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Speaker Profiles

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We are excited to announce the speakers for our online micro-conference to be held on 15 October 2021

Keynote Speaker

Eric Loth

Rolls-Royce Professor and Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia

Prof. Eric Loth is the Rolls Royce Professor and Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia.  He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a Fellow of the of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a Fellow of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and was the Yip Visiting Fellow of the Cambridge University (Magdalene College).  Loth’s current research focuses on extreme-scale wind turbines, energy-storage systems, multiphase flow, micro- and nano-texturing coatings for super-hydrophobicity, advanced aerodynamics and supersonic flow control.  With his students, he has authored over 300 publications and has led more than $16M in research funding in his career.  Dr. Loth has given several invited talks including at Cambridge, Penn, Princeton, Oxford, Harvard, MIT, MIT A+B Energy Conference, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Naval Research Laboratory, Sandia National Labs.  His was invited to US Congress for an ARPA-E Congressional Showcase and has received coverage in American Scientist, Popular Science, USA Today, MIT Technology Review, CNBC, and several other media outlets.


Conference Speakers

Scott Alden

HWL Ebsworth

With over 20 years’ experience, Scott specialises as a legal advisor on significant projects and procurements for primarily government, but also private sector, clients.

Scott’s role of lead legal advisor to significant projects often incorporates legal and procurement expertise on the same transaction, as well as strategic probity advice.

In recognition of his position as a leading government lawyer, Scott was one of the first NSW Law Society Accredited Specialists in Government and Administrative Law (with a focus on government commercial and procurement transactions), and has been appointed by the Law Society of NSW as the Head Assessor for that Specialist Accreditation this year.  Scott also writes and lectures two procurement courses for the Masters Programs at both the College of Law and the University of Melbourne.

Scott also has a special interest in contract law, particularly for major projects, and is a member of the Australian Advisory Board for World Commerce and Contracting Association (previously the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management)

He is experienced in drafting and implementing key project documents including market sounding/engagement documents, industry briefings, RFTs, tender evaluation plans, tender evaluation reports, commercial contracts and agreements and legal advices and resolutions to support decisions.


Anthony Arrow

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

A highly regarded front-end construction, infrastructure and energy lawyer, Anthony has more than two decades of experience advising governments, sponsors, developers and contractors across the full suite of procurement models. Anthony has a deep understanding of the industry and expert insight into the significant issues that arise during both the procurement and execution stages of major projects across a multitude of sectors.
With both a national and international practice, Anthony is a sought-after renewable energy practitioner specialising in advice in relation to solar and wind farms, battery energy storage system projects and energy from waste projects.
Anthony is recognised as one of Australia's leading legal practitioners in the renewable energy sector and formally recognised in Best Lawyers and Chambers.


Matt Blycha


Matthew Blycha is a partner at Ashurst and specialises in the resolution of construction and infrastructure disputes.   He has extensive experience in the energy and resources sectors, and is known for his strategic approach and pragmatism.  He  is recommended in legal directories including Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal and Doyles Guide.


Laina Chan

2 Selborne Chambers


Laina is a barrister as well as the Chair of the Society of Construction Law Australia and a director of the Australian Construction Industry Forum. Laina practices in the area of construction, property and insurance law. Recognised as the leading authority on the interplay between construction and insurance law, she has published extensively on the construction, property and insurance law.  Recently, she authored the chapters on professional liability and insuring risk in construction law in Bailey’s, “Construction Law in Australia”, Thomsen Reuters, 4th Edition. Laina and Professor J W Carter have also recently co-authored a paper on Mann v Paterson, a New Approach to Quantum Meruit Claims (2020) 36 BCL 4. 

Laina has a Certificate of Management Excellence from Harvard Business School having completed programs in negotiation, strategy and leadership. The programs have had a significant impact upon the way Laina approaches all negotiations and dispute resolution. Laina focuses on the interests of the parties during all negotiations and pursues resolutions that are in the best interests of the parties.


Andy Evans

Oceanex Energy

Andy Evans is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Oceanex Energy, a developer of large-scale offshore wind energy projects located off the coast

of Australia and associated land-based infrastructure required to deliver energy to market.

Prior to co-founding Oceanex Energy, Andy was one of the co-founders and inaugural CEO of the Star of the South, Australia’s first proposed offshore wind farm, with a proposed capacity of approximately 2,000MW, located off the south coast of Gippsland, Victoria, and also the holder of the first set of exploration rights for offshore wind farms granted in Australia.

Andy departed the CEO role of the Star of the South after seven years in late 2019 to focus on new developments in offshore wind (through Oceanex Energy) and to progress other ventures in the energy sector including the acceleration of the uptake of battery electric and hydrogen-fuelled heavy (trucks) and passenger vehicles (through NewVolt Infrastructure) through the development of a network of clean energy generation assets and charging/fuelling infrastructure.


