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Speakers

We are excited to have an extensive line-up of quality speakers, panellists and facilitators sharing their achievements, insights, visions and plans for New Zealand’s geothermal industry, many of whom are world-class in their field.

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Dr Marcos Pelenur Chief Executive - EECA
Industry Leaders Breakfast – Speaker

Dr Marcos Pelenur became Chief Executive of EECA in September 2023. Previously he worked for the Behaviour Insights Team in Ottawa, Canada and several policy leadership positions at MBIE. Marcos has a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, is a Chartered Professional Member of Engineering New Zealand and is registered as a Chartered Engineer with the UK Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

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Jay Egg - President - Egg Geo
NZGA Winter Seminar – Keynote Speaker

After serving in the US Navy nuclear power field, Jay Egg began a career in
mechanical design engineering & contracting. Now, as an expert consultant, Jay sits on several technical code committees internationally; notably the technical committee for the IAPMO Uniform Mechanical Code. Jay serves on the Board of Directors for Geothermal Rising. Jay has co-authored two McGraw-Hill Textbooks focused on geothermal HVAC technologies and continues to write curriculum and lecture on the merits of Clean Heating and Cooling technologies.

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Sadiq J. Zarrouk Associate Professor & Co-Director of the NZ Geothermal Instiute - University of Auckland
NZGA Winter Seminar – Speaker

Sadiq J. Zarrouk is an Associate Professor of Geothermal Engineering and the co-director of the Geothermal Institute at the Department of Engineering Science, The University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Sadiq has extended research and commercial field experience in geothermal and reservoir engineering with more than 28 years of experience in geothermal energy training and research. He was instrumental in restarting the geothermal training programme at the University of Auckland in 2007.

Sadiq has an applied approach to geothermal research with ongoing collaboration and joint publications with several universities and research institutions worldwide, with more than 200 publications in journals and conference proceedings, six patents and two books.

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Chelydra Percy CEO - GNS Science
NZGA Winter Seminar – Speaker

Chelydra Percy is Chief Executive of GNS Science – Aotearoa New Zealand’s trusted authority on the Earth’s geology, energy, hazards, and risks. GNS generates critical knowledge that is helping to harness, store, and use our geothermal resources to power our nation economically and sustainably into an emission-free future. For over 60 years, GNS has worked with partners here in New Zealand, and in more than 25 countries around to world, to drive global geothermal development.

 

Chelydra joined GNS Science as Chief Executive in May 2023. She has worked in a range of technology, education, and research organisations throughout her career. In her previous role she served as Group Chief Executive of BRANZ (Building Research Association of New Zealand). Chelydra has prior experience in the CRI sector, having held senior roles at Callaghan Innovation, AgResearch, and Scion. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington.

 

Chelydra believes passionately that the pursuit of knowledge through science is critical to creating a better and more equitable future. She’s proud to lead GNS Science in addressing some of the most critical challenges of our time – achieving long-term energy needs, meeting climate action goals, supporting sustainable and resilient environments, securing freshwater, and enabling industry, innovation, infrastructure, and economic growth.

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Bhawesh Singh Technical Manager, Stiebel Eltron NZ Ltd
NZGA Winter Seminar – Speaker

Bhawesh Singh is an accomplished professional with a diverse background in Electrical Engineering and Energy Systems. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in Germany before pursuing a Master's degree in Energy Systems. Bhawesh began his career at Stiebel Eltron Germany in 2014, where he honed his expertise in renewable energy projects, specializing in providing renewable energy solutions across the Baltic, African and Middle Eastern regions. His role involved intricate system integration of small- and large-scale heat pumps with solar photovoltaics and solar thermal system, ensuring sustainable and efficient energy solutions. In 2019, Bhawesh transitioned to Stiebel Eltron NZ, where he currently serves as the Technical Manager, continuing to lead innovative initiatives in renewable energy design and implementation which includes designing ecologically and economically efficient energy systems for residential and non-residential projects around Aotearoa. Some of the projects he is involved includes Ground Source Heat Pump for simultaneous heating and cooling to achieve higher efficiencies.

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Glenn Wellington Manager Market Partnerships, EECA
NZGA Winter Seminar Speaker

After starting out in the chemical processing industry, and some time working overseas Glenn has worked in the energy sector since 2005 including roles with Meridian Energy, Energy For Industry, Pioneer Energy, and Vector before joining EECA in 2017.

Glenn has built a broad range of experience predominantly in product development and management of solutions for the commercial and industrial sector. His roles have also included experience in waste to energy development, niche energy retail solutions, and energy and carbon management.  

Currently within the Business Group at EECA, the Products & Partnerships Team delivery a range of industry engagement programmes and funds including the Sector Decarbonisation Programme, the Regional Energy Transition Accelerator, Technology Demonstration Fund, and are responsible for a number of industry development partnerships. The Business Group more broadly are responsible for implementing and delivering the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund.

Glenn has a Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Engineering.

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Ellery Peters  Energy Engineer - Vegetables NZ
NZGA Winter Seminar Speaker

Ellery Peters is a Chemical and Process Engineer who obtained his minor in Energy Processing Technologies at the University of Canterbury.


