Panel members have been drawn from the industrial, technological, commercial and technical sectors. Our 2016 speakers came from a variety of fields and brought varying levels of experience.

Alex Paine, NSW Business Chamber

Alex has experience in mining and metallurgy with qualifications in marketing, management card technology, finance, building and construction. His career spans advanced manufacturing, heavy engineering, financial services, telematics and digital platforms, including creation of the world’s first laptop computer (held at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum). Alex has founded several successful companies (some ASX-listed) and has held Executive and Board level positions in international public and private companies.

Mark Ovens, AMSI Internships

Mark is in Business Development for AMSI Intern servicing AMSI's partnership with a cluster of universities in Sydney under the co-investment program. Mark’s role is focused on driving internships in NSW, initially with University of Sydney and UTS. With this experience, he brings a clear understanding of what’s required of students seeking internships in industry – and what industry is looking for. Clearly, AMSI Intern data shows that HDR students who do an industry internship during their studies then move into industry after completion have a real commercial edge, new skills and employers are offering starting salaries of $10,000 per year more than students who didn’t do an internship. Before joining AMSI, Mark worked in professional services organisations with human resources activities for over 15 years. Mark has led and directed many of private industries change management programs, including personally coaching and mentoring staff in all aspects of career management. This included significant recruitment and career development activities in the private sector with Adecco, Lee Hecht Harrison and Morgan & Banks. Prior to this, Mark held Senior Human Resources roles in Bayer & Allergan and has in-depth understanding of management practices, industry challenges, research and development and he brings a commercial edge and extensive industry network. Mark holds a BSc in Psychology.

Alan Taylor, Clarity Pharmaceuticals

Alan has been Executive Chairman of Clarity Pharmaceuticals since 2013. Clarity is a radiopharmaceutical company focused on the development of new treatments for cancer and other serious diseases. Alan has a background as a scientist, investment banker, entrepreneur and investor. For the last 3 years, Alan has been very active in the Australian start-up area, investing in and advising a number of early stage companies. Prior to this, Alan spent approximately 10 years in investment banking with a focus on the life sciences sector and was an executive director and shareholder of Inteq Limited. At Inteq, Alan was involved in some of Australia’s largest life sciences transactions. He has experience in capital raisings, M&A and general corporate advisory with a focus on small to medium-sized companies. Alan completed an undergraduate degree in Applied Science at the University of Sydney where he won the University Medal; he completed a Ph.D in Medicine at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance at the Securities Institute of Australia.

Kate Brooks, Murdoch University

Kate is the Lead Advisor for Staff Development (Research) at Murdoch University. Since graduating from the University of NSW in 2000 with a PhD in Astrophysics, Kate’s career path has spanned a range of roles in research astronomy, operations management, strategy, indigenous engagement and now staff development. Kate joined the Council of the Astronomical Society of Australia in 2009 and was president of the society between July 2011 and July 2013. Kate is one of the Board of Directors for the National Foundation for Australian Women and a member of the Finance Committee for International Astronomical Union (IAU). As part of her role at CSIRO, Kate was responsible for delivering on CSIRO's commitments under the Indigenous Land Use Agreement for the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. In 2010 Kate was a proud recipient of the CSIRO Payne-Scott Award (designed to support scientists after extended leave for newborn childcare).

Ilana Feain, Nano-X Pty Ltd

Ilana is the founder and CEO of Nano-X Pty Ltd and a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Medicine at The University of Sydney. Nano-X is a smaller and smarter class of radiotherapy machine set to disrupt the way cancer care is delivered to millions of patients around the world by providing affordable, high precision, de-centralised treatment machines. Ilana leads all aspects of the Nano-X program from R&D, project management and primary supervision of students and postdocs. Ilana is the inventor on three pending patents, all related to the Nano-X radiotherapy machine. Previously, she was a senior research Astrophysicist at CSIRO and Project Scientist for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Radio Telescope. Ilana holds a Bachelor of Advanced Science (2002) and a PhD (2006) in Physics from The University of Sydney. .

Dominick Ng, Google Inc.

Dominick spent a year at UC Berkeley on a Fulbright Scholarship on the way to graduating with a PhD in Computational Linguistics from the University of Sydney in 2015. He subsequently joined Google Australia as a Software Engineer on Google Chrome, where he works on the Security and Platform teams. His work focuses on improving user security on the web, and developing new ways for developers to create powerful web applications.

Brendan McMonigal, Google Inc.

Brendan did an internship at Google earlier this year working on software-defined networking, while completing his PhD in Galactic Archaeology at SIfA - studying the formation and evolution of galaxies. He now works at Google, studying the expansion and evolution of their network.

Richard Scalzo, Center for Translational Data Science

Richard is a Data Scientist at the recently launched Centre for Translational Data Science (CTDS) at the University of Sydney. After completing his Ph.D. in high-energy astrophysics at the University of Chicago, he held postdoctoral positions at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Yale University, and most recently ANU, developing parallelized software pipelines for image processing and applying machine learning and Bayesian statistics to problems in supernova physics. Since coming to CTDS last year, his research has broadened to include data-driven modeling problems in life sciences.

Madhura Killedar, Burnet Institute

Madhura is a Senior Research Officer at the Burnet Institute, which she joined in 2015. She develops mathematical models of the impact of treatments and interventions on child health, with an emphasis on allocative efficiency. Madhura received her PhD at the University of Sydney in 2011 for her work on gravitational lensing and cosmology; she then did postdocs in Italy and Germany, and continues to collaborate with the Cosmostatistics Initiative (COIN).

Sarah Reeves, Powerhouse Museum

Sarah is an assistant curator working at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) in the areas of science and astronomy. Prior to joining MAAS in May this year, she completed her PhD in astronomy at the University of Sydney. For her PhD Sarah studied neutral gas in galaxies using HI absorption, as part of the FLASH team. While studying, she also worked as a tour guide at Sydney Observatory, where she enjoyed talking to the public about astronomy, and showing people the night sky. Her passion for science communication led her to the Museum, where she is able to share her enthusiasm about science with a much wider audience, through the Museum's collection and exhibitions.

Click here to see the Panellists and Participants of the 2015 Workshop.

Last updated 03-Sept-2016.