Energy Networking Breakfast

Engineering our future power system workforce

Thursday 23 November 2017,  7:00am – 8:45am

  • EECON delegates – $50 per person (must be purchased during registration)
  • Breakfast Only (non-EECON delegates) – $80 per person – click here to purchase 

The engineering workforce will be crucial to ensuring a successful implementation of the Finkel Review recommendations. Specifically, the Finkel Review recommends that by mid-2019, the COAG Energy Council facilitates the development of a national assessment of the future workforce requirements for the electricity sector to ensure a properly skilled workforce is available.

Join us for breakfast to hear from key industry players who will discuss and debate the development of engineering expertise in the power sector and share their insights into how we might achieve the Finkel Review recommendations. Download the flyer here. 

Keynote and Panellist

Dr Kerry Schott AO – Independent Chair of the Energy Security Board (ESB)
Kerry Schott is Chair of the Energy Security Board, Chair of Moorebank Intermodal Company, a Director of NBN, and a Director of TCorp NSW.

She also Chairs the Assurance Board for Sydney Metro, and is a member of the Advisory Board for City and SouthEast Light Rail.

Kerry was Managing Director and CEO of Sydney Water from 2006 to 2011. Before that Kerry spent 15 years as an investment banker, including as Managing Director of Deutsche Bank and Executive Vice President of Bankers Trust Australia. During this time she specialised in privatisation, restructuring, and infrastructure provision. Prior to becoming an investment banker Kerry was a public servant and an academic.

Kerry holds a doctorate from Oxford University, a Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and a Bachelor of Arts (first class Honours) from the University of New England. She was recently awarded an Order of Australia and Honorary Doctorates from the University of Sydney and the University of Western Sydney.


Master of Ceremonies and Panel Moderator

Dr Peter Sokolowski – Chair, Electrical College Victoria Branch, Engineers Australia
Dr Peter Sokolowski is a Research Fellow in RMIT University’s School of Engineer and manages the Information Systems Engineering Research Group. His career interest is in bringing industry, research education and professional bodies together to collaborate for the benefit of the whole community. He was with BHP Steel, Newcastle, Australia for five years and Escape Technologies for fourteen years consulting to the manufacturing industry on industrial electrical power distribution, information and communication technology and issues around electric energy including distribution services, policy, and contracts.

Dr Sokolowski’s research interests include modelling, condition monitoring, system performance health measurement, control, optimisation of systems (such as nonlinear, hybrid, electrical power, and biological systems) and analytics where knowledge-based engineering provides decision support. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a Member of the Electric Energy Society of Australia (ESSA). He is currently a Member of the Engineers Australia Electrical College Board and the 2017 Engineers Australia Electrical College Victoria Branch Chair. He is also a Member of EESA’s National Council and Deputy Chair of its Victorian Chapter.



Hon. Trish White
Engineers Australia Board Member
Hon Trish White is a Fellow of Engineers Australia in the Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering College. Trish holds electrical engineering and arts degrees from Queensland University, and is a Member of the College of Leadership and Management. She is an executive director of professional services and business advisory firm, Slingsby Taylor, and provides advisory services to boards and executives of both commercial and not-for-profit organisations.

Formerly, Trish was Executive Strategic Advisor for an ASX-50 engineering services firm, working in the global resources and energy industries. That followed a career as a cabinet minister in the South Australian government, where she served in the infrastructure, development, transport, science and education portfolios. Previously, her career had been in applied research with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and prior to that, she managed national infrastructure projects in Canberra.

Trish is an experienced professional company director, having served on the boards of several large Australian companies. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Distinguished Prof. Xinghuo Yu
Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research Capability), RMIT University
Professor Xinghuo Yu is the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research Capability) and a Distinguished Professor of RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. He is also President-Elect (2016-2017) of IEEE Industrial Electronics Society.  Professor Yu has worked extensively with industry in the sectors of energy, security, resources, manufacturing and transport. He was on the Board of Governors of the Australian Photonics CRC (2003-2006), on the Science Advisory Committee of the Advanced Manufacturing CRC (2008-2013), and is currently a Director of Oceania Cyber Security Centre Limited.

Professor Yu has published extensively in control engineering, artificial intelligence and Smart Grids. He received a number of awards and honours for his contributions, including the 2013 Dr.-Ing. Eugene Mittelmann Achievement Award of IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. He was named a Highly Cited Researcher in Engineering by Thomson Reuters in 2015, 2016 and 2017, making him one of about 3000 researchers in the world who were top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, Institution of Engineering and Technology (UK), Engineers Australia, Australian Computer Society, and Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Kate Summers
Manager Electrical Engineering, Pacific Hydro
An internationally renowned electrical and power system control engineer, Kate has over two decades of experience in power system control, planning, and system operations in Australia. She has made significant contributions to the national debate on the technical standards and integration of renewable energy, both into the market and physically into the NEM grid; led the development of detailed technical submissions to government inquiries (most recently preparing Pacific Hydro’s submission to the Finkel Review about frequency control issues in the NEM).

Kate also served as the technical director for the Australian Wind Energy Association from 2004 – 2007, and a further five years as the Chair of the Clean Energy Council’s Grid Directorate.

David Van Bergen
Senior Power Engineer, Beca
David is a Chartered Professional Engineer with six years of experience in power system protection and project management. He obtained his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Systems (First Class Honours) from Monash University, and was privileged to have been awarded an Australian Power Institute Bursary.

David joined Beca’s Melbourne team in 2011 and has worked on the design and implementation of protection systems for electrical networks ranging from 6.6 kV to 500 kV. As a team leader, David enjoys mentoring and guiding his team and contributing to their continued growth and development both personally and professionally. It is this passion which has led to numerous roles within a number of organisations in particular the Electric Energy Society of Australia (EESA) where David is the current National Vice President and Victorian Chapter Chair, and also Young Engineers Australia (YEA) where he is the National Congress representative. A keen cyclist and basketballer, and the recipient of the 2016 Graduate Electrical Power Engineer of the Year Award, David is passionate about continued professional development and is excited to be part of EECON17, bringing together the electric energy industry to collaborate and innovate.