The resources sector is undergoing massive shifts associated with the global transition to a zero-carbon economy. In addition to the clear imperative to decarbonize their own operations, the products that these companies produce, or will produce, are themselves essential to that green transition. Innovation is more important in this sector today than ever before.
MIT is one of the most innovative institutions on the planet. Its outsized impact through a vibrant innovation ecosystem facilitates the critical interplay between academia, entrepreneurs, risk capital, corporates, and government. Through the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP), we have worked with regions worldwide to replicate this model that has worked so well at MIT.
The 2023 ILP Perth Symposium is a meeting of the ecosystems co-hosted with Woodside Energy and Rio Tinto. The single-day event will examine Western Australia’s progress in developing a vibrant innovation ecosystem, partly through ongoing participation in REAP, led by Rio Tinto and Woodside. We will also share some of the successes from MIT’s ecosystem, focusing on key innovations that will help Western Australia’s resources sector cement its critical position in the coming green economy.
Ron Spangler joined the Office of Corporate Relations (OCR) in October 2013 as Senior Industrial Liaison Officer.
Spangler comes to OCR with many years of experience in business development, portfolio management, product development, and strategy. For the past thirteen years, he has been at TIAX as Director, Government Business Development where he has been responsible for new technology-based business development, with emphasis on products and services in energy and defense. Prior to that, he was at Milde Technology Corporation, an MIT spinoff, as Vice President, Marketing and Business Development. Spangler has also held positions at Cymer, Inc. as Director, Product Marketing, Emerging Technologies and Applications and as Director, Semiconductor Applications; at Active Control eXperts, Inc. as General Manager, Sports Equipment Business Unit and as Engineering Manager, Vibration and Motion Control Business Unit; and at Litton Industries, Itek Optical Systems Division, as Senior Electrical Engineer.
Spangler earned his S.B., Aeronautics and Astronautics, his S.M., Aeronautics and Astronautics, and and his Ph.D from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics here at MIT. He was also a member of the MIT Rugby Football Club, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, and General Manager of WMBR-FM.
Spangler has many publications and patents to his credit and is an FAA licensed pilot with a glider rating.
Scott Stern is the David Sarnoff Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Stern explores how innovation and entrepreneurship differ from more traditional economic activities, and the consequences of these differences for strategy and policy. His research in the economics of innovation and entrepreneurship focuses on entrepreneurial strategy, innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems, and innovation policy and management. Recent studies include the impact of clusters on entrepreneurship, the role of institutions in shaping the accumulation of scientific and technical knowledge, and the drivers and consequences of entrepreneurial strategy.
Stern has worked widely with practitioners in bridging the gap between academic research and the practice of innovation and entrepreneurship. This includes advising start-ups and other growth firms in the area of entrepreneurial strategy, as well as working with governments and other stakeholders on policy issues related to competitiveness and regional performance. In recent years, Stern has developed a popular new MIT Sloan elective, Entrepreneurial Strategy, co-founded the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program, advised the development of the Social Progress Index, and served as the lead MIT investigator on the US Cluster Mapping Project.
Stern started his career at MIT, where he taught from 1995 to 2001. Before returning to MIT in 2009, he held positions as a Professor at the Kellogg School of Management and as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Stern is the director and co-founder of the Innovation Policy Working Group at the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 2005, he was awarded the Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship.
Stern holds a BA in economics from New York University and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.
Dr Phil Budden is a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Management School, in Sloan's TIES (Tech Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategy) Group, where he focuses on 'corporate innovation’ and multi-stakeholder innovation ecosystems, especially how corporates can get value from the latter (including start-up enterprises). He works closely with corporate executives and leaders of other large organisations on such strategies, through MIT Corporate Relations/ILP, the Corporate Innovation Program (https://corporateinnovation.mit.edu), Executive Education (https://executive.mit.edu/ci) and MIT’s global REAP program (https://reap.mit.edu), as well as custom and consulting work.
Neil Freeman is Manager of Innovation at Rio Tinto.
