Rod Hayes - Chairman

Rod started his career as a Chartered Accountant and worked in public practice for the best part of ten years. Since 1996 Rod has been working in the utilities/infrastructure area (both Power and Water). Most of his senior management experience has been in the area of development of strategy, effectively translating strategy into coordinated action, high level infrastructure planning, leadership of significant change efforts and the development of organisational capability.

Rod is currently Group Chairman, Balance Services Group and Director, Solar Balance Pty Ltd. The Balance Services Group was created in 2011. The group aims to provide a one stop shop for the end to end development and delivery of turn key, mid-scale, integrated power, water and waste water solutions for either remote or grid connected applications.

Solar Balance was formed in 2014 to develop and provide commercial solar and energy storage solutions. The company holds a Master Distributorship for BYD EPRI solar smoothing storage products. BYD is a global leader in energy storage. The company has developed and installed the first fully certified solar smoothing projects in regional WA.

Professor Chun-Zhu Li - Director

Professor Li obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1993 from Imperial College London. After completing his postdoctoral research at Imperial College London and CSIRO, he joined Monash University in 1996 where he served as a Lecturer, a Senior Lecturer, a Reader and then a Professor.

During his time at Monash University from 1996 to 2009, a key focus of Professor Li’s research was low-rank fuels, especially Victorian brown coal and biomass. His interest in coal has included many aspects of coal science and technology such as pyrolysis, gasification, liquefaction and combustion of coal, as well as the structure and properties of coal. He has made very important contributions to the science and technology of Victorian brown coal. Some of the findings from his research group are considered important milestones in coal science and cornerstones for the development of novel low emission clean coal technologies. He also worked on biomass utilisation, especially pyrolysis and gasification.

Professor Li took up a role at Curtin University in January 2009. His initial work was to establish a major university research centre, which was further expanded into the current Fuels and Energy Technology Institute. largest energy research establishments in Australian universities. He is a John Curtin Distinguished Professor.

At Curtin, Professor Li's research has been specially focussed on the bioenergy science and engineering, while continuing his research on coal, catalysis and fuel cells. He is the key inventor of the technologies Renergi is commercialising.

Professor Li is the author or co-author of more than 300 papers in international journals and conference proceedings. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Fuel Processing Technology, which is one of the key journals in energy. He has also served as a member of editorial and advisory boards of other international journals.

Professor Li has also established productive alliances with many researchers in top research institutions in China, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. He is the (Australian) Director of the Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Energy and the Australia-India Joint Research Centre for Coal and Energy Technology.

Rohan McDougall - Director

Rohan has been the Director of IP Commercialisation at Curtin University since 2008. He has over twenty years of experience in commercialisation of new technologies including being integrally involved in the establishment and operation of numerous technology based companies. He has worked in both a commercial start up environment and in institutional technology transfer roles. Before Curtin he worked for a listed biotechnology company as the Chief Operating Officer and in commercialisation of technology out of UNSW and as a General Manager, Life Sciences at Unisearch Ltd. Qualifications include a Bachelor of Science degree, an MBA from the AGSM and he is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Current directorships include i-Cetana Pty Ltd (Chairman), HiSeis Pty Ltd (Chairman), ePAT Pty Ltd (Chairman) Skrydata Pty Ltd and Renergi Pty Ltd. Other activities include cofounding a number of innovation community events including Univation and the OzAPP Awards.

Renergi is a start-up private company established in 2012 to commercialise a suite of renewable energy technologies developed in the Fuels and Energy Technology Institute at Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia. The current technology focus at Renergi include biomass gasification for distributed power and heat generation, biomass pyrolysis and refinery for the production of biochar, bio-oil and advanced biofuels, and co-firing of biomass with coal in the existing coal-fired power stations.

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