Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources


Advisory Board

Continuing on from the former NIER Governance Board established to oversee the establishment and funding of NIER under the Education Investment Fund, the Advisory Board oversees the activities of the Institute and the expanded agenda of the Global Impact Cluster for Energy, Resources, Food and Water (GIC ERFW).

The Board is comprised of an optimal mix of industry representatives who possess the expertise, leadership, skills and knowledge in relevant sectors, to assist strategically drive NIER and the GIC ERFW.

The Board will bring an outside perspective and advise on regional, national and international trends, and will also have a key role in leading our engagement strategy with industry, business and government, whilst ensuring activities are consistent with the University's strategic aims.

Management Committee

The Management Committee provides leadership for the development and expansion of NIER, effective oversight of management and operations, recommendations for efficient utilisation of space and facilities, and ensures alignment to strategic aims of the University as outlined in the New Futures Strategic Plan 2015-2025. The Committee is also responsible for the development of strategies and plans to provide safe facilities at the NIER Precinct, including the implementation of a Safety Management System to ensure activities and pilot-scale research units are carried out safely in an interdisciplinary environment.

The Committee's membership includes key Infrastructure & Facilities Services (IFS) staff, and University Executive staff including the Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Pro Vice-Chancellors.

Dr Mirjana Prica

Dr Mirjana Prica (Chair)

Managing Director, Food Innovation Australia Ltd

A trained scientist with a doctorate in physical chemistry, Dr Prica has a wide-range of national and international experience in research and executive roles working with private enterprise, not-for-profit and research institutions. Now Managing Director of Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), a not-for-profit organisation established under the Federal Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative, Dr Prica previously worked with multi-national organisations including George Weston Foods, Associated British Foods and CSIRO... (read more)

Mr Ric Gros

Mr Ric Gros

Chief Executive Officer, METS Ignited Australia Ltd

Mr Ric Gros has more than 30 years in senior leadership roles across mining equipment, mineral processing, infrastructure, construction, industrial, FMCG, hardware retail, and consumer related industries. Mr Gros’s previous roles include non-executive directorships, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director positions in private and listed organisations where he was responsible for managing client portfolios, commercialisation, mergers, acquisitions, international supply chain management and capital raising...(read more)

Mr Rod Naylor

Mr Rod Naylor

National Water Lead, GHD

Mr Naylor is an accomplished water and environment professional with over 30 years’ experience in the water industry throughout Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Mr Naylor holds an Honours Degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and is a Chartered Engineer with the Engineering Council UK, a graduate of the Institute of Company Directors Australia, a member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and the Institution of Engineers Australia... (read more)

Mr John RichardsMr John Richards

Chairman, Bloomfield Group

Mr Richards commenced with Australian owned Bloomfield Group in 2002 and was appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in 2010. Located in East Maitland NSW, Bloomfield Group began operations in 1937 and has grown to employ more than 500 staff across two open cut collieries in the Hunter Region. The organisation has since expanded operations to include multiple engineering businesses; Four Mile Engineering at East Maitland and Kings Engineering which is co-located in Rutherford and Lithgow NSW... (read more)

Mr Kim HockingsMr Kim Hockings

Principal Technical Marketing and Coal Technical Marketing, BHP Billiton

With formal qualifications in metallurgy, financial management and environmental (waste) management, Mr Hockings has held executive and leadership roles in the coal and steelmaking industries. In his current role with BHP Billiton, Mr Hockings in responsible for the management of the pilot coking programme, the coordination of outsourced metallurgical coal research as well as providing technical oversight of research concerning coal characterisation for maritime transport... (read more)

Dr Rod Lukatelich

Environmental Consultant

Mr Lukatelich has established a career spanning academia, environmental consulting and industrial-environmental management. From 1982 – 1989 Mr Lukatelich held the position of Lecturer and Research Officer with the Centre for Water Research at the University of Western Australia where he studied the impacts of eutrophication on algae and seagrasses in lakes and estuaries, developed of ecological models and examined the relationships between hydrodynamics and water quality in reservoirs, rivers and estuaries. In 1989 Mr Lukatelich joined Kinhill Engineers as Senior Aquatic Ecologist before moving to BP’s oil refinery in Kwinana, WA as Environmental Manager in1990... (read more)

