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Speakers List - Construction Risk Management

Grant Whitehorn
Risk Management Institute of Australasia

Grant is the Chief Executive Officer of the RMIA and has over 20 years of risk management industry knowledge, having worked across a broad range of industries throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
Grant is a Certified Practicing Risk Manager, a Fellow of the RMIA, a Certified Insurance Professional, a Fellow of the Australian & New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, a Member of the Risk Engineering Society and a Green Star Accredited Professional. Grants qualifications include a Graduate Certificate in Risk Management from Griffith University, a Diploma in Business, a Certificate IV in Leadership and he is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course.
Grant has held several senior risk management roles including Head of Risk & Business Resilience for Vodafone Hutchison Australia, Director of Enterprise Risk Management for the Australian Department of Defence, Chief Executive Officer for Riverwall Constructions Pty Ltd and Senior Associate with Arup’s Australasian Resilience, Security & Risk Consulting Practice.
Grant was formerly the President and a Director of the RMIA, a Director of the International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations, Visiting Risk Management Lecturer at the University of NSW and a Senior Lecturer with the International Graduate School of Risk Management.
Grant has served on the Standards Australia Risk Management Technical Committee, contributed to the development of ISO31000 & ISO31010, was a technical author for the Standards Australia Handbook HB327: ‘Communicating and Consulting about Risk’ and the Enterprise Risk Management lead author for the RMIA Security Risk Management Body of Knowledge. 

Richard Robinson
R2A Due Diligence Engineers

Richard Robinson is a career risk and due diligence engineer with over 30 years experience in the industry.

Richard’s primary focus for the past 15 years as a Director of R2A has been -

  • technical due diligence and organisational risk control
  • construction of risk and reliability based models for common law and for investment payback criteria
  • short course presentations and liability briefings
  • facilitating workshops
  • appearing as expert witness
  • principal author of Risk & Reliability: Engineering Due Diligence (now in its eighth edition)

Dr Hemanta Doloi
Senior Lecturer, Project and Construction Management
University of Melbourne

Dr Hemanta Doloi is currently a Senior Lecturer specialising in Project and Construction Management. Dr Doloi’s research is centred on process modelling, life cycle analysis, multi-criteria decision analysis, soft computing and social network analysis in the field of Project and Construction Management.  His research resulted the establishment of a new project management concept known as Life Cycle Project Management (LCPM) empowering optimal decision making across project life cycle.

Dr Doloi is at the forefront of conducting numerous empirical and conceptual research in vast areas of construction and project management research including project failures and success, risks and uncertainty minimisation and quantification of social sustainability and value creation in capital projects. His research efforts have also contributed to the use of advanced modelling techniques in Climate Change to develop an experimental framework and hierarchical decision model that places benefits to stakeholders and community interests at the core of decision making.

So far, Dr Doloi has published over 80 research papers in reputable peer reviewed journals and conferences in Construction Management and Engineering internationally. In addition, Dr Doloi authored a book and seven book chapters. Dr. Doloi is widely consulted for corporate training courses on project risk management, project scheduling and control, project financial analysis and project management fundamentals leading to professional qualifications such as PMP in the corporate world.

In 2012, Dr Doloi’s outstanding contribution into research and teaching has been recognised by honouring him the nationally competitive “Infinite Value Award in Research and Teaching ” administered by the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) ( ).

