Mon, 26 Jul | Great Lake Centre

NZ Geothermal Week Official Opening and Public Seminar

This is the official opening of NZ Geothermal Week. The seminar will explore the past, present and future of the geothermal industry in the Taupo region. Join us to hear speakers from Contact, GNS and MB Century
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NZ Geothermal Week Official Opening and Public Seminar

Time & Location

26 Jul, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Great Lake Centre, 5 Story Place, Taupō 3330, New Zealand

About the Event

This is the official opening of NZ Geothermal Week.  The seminar will explore the past, present and future of the geothermal industry in the Taupo region.  Join us to hear speakers from Contact, GNS and MB Century:

Dr. Katie McLean

Reservoir Engineer, Contact Energy, Vice President NZGA

Katie is currently a reservoir engineer working for Contact Energy at Wairakei, New Zealand’s oldest geothermal power station. She is an engineer and a geologist by training, with an interest in renewable energy, and so naturally made the move to New Zealand to work in the geothermal industry. Katie has a PhD in geothermal well testing from the University of Auckland. She has published papers on a range of reservoir engineering topics, and more recently on the subject of carbon emissions from geothermal. She has co-authored a textbook on geothermal well testing with Dr Sadiq Zarrouk, of the Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland.

Dr. Isabelle Chambefort

Senior Geothermal Geoscientist, GNS Science

Dr Isabelle Chambefort is a senior Hydrothermal Geoscientist at GNS Science Wairakei Research Centre. Isabelle has over 20 years of experience in research in magmatic-hydrothermal systems in volcanic arcs. Prior to joining GNS Science in 2010, Isabelle’s research focused on epithermal and porphyry Au-Cu deposits and magmatic volatiles in Switzerland, USA and Australia. She is currently leading the MBIE Endeavour Research Programme Geothermal: The Next Generation that investigates supercritical geothermal resources in the Taupō Volcanic Zone. She is also the principal investigator of a Marsden Programme Superhot Fluids: The origin and flux of natural greenhouse gases in volcanic areas, looking at the source and pathway of CO2 and noble gas from magmas to the geothermal surface features.

Isabelle did her Masters in France at the University of Clermont Ferrand and received her PhD from the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Greg Thompson

Chief Executive Officer, MB Century

Greg has more than 25 years’ experience in hands on and leadership positions across the energy sector, both nationally and internationally. His background as a Mechanical Engineer, Senior Manager and Geothermal Plant Manager provides a solid foundation to lead MB Century. Greg has 12 years Geothermal experience as part of the Mercury construction team at Nga Awa Purua and Plant Manager for Ngatamariki & Mokai geothermal power plants. Greg previously worked for the parent company Tuaropaki Trust for 2 years as Energy Operations Manager.

Greg immigrated to New Zealand from South Africa in 2007 with his wife and two sons. He is enjoys playing tennis and flicking a fly in the trout filled streams around Taupo.

Mike Dunstall

General Manager, Contact Energy

Mike is the General Manager of Geothermal Resources and Development at Contact Energy Ltd, leading new power and direct heat opportunities and exploration for new geothermal resources.  His team have worked on Te Huka, Te Mihi, Tauhara and redevelopment of Wairakei, from conception through consenting, construction and operation.  Mike has been on the Board of the New Zealand Geothermal Association and is an editor of the Geothermics science journal.  Previously, Mike worked in wholesale electricity markets and development of wind and hydro power projects.  He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and has experience in the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and the United States.  Mike lives in Taupo and gets out on the lake whenever he can.

Nona Taute

Doctoral Candidate – Civil & Environmental Engineering

Nona (Te Arawa, Tainui) is a current doctoral candidate in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Auckland. His research looks at incorporating Māori values into geothermal project impact assessment practices. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Auckland, teaching Civil Engineering Administration, Construction Management, and Principles of Engineering Design. A goal of his is to increase the inclusion of Māori participation in engineering.

Nona grew up in Rotorua, where he went to a full-immersion Māori school and was exposed to many of the cultural traditions and protocol practiced by his iwi. His family lives near Lake Rotorua in a house that his grandfather built. Near the house was a series of geothermal hot pools which were used by his hapū until the Rotorua Airport was built, covering the hot pools with concrete. In learning of this loss, Nona’s passion for Māori customary rights grew, and his PhD aims to ensure that such a loss will not occur for Māori hapū again.

While working for Watercare, Nona contributed to the design of the Central Interceptor, and while working for Aurecon, he was a client-side site engineer for the City Rail Link. Nona is a fluent Te Reo speaker, with experience in Māori, iwi, and hapū engagement, as well as engineering contract and project management experience.