey and India. Prior to joining Swiss Re in late 2002, Andre worked as a management consultant for Accenture in the area of risk management for deregulated energy markets in Europe. Andre began his career as an Engineer with ABB / Alstom Power working from 1995 – 2001 in various technical and commercial positions around power generation. Andre holds an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and an MBA in International Management from the University of South Australia (UniSA).

Mr Giovanni Pirovano      (Plenary 4: World experts)    [NEW!]
Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico, Italy

Mr Giovanni Pirovano received his Degree of Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic of Milan (Italy) in 1987. From 1988 to 1999 he worked with ENEL Research and from 2000 to 2005 in CESI S.p.A. Since 2006 he has been working in RSE SpA (Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico), a publicly-owned company carrying out R&D activities along the entire value chain of electricity. His main field of interest is electricity technologies, with special reference to "Asset Management" of the electrical grid. In particular Giovanni Pirovano is very active in research and standardization activities of power transmission lines within the main national and international bodies. He has a number of assignments across these networks and is author or co-author of more than 50 scientific papers published at national and international level.

Mr Keith Parks      (Plenary 5: World experts)
Xcel Energy Services, Inc., USA

Mr Keith Parks is currently a Senior Analyst with Xcel Energy Services, Inc. Xcel Energy is the largest provider of wind energy and fifth largest combined electricity and natural gas utility in the United States. Keith manages grid integration of over 4.2GW of installed wind energy across eight States (Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). He is an expert in renewable integration cost calculation and mitigation strategies. He holds a BE from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Prior he held positions with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and energy consulting firms specializing in electricity energy modeling, resource planning, and grid operations.

Mr Neil Plummer      (Plenary: Opening)
Bureau of Meteorology, Australia

Mr Neil Plummer is currently Assistant Director Climate Information Services with the Bureau of Meteorology. Neil joined the Bureau in 1986 and started his career as a weather forecaster. He has held positions on various World Meteorological Organization expert teams and management committees and has been a coordinating author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In 2008 he shifted into the world of hydrology as Manager Extended Hydrological Prediction before taking up his current position.

Dr David Renné      (Plenary 3: World experts)
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), USA

Dr David Renné received his master's degree and PhD from Colorado State University in Atmospheric Sciences and Earth Resources.
He is the principal project leader for analysis at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he develops and manages programs on renewable energy resource assessment and analysis. He also manages DOE's Solar Resource Assessment activities funded under the Solar Energy Technologies Program. Some of his recent work at NREL has been for international organizations such as the US Agency for International Development and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). In these programs, he has managed solar and wind energy resource assessments and the development of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) tools for countries in Asia, Central America, South America and Africa.
In addition to his role at NREL David is the current president of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES).

Dr Beverly Ronalds      (Plenary: Opening)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia

Dr Bev Ronalds is Group Executive of CSIRO Energy and Distinguished Visiting Professor at The University of Western Australia, where she was formerly the Woodside Chair in Oil and Gas Engineering (1995-2003). Beverley has significant offshore industry experience, including involvement in design, fabrication and installation of fixed and floating platforms for the Australian North West Shelf, North Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Beverley has a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Melbourne and Master of Science, Diploma of Imperial College and a PhD from University of London. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2003, she was awarded the Prime Minister's Centenary Medal "for service to Australian society in Civil Engineering". She was included in Engineers Australia’s inaugural list of 100 most influential engineers in 2004. Beverley is currently participating in several federal government and state-based initiatives including the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy, Innovation Australia, the National Carbon Capture and Storage Council and the Queensland Clean Coal Council.