Jane McTaggart
Technical Director, Transport

Jane has nearly 25 years’ experience in community and stakeholder consultation, project management and service delivery. She has been responsible for community engagement, communication and stakeholder management for major infrastructure projects in Australia and overseas, as well as EIS management, social impact assessments, project and risk management, the development of PPP specifications and project documentation.  
Jane was the Aurecon Project Leader for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (Reference Design and Business Case) and for the Cross River Rail EIS.  She has provided inputs and chapters for major business cases including Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, Cross River Rail, Legacy Way (Northern Link) and Kingsford Smith Drive, as well as developing PPP specifications for projects such as Legacy Way, Gold Coast Rapid Transit and Port of Brisbane Motorway.
She has led and delivered the community and consultation establishment and delivery and social and environment impact assessment of large scale, complex programmes in the transport sector, including Cross River Rail, National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements for South West Queensland, Nambour Road Connection Study, Airport Link and Northern Busway, Kingsford Smith Drive Planning Study, Gold Coast Rapid Transit and Toowoomba Bypass.  Jane has also delivered risk management (scope and project risk) for Northern Busway Kedron to Bracken Ridge planning study, risk management and safety in design management for Gold Coast Rapid Transit, risk management for Kingsford Smith Drive Planning Study and the Mauritius Light (Rail) Rapid Transit Project.
Jane has worked directly for three Lord Mayors of Brisbane, and has led consultation projects for the Queensland State Government and for local and national government in London, as well as European Commission funded projects in the UK. As State Manager for the Department of Housing, she was responsible for the Community Renewal Programme across South-East Queensland, managing community consultation and engagement in 14 urban communities. She led the community engagement processes for renewal state-wide, including engagement with Indigenous communities. She was also responsible for the development of Community Action Plans in nine new communities, state-wide, and represented state and local government in consultation with communities across Brisbane and Queensland on issues such as regional planning, urban development and transport.
She is currently working on the Transaction Advisory Team for the Mauritius Light (Rail) Rapid Transit Project, involving the development and management of procurement and transaction services from Market Sounding, Expression of Interest (EOI), Request for Proposal (RFP) and evaluation of tenders through to Financial Close.  In addition, she is delivering communications, media and marketing for this project through the Singapore Corporation Enterprise.

Prof. Patrick Zou
Chair of Building and Construction Management, School of Management
University of Canberra

Professor Patrick XW Zou, PhD UNSW, is Chair of Building and Construction Management, at the School of Management, Faculty of Business, Government and Law, University of Canberra (UC). He is also a Fellow of UC’s ANZSOG Institute for Governance. Prior to joining UC, Dr Zou was Associate Professor and Program Director of Construction Management and Property at The University of New South Wales (UNSW), where he obtained his PhD in 1999.

Patrick is Adjunct Professor of Hunan and Shenzhen Universities and was visiting academic at Tsinghua University, University of Florida, National University of Singapore, and Renmin University of China. Professor Zou is an award-winning researcher who has won 6 international awards for his research excellence and published 200+ journal and conference papers, book chapters, books and government reports, in the fields of risk management and safety management.  His new book “Construction Management New Directions 3rd Edition (2013) was published by Wiley-Blackwell, which includes strategic management, enterprise risk management, total safety management, value management, construability, TQM, partnering, and reengineering.

Professor Zou has provided research and expert advice to several major project risk management such as Beijing Olympic Games Venue Construction, China petroleum engineering and construction group and China merchants property development Co.  he has successfully collaborated with government departments and industry peak bodies and companies. Professor Zou also teaches risk management in several universities and has also won the UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence and his [2+3] teaching philosophy is: “Student-centred & Inspirational” + “Research-led, Innovative & Traditional”.

Dr Rebecca Yang
Senior Lecturer, School of Property, Construction and project management
RMIT University

Dr. Rebecca J. Yang is a Senior Lecturer in Construction Management at RMIT University. Prior to this, she was a lecturer at Deakin University, and research associate at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University where she obtained her PhD in 2010. Her main research interests focus on sustainable building and construction, which cover lifecycle energy & cost analysis, occupant behaviour, indoor environment measurement, risk, stakeholder and waste management. . Dr Yang is an expert in Social Network Analysis. Dr Yang has been involved in stakeholder and risk analysis consultation in a few real-life infrastructure and urban renewal projects, and she is a Chief Investigator in several research projects. Dr Yang has published many papers in leading international journals. Dr Yang's has also undertaken research in learning and teaching and her teaching philosophy is linking theory with practice and focusing on improving student learning outcomes and capabilities development. Prior to her academic career, Rebecca worked as a quantity surveyor in Singapore.

