IPEC Plenary Program & Speakers

Plenary presentations will be streamed virtually on the online platform, all presentations will be transitioned to fully virtual.
There will be no In-person networking events.

Thursday 27th May

Our future world: megatrends, the interaction of AI with humans and the importance of governance in transformation

Digitisation is the central theme to this series of presentations. Dr Hajkowicz will provide an update on CSIRO’s global megatrends, which are gradual yet powerful shifts in the environment and, he will share the drivers that are going to reshape the landscape and impact the engineering profession over the coming 20 years. Technology, climate change, emerging economies, digitisation will all be covered in his presentation. Professor Paul Salmon and Gemma Read will outline the consideration of human factors  that need to be made when designing AI-based systems, whilst Sandra Diethelm will talk about effective governance frameworks that are critical in the delivery of any change or transformation project.

Event Program

04:00pm              Our Future World: Megatrends Reshaping Livelihoods and Lifestyles over the coming decades - Stefan Hajkowicz, Senior Principal Scientist - Strategy, Foresight and Decision (Virtual)

04:45pm              Houston, we have a Problem! The Critical need for Human Factors in the design of Artificial Intelligence - Gemma Read, Associate Professor, University of Sunshine Coast (Virtual)

05:30pm              Governance to deliver successful business re-engineering projects (Case Study, lessons learned) - Sandra Diethelm, Executive Consultant, IXL Pty (Virtual)

06:15pm               Virtual Networking


Friday 28th May

Complex systems, situations and projects: finding pathways for success

Complexity, systems and projects are the central themes to this series of presentations.

Large capital projects which have lasting impacts on local and wider communities tend to be planned, managed and implemented by engineers.  Similarly, solutions to complex systems challenges faced by our world have to be designed by people, engineers in particular.  Hear from Mark Betts who will share some of his experiences of his 40 years delivering projects in both the private and government sector and John Blackburn AO will share insights into the future and the importance of creating a resilient and sustainable world for future generations. Finally, Kerry Lunney FIEAust will draw on her systems engineering experience to look at complex systems solutions that arise with the introduction of new technologies such as AI and autonomy to establish pathways that adapt and apply to a systems approach.

Event Program

04:00pm               Managing Capital Projects for Profit, Performance and the Planet - Mark Betts, Director Project Management & Continuous Improvement, Level Crossing Removal Authority (Virtual)

04:45pm               Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future - John Blackburn AO (Virtual)

05:30pm               Pathways Through Complex Systems Solutions Kerry Lunney FIEAust CPEng NER, Chief Engineer, Thales Australia (Virtual)

06:15pm               Virtual Networking 




Dr Stefan Hajkowicz

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz

Senior Principal Scientist, CSIRO's Data 61
Stefan is a principal scientist at CSIRO, working in the field of strategic foresight and director of the Data61 Insight Team. He spends his time thinking about the future and about practical ways to help people make wiser choices. Read more


John Blackburn AO

John Blackburn AO

Air Vice-Marshal (Retired) MDefStud, MStratStud
John Blackburn is a consultant in the field of Defence and National Security. In 2007 he was appointed an Officer in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (AO). John retired from the Royal Australian Air Force in 2008 as the Deputy Chief of the Air Force following a career as an F/A-18 fighter pilot, test pilot and strategic planner.   John’s senior posts included Commander of the Integrated Area Defence System (IADS) located in Malaysia, commanding a multi-national headquarters established to effect the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and Head of Strategic Policy in the Defence Headquarters.   Read more


Sandra Diethelm

Sandra Diethelm

Project Consultant - Utilities, IXL Pty Ltd
Sandra Diethelm has led numerous business re-engineering and transformation projects, predominantly for electricity utilities and as an independent project consultant. She has delivered complex flagship projects such as Ergon Energy’s Smart Grid Technology Trial Program and the organisational alignment of Asset Management departments across two utilities before the merger. Sandra’s experience further includes the design and implementation of off-shore engineering services solutions for utilities in the role of Director of a data services company. Sandra is a qualified electrical/electronics engineer and a certified International Company Director (GAICD). She holds international project management certifications and has professional experience in senior roles across the private and the public sector in Switzerland, Australia and India. Read more


Mark Betts

Mark Betts

Director Project Management & Continuous Improvement, Level Crossing Removal Authority
Mark has a had 40-year career in Major Project Infrastructure Project Management and is currently the Director of Project Management and Continuous Improvement for the Victorian Government's Level Crossing Removal Program. He has a strong interest in the role of the Engineer in delivery of major community infrastructure and how the profession needs to evolve to meet the challenges confronting it. Read more


Kerry Lunney Photo

Kerry Lunney FIEAust CPEng EngExec

Thales Australia, Country Engineering Director & International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), President
Ms Kerry Lunney has extensive experience developing and delivering large system solutions, including design, software development, infrastructure implementation, hardware deployments, integration, sell-off, training and on-going support.  She has worked in various industries including Information Communication Technology (ICT), Gaming, Financial, Transport, Aerospace and Defence.  The systems delivered include combat systems, mission systems, communication systems, road and rail Intelligent Transport Systems (ITSs), flight simulators, security systems, vehicle electronic systems, and gaming systems.  Kerry's career has taken her throughout the Asia-Oceania region and beyond including engineering leadership roles in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA and NZ. Read more


Gemma Read

Gemma Read

Associate Professor at the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems
Gemma Read is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She has a PhD in human factors from Monash University and has worked in the human factors field since 2006 in both academic and government roles. Her main areas of expertise and interest include the application of methods and approaches with a basis in complexity and systems theory to enhance safety in transportation and work systems. Read more