Prof. Roberto Schaeffer      (Plenary 2: World experts)    [NEW!]
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Prof. Roberto Schaeffer teaches and conducts research in the Energy Planning Program of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he currently holds an Associate Professor position in Energy Economics. He holds a Ph.D. in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania (USA), a M.S. in Energy Planning from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Federal University of Paraná. His main interests are in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy and global climate change. Dr. Schaeffer has already supervised more than 80 masters and Ph.D. theses and published more than 100 scientific papers in the fields of energy and the environment. Previously to his current professional position in the Energy Planning Program, he was, for two years, a Visiting Professor at the Center for Energy and the Environment, and a Lecturer at the Wharton School, both at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Schaeffer has been contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and assessments since 1994 as both Lead-author or Coordinating-lead-author. Currently he is a Coordinating-lead-author of the chapter on 'Mitigation Costs and Potentials' of the upcoming IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy (SRREN), to be delivered by 2011, and a Coordinating-lead-author of the chapter on "Transportation" of the also upcoming IPCC Working Group 3 Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), to be delivered by 2014. Dr. Schaeffer is also Associate-editor of the two British scientific journals Climate Policy and Energy-The International Journal.

Prof. Ralph Sims      (Plenary Special: World Experts)
Massey University, New Zealand

Prof. Ralph Sims began his career in Sustainable Energy at Massey University, New Zealand in 1971 making and testing biodiesel. He has now returned to his position of Professor of Sustainable Energy, and Director, Centre for Energy Research after 4 years based at the IEA (International Energy Agency) in Paris as a senior analyst working on Renewable Energy and climate change mitigation.
He has been a lead author for 4 reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace prize jointly with Al Gore. He led the chapter on "Energy Supply" in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, the "Integration" chapter in the recent IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy for Climate Change Mitigation and will be leading the "Transport" chapter of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report over the next 3 years. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers and of the UK Institute of Agricultural Engineers, a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand and received the 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) of which he was a Ministerial Board Member appointee for 3 terms.

Dr Ferenc Toth      (Plenary Special: World Experts)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Austria

Dr Ferenc L. Toth is a senior energy economist with the Planning and Economic Section in the Department of Nuclear Energy at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria. He received his M.Sc. (1978) and PhD (1982) in economics from the Budapest University of Economics and a second doctorate (1994) in economics from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He is associate professor at the Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary.
Over the past 25 years, Dr. Toth worked as senior scientist and project leader on development, energy and environment studies at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria and at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Potsdam, Germany. His current projects at the IAEA are also in the domain of energy-economic-environmental analysis and include: energy economics and energy policy analysis at national to global scales; global outlook for nuclear energy in the 21st century; strategies and indicators for sustainable energy development; development-energy-environment linkages; climate change mitigation, adaptation and policy issues; impacts and adaptation assessment in the energy sector; energy supply security; prospects for energy technologies in the post-Kyoto agreement. Toth contributed to several assessment reports of the IPCC as Coordinating and Lead Author.

Prof. John Zillman      (Plenary: Global Leaders)
ex Bureau of Meteorology, Australia

Prof. John W Zillman is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He worked in the Australian Bureau of Meteorology from 1957 to 2005 including periods in operational weather forecasting and warning, climate service provision and Antarctic and Southern Hemisphere synoptic analysis and research. He served as the Bureau’s Head of Research from 1974 to 1978 and as Commonwealth Director of Meteorology from 1978 to 2003. Dr Zillman has been heavily involved in the work of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) since 1974 and served as President of WMO from 1995 to 2003. He chaired the Steering Committee for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) from 2006 to 2009 and the International Organising Committees for the 2007 Madrid Conference on the Social and Economic Benefits of Weather, Climate and Water Services and the 2009 Third World Climate Conference in Geneva. Dr Zillman is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). He was President of ATSE from 2003 to 2006, President of the Australian National Academies Forum (NAF) 2005-06 and President of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS) in 2005. He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1996. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (UK), an Honorary Member of the American Meteorological Society and a Foreign Associate of the Engineering Academy of Japan. He received the Cleveland Abbe Award of the American Meteorological Society in 2004 and the 50th IMO (International Meteorological Organization) Prize 2005.





For further information, please contact:   Ms Aurélie Favennec, ICEM 2011 Secretariat
C/- Conference Action Pty Ltd, PO Box 576, Crows Nest NSW 1585, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9431 8632   —   Fax: +61 2 9431 8677   —   E-mail:

web layout by | graphics by Maria Bertocco