Pedram Danesh-Mand
National Manager – Project Controls and Risk Management
Aquenta Consulting

With a successful record of executive positions with high profile companies and as an industry Innovation Award winner, Pedram has contributed to a number of major infrastructure projects across Australia and overseas.

Currently as the National Manager – Project Controls and Risk Management with Aquenta Consulting (as part of AMEC), Pedram is leading and driving the team for integration of project schedule, cost and risk platforms (tools, processes and teams) to provide his clients transparent and practical Integrated Project Controls solutions including independent quantitative risk assessment approaches.

Prior to this, Pedram was UGL Engineering Head of Planning & Risk in a wide range of projects across Water, Power Generation, Power Systems, Coal, LNG/Oil & Gas.

Pedram is an Innovation Award winner from Road and Maritime Services (RMS) and Leighton Contractors for his exceptional knowledge and practical application of statistical analysis and the Primavera system in analysing project risks and schedules.

He is highly skilled in Project Planning, Controls, Monte Carlo Simulation, Schedule/Cost Risk Analysis, Earned Value (EV), and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM).

Pedram is currently the NSW Chairman of Executive Committee of Risk Engineering Society (RES). With more than 50 technical presentations and as an industry expert in his field, Pedram is regularly invited to speak at high profile industry events and international conferences across the world.

Paul Lawson
Head of Commercial & Risk, Building
Lend Lease Construction & Infrastructure

Paul is a chartered Quantity Surveyor with career spanning 27 years. Paul is Head of Commercial Risk in the newly formed Lend Lease Building business.

Prior to taking up this role, Paul was the Building Manager for Baulderstone in Victoria. In this role he was responsible for the procurement, conversion and delivery of all building projects.

In September 2006 Paul moved to Australia and shortly thereafter began his career with Baulderstone as a Commercial Manager for the Victorian Branch. During this time as Commercial Manager, Paul led the successful negotiation of the commercial outcomes on all of the Building and Civil Engineering projects.

Paul joined John Laing Construction in 1986 as a trainee Quantity Surveyor. He spent almost 14 years with Laing, working on a wide variety of projects. In 2000 he moved to Wates Construction and during his seven years with Wates rose to Commercial Manager.

Bronwyn Friday
Group General Manager, Enterprise Risk Management
John Holland

Bronwyn Friday re-entered the construction industry to merge her two strengths of holistic risk management and construction knowledge with the aim of working with major project teams to incorporate pro-active risk management early in the development of key projects.
Bronwyn is a tertiary-qualified and professional certified Risk Manager with twelve years of risk management experience working in a range of industries from construction, utilities, finances and consumer goods.  She has wealth of experience in developing and implementing risk management systems.

Bronwyn is currently working at John Holland as their Group General Manager, Enterprise Risk Management.  John Holland is the largest and most diverse specialist contracting business in Australia, with over 100 projects and 6,000 employees. 

She is responsible for the development of both John Holland’s Enterprise and Project Risk Management processes that incorporate all risk management process from the front line to C-suite and from Prospect to Final Completion of all projects.   The aim is to embed risk management into the planning, winning and delivery of the projects. The development of this process has included the formation of the overall framework with its risk appetite, procedures, tools, systems and training.

Bronwyn has also been involved in supporting major tender for John Holland such as Roy Hill Iron Ore railway, South Road Elevated Highway, South Morang Railway, Perth City Link, etc. This project support includes setting up the project risk management process and conducting schedule and cost probabilistic risk modeling.

Associate Professor Palaneeswaran Ekambaram
Construction/Risk/Engineering Management
Swinburne University


  • PhD, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2001
  • MEng (Honours), Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, India, 1996
  • BEng (First Class), Madurai Kamaraj University, India, 1985

Major Research Interests and Areas of Expertise

  • Construction Management
  • Design Management
  • Engineering Management
  • Knowledge Management and Artificial Intelligence applications
  • Procurement and Supply Chain Management
  • Project Management
  • Public-Private Partnership
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainable Infrastructure Development and Asset Management

Peter Godfrey
Past President, Engineers Australia & Director
BAS Consulting Pty Ltd

Peter Godfrey is a civil engineer with extensive management experience. He commenced his professional career over thirty years ago and has progressed through engineering roles to senior management positions. His career encompasses both operational management and business support roles across diverse industries throughout Australia.