Tom French

Minter Ellison


Tom is a Partner in MinterEllison's Projects, Infrastructure and Construction team in Perth, Western Australia. Tom specialises in commercial dispute resolution (including litigation, arbitration and adjudication) in government, project and construction, energy and resources and professional practices.  He regularly advises contractors, principals and engineers in respect of the construction of significant commercial projects in the Perth metropolitan area, as well as significant mining and resources projects in the Asia Pacific region and Africa. Tom has appeared in all superior courts in Western Australia and New South Wales and the Federal Court and the Full Federal Court of Australia on appeals, trials and interlocutory matters. He has also appeared in the High Court of Australia. Tom is a recommended lawyer in Doyle's Guide 2021 for Construction & Infrastructure Litigation and Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution as well as the Legal 500.


Jim Hunwick

Pinsent Masons

Jim is a partner at Pinsent Masons based in Sydney. He specialises in significant and complex debt finance transactions and assists market-leading borrowers, lenders and sponsors with their debt portfolios and major transactions. He works with Australian borrowers, lenders and arrangers in drafting, negotiating and closing financing transactions of all types, including property and acquisition finance, project finance, ISDAs, USPP, AMTNs, EMTNs, receivables financing and inventory financing. He also has extensive experience in securitisations, derivatives and structured transactions. Jim is helping Australian companies navigate the complexities around Net Zero and its impact on how they raise capital in the domestic and international debt markets.


John Kehoe

Sparke Helmore Lawyers

John has over 20 years’ experience advising clients on construction and infrastructure projects. He has particular expertise in infrastructure agreements including engineering procurement and construction, design and construct, operation and maintenance and facilities management contracts and development agreements. He drafts and negotiates all manner of construction and construction related agreements.

John advises on risk allocation, project structuring, market positions on material risk issues at every level of the market and works hard for his clients to ensure deals are completed on optimal terms and conditions.


Jeremy King

Pinsent Masons

Jeremy has been a lawyer for 22 years, and a partner for 14 of those. He is an experienced project and asset finance lawyer who also has expertise in corporate finance, structured finance, acquisition finance and restructuring & workouts. Jeremy’s industry knowledge spans energy & renewables, water & sanitation, social infrastructure (including health care, education and corrections), roads & rail, and mining & resources.  He is a guest lecturer on Project Finance at the University of Melbourne’s Masters of Finance Administration course, and the author of a chapter on Project Finance in the LexisNexis text Australian Corporate Finance Law.  He recently led the team financing Tesla’s South Australian Virtual Power Plant that won Sustainability Deal of the Year at the 2021 FT Innovation in Law Awards.  He is also the main author of a chapter to be published by Pinsent Masons on Industrialised Construction: Transforming Construction into a Manufacturing Industry.


Candice Lamb

Minter Ellison

Candice is a Senior Associate in MinterEllison's Projects, Infrastructure and Construction team in Perth, Western Australia. She specialises in commercial dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration, adjudication and alternative dispute resolution. Her practice is primarily focused on public and private projects and construction, however, she also has expertise in general commercial litigation, reconstruction, recovery and insolvency, and real estate practices. Candice has appeared in the Supreme Court, District Court, Magistrates Court, Federal Court and State Administrative Tribunal and in domestic and international arbitrations convened in Perth. Candice's speciality is complex matters involving multifaceted contractual arrangements, extensive technical expert evidence and detailed factual matrices.


Robert McDougall QC

12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers  

Robert graduated with Honours in Arts in 1967, and with Honours in Law in 1971.  He practised as a solicitor from 1972 to 1974 and commenced practice at the Bar in 1975.  He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990. 

Robert’s major practice areas at the Bar included insurance law, construction law, equity and commercial law and trade practices litigation.  He appeared in many significant commercial and construction disputes over the years 1990 to 2003.

Robert was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in August 2003.  He sat principally in the Commercial, Technology and Construction and Arbitration Lists, hearing and deciding many major commercial and construction cases.

Robert retired from the Court in January 2019 and returned to private practice as an Arbitrator, Referee and Mediator, principally in the areas of commercial and construction law. He is a Fellow of ACICA, a Fellow of the Resolution Institute, and a member of several international panels of arbitrators.

Robert holds the position of Adjunct Professor, School of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney.  He has lectured in equity and commercial law, and has delivered numerous papers on a wide variety of topics.