Basil Zempilas was elected Lord Mayor of the City of Perth in October 2020. He became the 18th Lord Mayor, joining Local Government after a successful and ongoing broadcasting career in television and radio. Basil is also a regular columnist in The West Australian with is Australia's second oldest newspaper. As the Lord Mayor, Basil works with his Council to provide direction to the City of Perth. He is committed to connecting International and National Corporations with the community in order to achieve the liveable, sustainable and prosperous pillars of the City's strategic vision. Basil is the chair of the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief fund which under his stewardship, has raised almost $35 million in a 2-year period for communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2010 Basil has been host of Telethon, the world renowned 26-hour live television charity fundraiser. Since its inception, Telethon has raised more than $500 million (AUD) for sick children and medical research and in 2022 raised a record $71.4 million dollars (AUD). Basil was the chair of the Australian Council of Capital City Lord Mayors until January 2023. Basil is also on the City of Perth Committee, the WALGA State Council and the Capital City Planning Committee. Basil was educated in Western Australia at the prestigious Hale School and gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Graduate Diploma of Journalism from Murdoch University.
Professor Klinken is a leading Western Australian medical research scientist, highly regarded for his work in advancing the understanding of genes involved in leukaemia, cancer and anaemia. After obtaining his PhD from the University of Western Australia, he undertook research at the US National Institutes of Health in Washington and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne.
His previous roles have included Professor in Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Western Australia; Director of Research at the Royal Perth Hospital; and the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (previously the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research).
Under his stewardship, the Harry Perkins Institute attracted world-class researchers to WA and made numerous acclaimed medical discoveries. He also spear-headed the development of two new state-of-the-art medical research facilities at the QEII Medical Centre and Fiona Stanley Hospital.
Professor Klinken has brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role of Chief Scientist of Western Australia, providing independent expert advice to the WA Government. He has supported the Government in growing the WA science industries to achieve future prosperity for Western Australians, as well as assisted with changes to legislation.
Professor Klinken’s skills and knowledge have been especially relevant in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic where he assisted the WA Government, academia and industry by:
He is also passionate about issues for Indigenous people, and ensuring that the education system provides opportunities for everyone in a rapidly changing world.
Professor Klinken was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2017. He was Western Australian Citizen of the Year (Professions) in 2008, and made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (2015) and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (2016).
Simon was appointed Chief Executive, Iron Ore in 2021.
Simon has been with Rio Tinto for more than 20 years in a variety of operating, commercial and business development roles across a number of commodities. Prior to his current role, Simon was Chief Commercial Officer from 2018 to 2021.
Simon knows Western Australia well and has a deep understanding of the iron ore business and customers globally. He is focused on transforming our Iron Ore business’s safe operational performance, delivering the mines of the future, positioning the Pilbara for a green steel future, and building strong partnerships with key stakeholders.
Graham joined Woodside as Executive Vice President Finance & Chief Financial Officer in February 2022. Graham has held significant financial, commercial and leadership roles across a range of business sectors, including minerals and oil and gas. He has extensive international experience, having worked in North and South America as well as in a variety of roles around Australia.
Prior to joining Woodside, he was previously at BHP where he held the role of Group Financial Controller with responsibility for BHP’s global accounting and reporting function and finance improvement spread across 10 countries.
During his 28-year career with BHP and WMC Resources, Graham has gained diverse experience spanning across senior roles in Australian nickel operations and the copper division from Chile.
Graham holds a Bachelor of Business in Accounting and Finance from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, and is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants.
Graham’s strong technical and financial capability equips him to oversee complex commercial issues, reporting across multiple regulatory jurisdictions (including Sarbanes-Oxley), engaging Auditors and working with the Board.
Professor Harlene Hayne was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University in April 2021, having previously been the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Professor Hayne received a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College, and an Master of Science and PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience from Rutgers University. She joined the University of Otago in 1992, ultimately becoming Vice-Chancellor in 2011.
Professor Hayne is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and of the Association for Psychological Science. In 2009 she was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to scientific and medical research, and in 2012 received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Colorado College, USA.
In 2022 she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in recognition of her outstanding services to health and wellbeing.
Professor Hayne is a former Chair of Universities New Zealand, Te Pōkai Tara, the peak body for the country’s universities. She also chaired the Universities New Zealand Research Committee and has been a member of the Board of Treasury and the Board of Fulbright New Zealand.
Professor Hayne has published widely in the area of memory development and adolescent risk taking, and has supervised numerous PhD, Master and undergraduate Honours theses. She was the Associate Editor of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Memory, the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, and the New Zealand Journal of Psychology and is a member of the Editorial Board of Infant Behaviour and Development and of Developmental Psychobiology.
Brian is an accomplished executive with an outstanding record of growth and achievement in diverse technical leadership roles throughout his career with Corning. Acknowledged for his ability to work across technical disciplines and technologies, he is a recognized industry leader in the application of technology fundamentals to develop and deliver new products and processes to market. Brian holds four U.S. patents and is known for championing an industrial perspective to engineering education, serving as a member of the Purdue University Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Board, and coordinating Corning’s on-campus recruiting endeavors. He received the Purdue Outstanding Chemical Engineer Award in 2001. He currently shares these skills as a Station Director in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chemical Engineering Practice Program, supporting programs in a variety of industries worldwide.