Dr Jim BentleyDr Jim Bentley

Managing Director, Hunter Water Corporation

Dr Bentley commenced in July 2016 as Managing Director with Hunter Water Corporation. As a member of both the Board of Directors and Executive Management Teams he is responsible for facilitating the development and delivery of Hunter Water's strategic vision and direction, stakeholder engagement, delivery of capital programs and projects as well as compliance with regulatory frameworks administered by groups such as IPART and the NSW EPA... (read more)

Ms Louise CordinaMs Louise Cordina

Chief Executive Officer, Cordina Group

Cordina Group is one of Australia’s oldest privately owned food businesses and top 100 family owned firms.  Now in its fourth generation, CEO Louise Cordina, has led the business through a period of changing consumer priorities and industry consolidation. Originally joining the business full time in 1996, Louise has been a strong advocate for innovation, agility and finding opportunity through thinking differently in a volatile, competitive market place.... (read more)

Ms Kate CoatesMs Kate Coates

General Manager, AGL Macquarie

Ms Coates began her career in 1981 as an apprentice electrical fitter in the NSW Electricity Commission’s high voltage transmission division. After completing her apprenticeship and an engineering advanced diploma.... (read more)

Dr Alan BroadfootProfessor Alan Broadfoot

Executive Director, NIER & Global Impact Cluster for Energy, Resources, Food and Water, University of Newcastle

Professor Alan Broadfoot is well known for his innovations in industry and is currently the Director of the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) at the University of Newcastle, a position he has held since 2010. Charged with an ambitious agenda linking industry and academia for transformational research in energy and resources efficiency, productivity and sustainability, Alan’s strategic direction and enterprising leadership has promoted a number of new and exciting initiatives at NIER, aligned to emerging challenges and national priorities associated with the sector...(read more)

Professor Kevin HallProfessor Kevin Hall

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), University of Newcastle

Professor Hall joined the University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in March 2014 and is responsible for the University’s diverse and comprehensive research enterprise and acts as the University’s chief research officer. Professor Hall was previously Vice President (Research and External Partnerships) at the University of Guelph, Canada and prior to that held various roles at Queen’s University, Canada over a 20-year period, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada University Research Fellow, Department Head (Civil Engineering), Director of the Centre for Water and the Environment, and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Population and Public Health... (read more)

Prof Brett NinnessProfessor Brett Ninness

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engineering and Built Environment, University of Newcastle

Professor Ninness is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at the University of Newcastle. He received his BE, ME and Ph.D degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia in 1986, 1991 and 1994 respectively. His research interests are in the areas of system identification and stochastic signal processing, in which he has authored approximately one hundred papers in journals and conference proceedings. He has served on the editorial boards of Automatica, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control and is currently Editor in Chief for IET Control Theory and Applications...(read more)

Professor Lee SmithProfessor Lee Smith

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Science, University of Newcastle

Professor Smith joined the University of Newcastle as Pro Vice- Chancellor, Faculty of Science in 2017 from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he held the positions of Personal Chair of Genetic Endocrinology and Head of Male Health Research in the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health. Professor Smith has an outstanding record as an international research innovator in reproductive genetics and endocrinology with a particular focus on elucidating the role of testosterone signaling in male development and lifelong health... (read more)

Alan BroadfootProfessor Alan Broadfoot

Executive Director, NIER & Global Innovation Cluster for Energy, Resources, Food and Water

Prof Brett Ninness profile pictureProfessor Brett Ninness

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Kevin HallProfessor Kevin Hall

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)

Nat McGregorMr Nat McGregor

Chief Operating Officer

Lee SmithProfessor Lee Smith

Pro Vice-Chancellor,  Faculty of Science

Alan TraceyMr Alan Tracey

Director,  Infrastructure and Facility Services