After graduating, Ellery began working at McCain Foods in Timaru as an Environmental Graduate, tasked with managing the wastewater treatment system and upgrades to the water treatment system. He then briefly moved to a McCain Foods plant in Australia to work as the wastewater treatment manager before moving back to New Zealand to begin his current role.


Ellery currently works as an Energy Engineer at Vegetables NZ, tasked with supporting the decarbonisation of covered crop growers by providing knowledge and resources so growers can make the best decisions possible. This includes investigating new decarbonising opportunities for growers, including low temperature and high temperature geothermal, which has huge potential for
covered cropping applications. This role is supported by EECA and works closely with the EECA team to deliver support to the industry. 

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Professor Jim Johnston Co-Founder, CaSil Technologies Ltd
NZGA Winter Seminar - Speaker

Jim is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer and Director of CaSil Technologies Ltd. He is the inventor of the CaSil Technology. He has over 40 years’ experience in new materials, products and technology research and development, and progressing them through pilot scale operation to commercialisation working with NZ and international companies. He has extensive experience in silica and silicate chemistry and leads the chemistry and product development and commercialisation programme for the company.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry. He has received numerous awards including the Wellingtonian of the Year (Science and Technology), Royal Society of New Zealand Thompson Medal for Excellence in Science and Technology, the 2020 KiwiNet Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur Award, the 2020 KiwiNet BNZ Supreme Award and TechConnect World Innovation Awards in 2023 and 2024

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Te Wikitoria (Blandina) Diamond Project Director, He Ahi
NZGA Winter Seminar - Speaker

Blandina is the Project Director for He Ahi on behalf of Te Pae o Waimihia – a Trust that represents the interest of six mana whenua hapū of the Taupō township area. He Ahi is best described as both a Clean Energy Park and an Eco-Business Park being developed on 45 hectares of whenua in a prime location with existing geothermal infrastructure and geothermal heat supply. Blandina is also the Project Manager for the adjacent whenua project, He Tipu – a 25 hectare enterprise park focused on social, environmental and culture ventures that again will be harnessing the power of Clean Energy.
Blandina is the Managing Director of her very own consulting Te Wikitoria Ltd, a consulting and contracting company that delivers support and service for projects, business and governance within both private, commercial or charitable contexts.

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Bruce Smith Co-Founder & Director, Tnue Limited
NZGA Winter Seminar - Speaker

Bruce Smith is a co-founder of Tnue Limited, the acronym for Total Nutrient Use Efficiency.

Bruce has a farming background, tertiary educated at both Lincoln and Massey Universities and a career in agribusiness.  Over the past 10 years he has developed the technology of Control Release Membranes (CRM) and the application of CRM to fertiliser.

The CRM technology considers environmental and operational factors when matching the nutrient release from the fertiliser, so it is in line with the plant's requirement for optimal growth.  Improving the efficiency of the nutrients, provides an important reduction of greenhouse emissions and nitrate leaching when the fertiliser is applied.

To commercialise this technology in NZ, Tnue Limited has recently commissioned a new factory using geothermal energy on the He Ahi Clean=Energy park at Rotokawa, Taupoō

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Andy Blair Director of Business & Innovation, Upflow
NZGA Winter Seminar - Speaker

Andy is the Director of Business and Innovation and Co-founder of Upflow, a geothermal science, research and innovation company that builds expert teams to provide intelligent solutions to global industry.

The nexus between science, business and community is where her expertise sits. She has a deep understanding of the drivers relating to the business of science, and a proven ability to turn scientific ideas into economic and societal gains.

Co-founder (2013) of Women in Geothermal (WING), Andy led the team that grew the organisation from 83 members to over 3300 members in 86 countries worldwide, making it the single largest geothermal association in the world. A not-for-profit organisation, WING has grown into a global movement of people, both men and woman, supporting the empowerment and advancement of women within the industry.

Andy is the Immediate Past President of the International Geothermal Association (Netherlands) and a current Board Member for Global Women; a collaboration of New Zealand's most influential women leaders promoting inclusion and diversity for improved societal and economic growth.

Andy is one of five global winners (and NZ’s first ever winner) of the in the United Nations 2023 WE Empower award. This program elevates and showcases the valuable contribution women entrepreneurs and business leaders can make toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and solving the world’s greatest challenges.

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Dr Michael Schweig Co-founder & CTO CaSil Technologies Ltd
NZGA Winter Seminar - Speaker

Dr Michael Schweig has significant expertise in chemical and process engineering and the CaSil technology, where he led the design, construction and operation of a PLC controlled CaSil pilot plant to successfully demonstrate the technology at this scale for ensuing commercialisation. He is knowledgeable in the engineering and regulatory requirements for geothermal process equipment, and is an expert in CAD, and dynamic flow modelling. He leads the engineering of the pilot scale development and commercial implementation of the CaSil Technology.

Contact Us

NZ Geothermal Week 2024 is proudly brought to you by co-hosts Amplify and the New Zealand Geothermal Association. 

If you are interested in getting involved with NZ Geothermal Week, including sponsorship, event ideas, hosting and speaking opportunities, or have a query about events, please contact Rick Keehan, CEO at Amplify or Kennie Tsui CEO at NZGA.

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