In the latter stages of his industrial career, as Corporate Engineering Director and an integral member of Corning’s senior leadership team, Brian provided project leadership and technical expertise to emerging and existing businesses across the corporation. He designed the Manufacturing Engineering Excellence Program deployed across all domestic and international divisions to facilitate the greater understanding and use of technology fundamentals to increase manufacturing performance.
Rotating through key strategic technical assignments, Brian began his career with Corning as a Senior Process Engineer/Project Engineer, where he developed a process and built a pilot plant for manufacturing two new materials, one from an organosilicate. He also led manufacturing improvements across the company and start-up teams for new products.
Brian moved on to technical management roles in specialty materials, environmental technologies, and diesel technologies. In his first functional management role in specialty materials, Brian built and directed teams in numerous process development and manufacturing engineering projects for an expanding $2B business. Brian also resolved a quality problem across two separate factories for one of the company’s premier customers that threatened to curtail optical production.
During his tenure with the $400M environmental technologies division, Brian led a team in the development and pilot plant construction for an electrically heated catalyst product that was awarded the American Chemical Society Award for Team Innovation. He also directed the developing and scaling up of thin-wall and ultra-thin-wall products for gasoline emissions control. Following this, he moved into a senior leadership role responsible for developing and implementing the business strategy that successfully captured an emerging market opportunity in diesel emissions control.
Brian’s success in positioning Corning to enter the new diesel emissions control market led to the spin-off of a new diesel technologies division which he helped build from a start-up $30M to $300M. He orchestrated the construction and startup of a heavy-duty diesel manufacturing plant in Corning and delivered aluminum titanate products to manufacturing for light-duty diesel emissions control.
Brian holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University. He currently resides with his wife in Okemos, Michigan.
Sean Gilbert is the Managing Director of the MIT-China Program, MIT-Singapore Program, and the MIT-Australia & New Zealand Program.
Sean is responsible for developing projects across this Asia Pacific region with MIT students, faculty, and institutional partners. Key programs include the MIT Greater China Fund for Innovation; the Fung Scholars Program; the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node-MISTI Collaboration, the MIT-China Educational Technology Initiative (CETI); and the MIT-China Forum. Sean founded the Singapore (2002) and Australia & New Zealand (2013) programs and is working on expanding MISTI Southeast Asia initiatives. Gilbert also manages the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science / MISTI partnership: EECS International/MISTI.
Prior to arriving at MIT in 2000, Sean co-founded EcoTrends International Co., Ltd in Taipei, importing environmental technologies and products for Taiwan construction sites (1997-2000); and worked for the Panvest Group's Offshore Investment Department, supervising Taiwanese-owned hotels in Hawaii and automotive and data processing joint ventures in Jinan, Shandong Province (1993-1997). Gilbert has also worked in New York as a reinsurance broker at Guy Carpenter & Company, placing European facultative and East Asian treaty risks with international reinsurance companies (1984-1986).
Sean holds a Master of Arts in Chinese Studies and a Princeton-in-Asia Teaching Certificate from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies & Chinese, with a Minor in Southeast Asian Cultural Anthropology, from New York University. He learned to speak Chinese initially through two years of language studies at National Taiwan Normal University (Mandarin Training Center) and Taipei Language Institute. Born in Shrewsbury, England; early childhood in Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia; grew up in Sea Cliff, New York; studied and worked for 10+ years in East Asia.
Catarina Madeira joined Corporate Relations in May 2021 as Program Director, Startup Exchange.
Madeira has been working with the Cambridge/Boston startup ecosystem for the past 10 years and joins Corporate Relations with a solid network in the innovation and entrepreneurial community. In 2010, she joined the startup accelerator IUL MIT Portugal working in Lisbon and working with the Cambridge team on all aspects related to the accelerator’s launch. She held positions including Operations Coordinator, Program Manager, and Business Developer. The accelerator soon achieved steady growth in large part due to the partnerships that Catarina led with regional and global startup ecosystems. Most recently she worked at NECEC, leading a program that connects cleantech startups and industry. In this role, she developed and built a pipeline of startups and forged strong relationships with both domestic and European companies. She has also held positions in Portugal and France including at L’Oréal and Saboaria e Perfumaria Confiança as Pharmacist and Technical Director.