Peter has substantial experience in civil contracting, construction materials, equipment supply, local government and consulting industries.  He has worked for organisations including Boral, CSR’s Readymix Group (now part of Holcim), the Victoria/Tasmania Caterpillar equipment dealer, William Adams, Brambles, Coffey International Ltd, and also the former Tasmanian government owned Civil Construction Corporation (now part of Downer Group).  

In 1997, Peter established his own consultancy practice, BAS Consulting, which focuses on providing senior management support to engineering oriented organisations, particularly in the areas of corporate governance, leadership training, strategy development, change management, risk management and project delivery. His clients include civil contractors, builders, manufacturers, local government municipalities, engineering consultancies, universities, government agencies and rail operators.

Peter has a rich involvement with Engineers Australia. He has held various honorary positions within the professional body and was the 2009 National President.

Peter’s leadership in engineering and management professions has led to his membership of, and active involvement in a number of influential groups.  For instance, during his term on the Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council, he took a key role in securing the 5th Civil Engineering Conference in the Asian Region, held in Sydney. He was also a key initiator and member of the Safer Construction Taskforce comprising industry, government and professional bodies which produced the Guide to Best Practice for Safer Construction.

Peter is a member of the Metro Trains Melbourne Board's Safety Committee, the National Research Council for a Sustainable Built Environment’s Steering Committee for Safety Impacts of Alcohol and Other Drugs in Construction, Swinburne University’s Civil Course Advisory Committee and The University of Melbourne’s International House Risk Management Committee.

Peter has been a Director of the Australian Council for Built Environment Design Professions, a member of the National Engineering Registration Board and the National Board of the Centre for Engineering Leadership and Management.  He has also chaired, or currently chairs a number of committees including RMIT’s Construction OHS Industry Advisory Group, Engineers Australia’s Engineering Practice Taskforce for the Future, the 2008 Engineering Team Task Force, its International Committee, the 2009 and 2010 successful Bye-laws Committees, the 2010 Year of Engineering Leadership Steering Committee and the Steering Committee for the 2012 Engineering Leadership Conference. He is also a national judge of the National Engineering Excellence Awards.

Peter has delivered numerous presentations at conferences and in professional settings. He has led many workshops and is a lead facilitator for Engineering Education Australia’s Leadership Residential and the joint Engineering Education Australia/Civil Contractors Federation Contract Risk Management programs.

These roles have provided important input into the direction of engineering in Australia as well as guiding Australia’s engagement with international engineering groups. Peter has been listed in Engineers Australia Magazine’s Top 100 of Australia’s most influential engineers.

David Watson
Hinds Blunden

David has over 17 years’ experience of programming and analysing the effects of delays on construction projects.

David provides project advice relating to programming, delay analysis and associated costing issues, as well claim preparation and resolution for all types of civil, building, petrochemical, tunneling, mining and defence projects.

As part of his role, he advises and assists major contractors and clients in identifying, quantifying and managing project risks through the life of a project, from inception through to completion.

David also presents educational seminars on a range of programming topics.

Dr Nick Fleming
Chief Sustainability Officer
Sinclair Knight Merz

Nick has diverse industry experience, an aptitude for resolving complex problems, and a passion for creating vibrant businesses and communities. This provides the foundation for his work as a business leader, strategist, design coach and facilitator, writer and public speaker. He has over 20 years professional experience particularly in the infrastructure, water, resources and defence sectors across multiple markets including Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia, the UK and Americas. As the global leader for sustainability and innovation at SKM, Nick has been instrumental in translating the principles and ideals of sustainability into practical, award-winning solutions for client organisations and SKM. He is Chairman of the Sustainability Taskforce of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, a Director of the Board of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, and has been recognised as a national corporate sustainability leader by Waste Management & Environment.

Aaron Neilson
General Manager

As General Manager – Australia east, Aaron Neilson leads the search and recruitment business for safesearch across the eastern states in addition to his national responsibility for the permanent recruitment practice.  In this capacity he also oversees the internal shared services support function and Melbourne head office as part of his management portfolio.

