FutureNet Newcastle Innovation Networking Event (Young Professionals)

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Date: Wednesday, 12 April 2017 to Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Address: Newcastle, NSW Australia
Place: Newcastle
Total Price: $45.00

Tickets can also be purchased via Eventbrite


If you are experiencing difficulties registering online, please email nsw@consultaustralia.com.au



After captivating the crowds in Sydney over the last two years with his humorous and engaging sessions, Professor Andrew Harris, Director of Laing O’Rourke’s engineering and innovation consultancy, is coming to FutureNet Newcastle. Professor Harris will present “Engineering the Future – Transforming Today.”


Joining him will be Ian Hardcastle, Digital Engineering Technical Director, Jacobs. Ian’s session will delve into the challenge of deploying transformational technology on major NSW and Australian projects today and discussing what the future may look like for our industry.


Andrew and Ian will be joined by Andrew Mears, Director & Co-Founder of Eighteen04 Inc and CEO of SwitchDin Pty Ltd.


Following the speaking session will be a panel discussion where you’ll have the opportunity to ask our innovation leaders questions.




Event Details:

Wednesday 12 April

6:30pm - 8:30pm (registration from 6:00pm)

529 The Terrace, 529 Hunter Street, Newcastle

Dress: Business

Cost: $45 (drinks and canapés included)





Professor Andrew Harris, Engineering Director, Laing O'Rourke Australia


Professor Andrew Harris is a Professorial Fellow in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Sydney, and the Australian director of Laing O’Rourke’s engineering and innovation consultancy, the Engineering Excellence Group. Laing O'Rourke is Australia's largest private engineering and construction business, with local turnover of $3 bn p.a.


Andrew received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2002 and is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and Engineers Australia (IEAust). Through-out his career he has worked at the interface between industry and academia.



Ian Hardcastle, Digital Engineering Technical Director, Jacobs


Ian Hardcastle is responsible for the development and delivery of Digital Engineering strategy at Jacobs and previously led teams developing and executing Digital Engineering at Laing O’Rourke, both in Australia and the UK. In recent times, Ian led the deployment of BIM technology on major projects such as Custom House Station in London and the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.


Prior to specialising in Digital Engineering, Ian also worked as a structural engineer, allowing him to develop his technical capabilities and enhance his knowledge of the construction process.



Dr Andrew Mears, Director & Co-Founder of Eighteen04 Inc and CEO of SwitchDin Pty Ltd


Dr Andrew Mears is an engineer and innovator with more than 20 years of experience in the areas of renewable energy and commercialisation covering Asia & Pacific, Africa and Australia. He has delivered more than 40 major assignments in 18 countries with various agencies involving more than US$200million in programme funds.


Dr Mears first start-up in satellite communications in 1990 led to further work at the leading edge of control systems R&D and commercialisation. This included fabrication systems for advanced solar photovoltaic thin films and development of optical sensors for biomedical applications.


Driven by his interests in decentralised energy services, Dr Mears established a significant portfolio of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects involving various multi-lateral clients including World Bank and United Nations. Subsequently, he joined the United Nations first as their Chief Technical Advisor on renewable energy in Southern Africa and then for Climate Change in SE Asia.


Dr Mears has developed policy and programmes and provided electricity market development support affecting the lives of millions of people. In 2014 he founded SwitchDin to develop virtual power management solutions for renewable energy and battery storage for developed and emerging markets.


Dr Mears is a recipient of the 2011 Newcastle University Alumni award for International Leadership and is co-founder of the Newcastle-based clean tech and smart city incubator space Eighteen04.



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