Brendan Pauwels

Major Road Projects Victoria

An engineer by trade, Brendan Pauwels has worked in the Victorian infrastructure industry for more than 20 years, most recently as a Program Director at Major Road Projects Victoria since 2018. During his career, Brendan has managed a variety of transport projects ranging from complex tram stop upgrades to new freeway construction and level crossing removals. Since joining Major Road Projects Victoria, Brendan has led the delivery of projects in central and south east Melbourne including the high profile Streamlining Hoddle Street and the Mordialloc Freeway projects. Brendan thrives on new challenges and is passionate about delivering great community outcomes through the projects he works on.


Mayuran Sivapalan


Mayuran is Managing Director of Adaptus, a strategy & project consulting firm that partners with leaders in business and society to improve ESG performance, understand and respond to the risks and opportunities of the energy transition, and increase resilience to climate change.

With dual degrees and experience in environmental engineering and investment finance, he has spent the past 15 years working in Australia, North America and the Middle East with private and public sector organisations with large natural capital footprints (in energy, resources and infrastructure sectors) to solve complex sustainability, decarbonisation and climate adaptation challenges. This has largely been done through application of leading practice frameworks from the risk and decision sciences to effectively frame complex organisational problems and objectives, work with multi-disciplinary teams to identify and develop relevant solutions, characterise the uncertainties that impact decision making, and achieve a commitment to action and investment.

In his most recent role, he established and led the largest dedicated decision & risk advisory and assurance practice in Australia as part of a global engineering and advisory firm. Other notable corporate roles he has held include Program Director for a $500m energy transition project, Post-Acquisition Integration Manager for a 125-person management consulting business, Regional Sustainability Director for a global engineering firm, Risk Manager for a $10b energy project, and Sub-sector Strategy Lead (US Unconventional Oil & Gas) for a global professional services firm. 

His current and previous clients include Woodside, Chevron, BG, Origin, BHP, Rio Tinto, Glencore, Elementos, AGL, Collgar, Seqwater, Water Corporation, GBRF, GBRMPA, AIMS and Parks Victoria.

Mike Straughton

Wolfe & Co Solutions

Mike is a system-thinker who has developed a business acting as translator between technical and commercial dialogues, working with project developers and investors to align techno-economic factors that turn good ideas into successful projects.

During a 19 year career with a major international consultant and designer, Mike established and lead the Environment, Sustainability, Energy, Waste, Industrial, Resources and Agricultural Businesses in the Australasia Region. Mike built the organisational profile in hydrogen, resulting in commissions to deliver the New Zealand national hydrogen strategy, a first-of-kind refueling facility in Auckland and joined a consortium with a global major to develop a pilot liquid hydrogen export facility. He contributed to the Australian national Hydrogen Strategy in 2019.

Mike was appointed as a Director of the H2Q Hydrogen Cluster in 2021, focused on growing the relevance and impact of the cluster on the emerging hydrogen industry, collaborating with members, working groups and the other clusters to build momentum across supply and demand.


Ian Thorpe

E3 Advisory

Ian is a delay analysis expert with over 30 years' experience in the construction industry.

As a scheduler, Ian has been involved in a large range of projects at commencement and during the project. As a delay analyst he has assessed delays during projects but more commonly becomes involved in disputes concerning delays to projects after completion, preparing expert reports for use in informal or formal proceedings.

Ian's experience has given him a detailed understanding of projects in a variety of sectors including commercial, residential, hotel and retail construction, roads and rail, mining, energy (conventional and renewable), petrochemical, IT and telecommunications. He has extensive experience in the assessment of the most appropriate delay analysis methods given the contract terms and factual circumstances and the application of those methods to particular delay and disruption situations.  He has an in-depth understanding of the processes necessary for the successful management of the design, procurement and construction of projects and the contractual consequences of inadequate management and contract administration of such projects.

Ian completed a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sydney in 1986. He spent 16 years at Tracey Brunstrom & Hammond as a construction scheduler and delay analyst. Ian joined Evans & Peck in 2005 and was with them for 10 years, before joining E3 Advisory in November 2014.


Kara Vague

Fortescue Future Industries

Kara works for Fortescue Future Industries in Corporate Services. Kara has a strong passion for the planet, people and projects and is focussed on helping FFI develop it’s green energy business.

Kara has a background in project finance, infrastructure and law. Prior to joining FFI, Kara worked in project finance working with John Laing who is an international originator, investor and manager of infrastructure projects, including a significant renewables portfolio.

Prior to this, Kara worked for 10 years at one of Australia’s largest infrastructure and asset management companies, Downer. While at Downer, Kara’s role as Executive General Manager of Strategic Projects included commercial, risk and strategy. Kara was a member of Downer’s investment committee and developed an in depth knowledge of construction risk and opportunity. Kara also worked in infrastructure as a lawyer for Ashurst and worked in project finance and major projects.

Kara is a Senior Fellow of the University of Melbourne.

Kara has a Masters in Construction Law and a Bachelor in Law (Hons).

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