As a highly regarded executive within the industry, Aaron provides search and recruitment services to many of Australia’s leading corporations, assisting them to strategically position their safety function by attracting and securing the best possible talent for their business. He delivers quality outcomes through his ability to align best practice recruitment methodologies with organisational priorities to ensure significant return on investment for his clients, candidates and his business.

Prior to being approached to join safesearch some six years ago, Aaron worked for a leading global consulting and recruitment firm delivering end to end recruitment solutions.  His early career after achieving a Bachelor of Education involved a successful teaching career in both Australia and the UK. Here he specialised in and led high performance teams.

Marcus Turner
Director of Governance & Risk
HTM Group

Head of HTM Group's Governance and Risk Division, Marc is a highly qualified and skilled practitioner with experience in international banking, retail operations, logistics, construction, transport, infrastructure emergency services and education. Marc's experience covers both the private and public sector at  State and Federal level.

Previously the Chair of the PSRMA (Public Sector Risk Management Association) from 2010-2013, Marc also held the role of Chief Risk Officer for a number of organisations over the past 10 years including Emergency Services for Fire & Rescue NSW.

Recognised by his peers, Marc won the Institute Prize from the Australian Institute of Bankers’ and was responsible for winning the Public Sector Risk Management Association's “Enterprise wide Risk Management Award” as well as the Association's “Learning & Development Award” in consecutive years.

Since winning these awards, Marc has been an active member of the judging panel and in particular is respected for identifying innovative risk management practices.

Marc is also a prize holder, highly recognised and regarded by the peak industry body for excellence through the CPRM program and is published in the areas of business continuity and risk management. Now a regular invited guest and advisor to the PSRMA, Marc also speaks both locally and internationally on Risk Management matters.

Barry Sherriff
Norton Rose Fulbright

Barry Sherriff is an occupational health and safety Partner based in Melbourne. Barry provides integrated advice and proactive strategies for compliance and risk management in OHSS and associated areas of WorkCover issues, employment and discrimination.He has represented clients across industries including government, finance, transport, manufacturing, mining and construction. His specific experience has included the development and review of risk management and OHS strategies, corporate governance structures and procedures, including
integration with other business and operational procedures.

Barry was a member of a three-person panel that made recommendations through the Australian Deputy Prime Minister to federal, state and territory governments on the structure and content of a model OHS Act to be adopted in all jurisdictions. The model Work Health and Safety Act, approved by the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council in December 2009, closely follows the recommendations of the panel.

In addition, he advised and represented the Victorian Congress of Employer Associations in the review of, and consultation on, the Victorian Occupational Health & Safety Act 2004.
Barry is an acknowledged thought leader in OHS, regularly speaking at conferences and contributing to OHS specific and general publications. Among his various publications, Barry is the author of ‘Sherriff’s Work Health and Safety Law Guide’, an on-line service on the model Act (SAI Global) published in 2011. Barry also co-authored ‘Understanding the Model Work Health and Safety Act’, published in 2010, authored ‘OHS in Practice – A Guide to Legislation in Victoria’, published in May 2005 and was a major contributor to the CCH, ‘Master OHS and Environment Guide’ (first and second editions).He contributes regularly to numerous OHS publications.

Barry is an Honorary Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia and is the OHS Coordinator of the Property Council of Australia. He is a member of the National Employers’ OHS Consultative Forum and the WorkSafe Victoria Stakeholder Reference Group.

Barry is named in the list of Best Lawyers 2013 list for OHS, Chambers Directory 2013 Leading Individual in Employment, and in Doyle’s Guide list of Recommended Employment Lawyers in Australia and the list of Leading Employment Lawyers in Victoria.

Adrian Manessis
Business Development Manager

Adrian Manessis has been directly involved with implementing safety management software for over 20 years to hundreds of organisations in a wide range of industries.  These implementations have involved all aspects of .