Madeira earned her Bachelor in Chemistry at the University of Porto and her Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She went on to earn her Master of Engineering for Health and Medicines at University Lyon 1 and EM Lyon in France.
Daniel Stack is the Co-founder and CEO of Electrified Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ETS), a new technology startup that is decarbonizing industry with electrified heat. He earned his PhD in Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a specialization in energy conversion and thermal energy storage. His doctoral inventions form the foundation of ETS and its flagship product, the Joule Hive™ thermal battery. Daniel is an Activate fellow of the 2021 Boston cohort, an awardee of ARPA-E SEED, and a representative on the Long Duration Energy Storage Council. He has authored and co-authored a variety of papers on electrified thermal energy storage in academic and industry journals, and has spoken at various energy conferences, workshops and panels on repowering industrial processes and power plants with electrified thermal energy storage.
Ed is responsible for strategy and business development in the energy and mining sectors at Amogy. Prior to Amogy, Ed spent 8 years as a program manager at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he analyzed high efficiency HVAC technologies to reduce the energy use of commercial and residential buildings. Ed also spent 5 years in the corporate finance group at Moody's Investors Service, providing bond ratings for energy and industrial companies. Ed has an MPA from the University of Wisconsin -Madison, and a BS in Finance from New York University.
Ralph is the Director of Product Development at Mantel. He earned his PhD in nuclear engineering at MIT, where he specialized in computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer analysis of molten salt fluid systems. Before joining Mantel, he worked as an engineer at the nuclear startup TerraPower, and he worked in the research office of The Engine.Ralph also co-founded a nuclear reactor startup which focuses on driving down nuclear plant construction costs.
Professor Robert C. Armstrong directs the MIT Energy Initiative, an Institute-wide effort at MIT linking science, technology, and policy to transform the world’s energy systems. A member of the MIT faculty since 1973, Armstrong served as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1996 to 2007. His research interests include polymer fluid mechanics, rheology of complex materials, and energy.
Armstrong has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2020) and the National Academy of Engineering (2008). He received the Founders Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Chemical Engineering (2020), Warren K. Lewis Award (2006), and the Professional Progress Award (1992), all from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He also received the 2006 Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, which is devoted to the study of the science of deformation and flow of matter,
Armstrong was a member of MIT’s Future of Natural Gas and Future of Solar Energy study groups. He advised the teams that developed MITEI’s most recent reports, The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World (2018) and Insights into Future Mobility (2019), and is co-chairing the new MITEI study, The Future of Storage. He co-edited Game Changers: Energy on the Move with former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
As Vice President New Energy Solutions, Jason Crusan is responsible for deploying technologies that enable successful energy transition. This includes Woodside Energy’s production of hydrogen, ammonia and carbon capture and utilisation leading to low cost, lower emissions energy for customers globally.
Professor Peta Ashworth is UQ Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures and has responsibility for the Master of Sustainable Energy (Management). In 2020, she was appointed as Director of the Andrew N Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership. She is well known for her expertise in the energy field with research focuses on understanding public attitudes to climate change and energy technologies (wind, CCS, solar PV, geothermal) for climate mitigation.
Peta Ashworth brings over thirty years’ experience working in a range of senior management and research roles. Peta is well known for her expertise in the energy field, communication and stakeholder engagement and technology assessment. Peta has been researching public attitudes to climate and energy technologies (wind, CCS, solar PV, geothermal) for the past ten years with a particular focus on CCS. She currently Co-Chairs the Independent Advisory Panel for the Radioactive Waste Management Facility project for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. She has also been Chair of the IEA GHG Social Research Network since its inception in 2009 and has assisted in the coordination of five international research meetings of the network – Paris, Yokohama, Noosa, Calgary and Cambridge (UK). Previously, Peta conceptualised and led the Science into Society Group (SISG) within CSIRO’s Division of Earth Science and Resource Engineering, which specialised in interdisciplinary research at the interface between science and society. Peta has an interest in designing a range of dialogic processes for engaging around complex issues.
Peta co-authored the CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook to help Australian householders save money and reduce their overall energy use, and she has an interest in designing processes for engaging on complex and contested issues with a focus on science and technology innovations. Peta was awarded an EU Horizon 2020 research project - Responsible Research and Innovation Practice (RRI – Practice). The RRI project brings together a unique group of international experts to understand the barriers and drivers to the successful implementation of RRI in global contexts; to promote reflection on organisational structures and cultures of research conducting and research funding organisations; and to identify best practices to facilitate the uptake of RRI in organisations and research programmes.