Keynote Speaker

Professor Ehud Ronn, University of Texas at Austin

Ehud Ronn

Ehud I. Ronn is a professor of Finance at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, and co-director of its Energy Management and Innovation Center. His research and teaching interests focus on the valuation of energy commodity-contingent securities.

In addition to teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr Ronn has held visiting appointments at academic institutions in the US, Europe and Far East.  He has published articles on investments, interest rate instruments and energy derivatives in the academic and practitioner literature.

From 1991 to 1993, Dr Ronn served as Vice President, Trading Research Group at Merrill Lynch & Co.  Dr Ronn was founding director of the University of Texas Center for Energy Finance from 1997 to 2009. He was also Commodity Market Modeling practice area manager at Morgan Stanley & Co between January 2010 and February 2011. In November 2004 Dr Ronn was selected by Energy Risk to the Energy Risk Hall of Fame. He received his PhD from Stanford University in 1983.

Industry Plenary Speaker

Richard Matear, CSIRO

Dr Richard Matear is a chief research scientist in the Climate Science Centre at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart. He graduated from the University of British Columbia, Canada in 1993 and moved to Australia in 1996 to lead the ocean carbon modelling effort at CSIRO. Richard’s research interests involve exploring the role the oceans play in the global climate and carbon systems. His research exploits models and observations to understand the mechanisms driving climate variability and determining how the oceans will respond to climate change. He is currently investigating the predictability of the climate system and trying to demonstrate the utility of climate forecasts at the multi-year timescale.

Industry Speakers

Vassili Kitsios, CSIRO

Vasili Kitsios

Dr Vassili Kitsios is working on the CSIRO Decadal Climate Forecast Project (DCFP), specifically on the development of the data assimilation and ensemble forecasting system, and the potential use of this system to make better informed decisions on climate risk exposed investments. Prior to joining the DCFP, Dr Kitsios undertook post-doctoral research with the CSIRO and then Monash University, on the numerical simulation and parameterisation of geophysical and canonical turbulence. His PhD was with the University of Melbourne and the Université de Poitiers (France) on the numerical simulation and model reduction of engineering flows. He has also held industrial positions in data science and quantitative finance.

Theo Gazos, Predictive Analytics Group

Theo Gazos

Dr Theo Gazos has close to 25 years of experience working with some of the world’s largest organisations developing forecasting and simulation models aimed at enhancing strategic decision making, increasing productivity and saving money. With a PhD in Economics and Econometrics from Monash University, he has completed engagements for material government agencies at the federal and state level, as well as some of the largest corporations both in Australia and globally. He was previously a Director at major international consulting firms, where he introduced innovative products centered on the creation of modelling applications using Big Data. In 2012, Dr Gazos founded Predictive Analytics Group – a company that specializes in the development of large scale analytical models for companies such as, Racing Victoria, Ministry of Health NSW and the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority. Theo is currently working with South East Water on several projects including the deployment of bespoke AI applications designed to model SCADA information in real time; and machine learning algorithms designed to cleanse customer and person record databases.

Alan Rai, Australian Energy Market Commission

Dr Alan Rai is a senior economist at the Australian Energy Market Commission. Alan has worked on flagship AEMC projects such as the integration of energy and emissions reduction policy, the National Energy Guarantee, and the competitiveness of retail and wholesale electricity markets. Before joining AEMC, Alan held roles in CSIRO's Energy division as senior research economist, at Macquarie University as senior lecturer in finance, and at the Reserve Bank of Australia as an economist. Alan gained his PhD in Economics from UNSW, holds a first-class honours degree in Finance and Economics from Macquarie University, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Clyde Russell, Reuters

Clyde Russell is Asia Commodities and Energy Columnist at Reuters. He has been a journalist and editor for 30 years covering everything from wars in Africa to the resources boom and its current struggles. Born in Glasgow, he has lived in Johannesburg, Sydney, Singapore and now splits his time between Tasmania and Asia. He writes about trends in commodity and energy markets, with a particular focus on China. Before becoming a financial journalist in 1996, Clyde covered civil wars in Angola, Mozambique and other African hotspots for Agence-France Presse.

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