During this time he has extensive experience with analysing, supporting, training, integrating and customising incident reporting and other processes in to organisations ranging from small companies to multinationals with over 40,000 people.

He has been directly involved with implementations that have been highly successful but also has a good understanding of why implementations can fail and how this can be prevented.

Adrian as also been involved in the data analysis of systems and has directly seen the positive results process improvement outcomes have generated by implementing best practice with consistent processes.

Ian McLeod
Acting Head of Health and Safety
Aurecon Group

Ian is a qualified Engineer with substantial experience through the entire construction industry supply chain (engineering designers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and client/superintendent roles).

His experience, coupled with his interest in engaging with people and improving their working lives has led to a natural career progression into the area of health, safety and well being.

He has helped organisations develop workplaces where safety is embraced as a core value, is considered part of everything they do, is not negotiable or considered an add on and influence others to do the same. This has enabled organisations he has worked for to realise the immense benefits that exist when safe cultures are created and high performing teams that care about themselves and others develop as a result.

Specialties: Technical specialist in Construction Safety, culture / behavioural development programs. audits and safety reviews. Development of safe systems of work for construction activities.

Ian’s  recent roles include 4 years as Director Safety – Regional Rail Link Authority and presently
Acting Head of Health and Safety – Aurecon.

Lea Slade
National HSE Manager
John Holland Group

Lea is a highly experienced, innovative and dedicated HSE & Risk management professional currently leading the national HSE function for John Holland’s Specialist Engineering business.

The Specialist Engineering operation brings together highly specialised capabilities, including tunneling, water & waste water, marine structures, power generation and transmission, and mechanical and electrical engineering. John Holland operates on a global scale with projects located throughout Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Lea is tertiary qualified with over 15 years’ experience specialising in health, safety and environment disciplines and has previously worked on a large number of major construction projects through all phases of project delivery. She also spent a number of years with the Department of Workplace Health and Safety Old, which has resulted in a sound understanding of the regulatory and legal aspects of the WH&S legislation. 

As a key member of John Holland senior leadership team, Lea drives the corporate strategy and delivers positive change and results. Her key strengths are demonstrated in leadership, behavioral safety, risk management, asset integrity and safety, process safety, safety in design, systems development, legislative requirements and comprehensive investigations.

Robert Kosovo
Group Head of Workers Compensation
Programmed Group

Robert has worked in risk and insurance management for 15 years. His focus is on supporting business growth by influencing decisions on retained risk, uninsurable risks and managing insurable risk to as low as reasonably practicable. Robert started work in risk consulting, working for a number of firms before finishing his time as Principal at Marsh, looking after workforce risk solutions for a broad book of clients in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. 

After a long and distinguished career at Marsh he moved to the Corporate Risk team at Perth Airport, applying his risk management expertise in one of the most important infrastructure precincts in Western Australia. Robert is now at Programmed, where he is able to apply his thought leadership across retained risks, uninsurable risks and insurable risks at an executive level.

Robert is a firm believer in understanding and simplifying risk; setting the right structure and processes to balance compliance, control and reporting requirements without stymieing growth; and educating, empowering and motivating people to make the right decision.

Geoff Hurst

Geoff is a well-qualified OHS and Risk Engineering professional with expertise in the development of safety and risk management frameworks, embedding & developing effective Health & Safety Management Systems, workplace wellness programs, and implementing workplace cultural change in a variety of settings.

Geoff has a depth of experience taking in learning’s from a broad range of opportunities including: manufacturing, construction, local government, entertainment, transport & logistics, service and education sectors.

Geoff is an acclaimed leader in his profession. He is a teacher, lecturer, presenter and an interactive workshop facilitator specialising in effective adult learning experiences. He designs and facilitates workshops that are needs specific, practical, fun and highly involving in areas ranging from Communication, Team Development, Technical Risk & Safety, HazOp and Safety Leadership.

Geoff is the Principal at ENGENEOHS, and leads  the ENGENEOHS Alliance to deliver on safety, risk and people management projects specific to client needs in the key areas of Engineering, Enterprise, Environment, Or Health & Safety.

*Speakers to be confirmed

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