Australian CleanTech delivers its services through a network of employees and associates with specialist skills that are suited to meet the needs of the project. Some of these people are profiled below.
John O'Brien, Managing Director
BA(Oxon), MSc, MBA, GAICD, CPEng, MIEAust
John is the founder and Managing Director of Australian CleanTech and has advised numerous organisations on securing or making cleantech investments. He facilitates the Australian CleanTech Network that provides opportunities for cleantech collaboration and publishes both the Australian Cleantech Index and the annual Australian Cleantech Review.
John spent nine years working in one of Australia’s leading energy companies. After holding project management and operational roles, John spent six years in development roles working on development, strategy and M&A projects. During this time John gained extensive experience developing, analysing, investing in and securing many Cleantech projects. In addition to this industry experience, John has experience and an extensive network of contacts in investment providers in Australia, the UK and North Asia.
Prior to joining the Australian energy industry, John held teaching, oil and gas and consulting engineering roles in the UK, Canada and the Middle East. John is also lectures in Leadership and Entrepreneurship at the University of Adelaide and is a member of the South Australian Premier’s Climate Change Council. He is on the board of cleantech companies involved in wind farm development, biosensors and plastics recycling in China. Previous roles include being on the Board of Renewables SA and as a member of Innovation Australia's Clean Technology Innovation Program Committee.
He has engineering degrees from the University of Oxford and Trinity College, Dublin and an MBA from the University of Adelaide.
Joe Cho, Partner
Joe (Hyunbum) Cho is an experienced investment professional who has worked across venture capital, property, construction, resources and international investment markets in Australia and Korea.
Joe’s background in Korea included an investment analyst for a venture capital company and as a Property Development/ Marketing manager for a major property consulting firm where he conducted feasibility reports for more than $600 Million worth of residential and mixed use development projects.
Joe also worked for one of Korea’s largest construction/development companies, POSCO E&C (a subsidiary of the POSCO Group) where his roles were managing, contracting, negotiating and divesting of commercial properties.
Since moving to Australia in 2006, Joe has worked as an investment consultant for a leading property investment company and founded an international investment and trade consulting company.
Joe’s recent work has included facilitating investments into Australian property, resources and renewable energy projects primarily from Korean investors. He also assisted Australian companies enter the Korean market and Korean companies enter the Australian market. Joe has also published a book in Korea on the Australian Property market.
He lectures in Property Investment at the University of Western Sydney and is doing his PhD on Asia-Pacific Property funds in mixed asset portfolios. Also he is a Certified Investment Advisor for shares, bonds, futures and options in Korea and a Registered Land Agent/Auctioneer (SA) and Building Supervisor (SA) in Australia.
Mr Chris Chong, Associate
BE Hons (Adelaide), FIEAust
Mr Chris (Chow Pang) Chong has more than 40 years of experience in power generation and allied fields beginning with an early career with the National Electricity Board of Malaya, and subsequently in founding one of Malaysia’s leading power generation consulting firms.
In the 1980s, Mr Chong was one of the founders of Tenaga Ewbank Preece Malaysia, which was initially partly owned by the global engineering consultancy, Ewbank Preece. Mr Chong sold his stake in the company in 2001 and the company continues to be a significant player in the Malaysia and Asian energy market under the name KTA Tenaga sdn bhd.
In the early 1990's, Mr Chong was the pioneer of the IPP (Independent Power Producer) Government Policy in Malaysia. He convinced YTL Corporation on the IPP concept and was appointed as the Project Director of the IPP Project, responsible not only for the design and specifications of the Combined Cycle Power Project (CCPP) but also in the team negotiation with the Government and the Bankers and the other parties. Mr Chong then launched the US$1 billion, 1200MW CCPP project in 1993. Mr Chong is still retained by YTL as an advisor.
Based on a proven track record in project management, particularly in spearheading the adoption of new technologies, Chris is able to assemble diverse and highly specialised teams to undertake new initiatives. This is facilitated by an extensive network of international contacts in government, business and education and the ability to communicate effectively in several languages, particularly English and Mandarin.
Kate O'Brien, Business Manager
Kate is an experienced corporate lawyer who has been an integral part of the growth and evolution of Australian CleanTech. She ensures that the business functions run seamlessly and also provides input into the company’s strategy and overall direction. She also manages the accounting and legal operations of the business.
Previously, Kate worked for top law firms both in London and Adelaide and has provided case preparation advice to barristers for cases in courts in all jurisdictions. Her areas of specialty include:
Kate now applies this knowledge and experience to ensure that Australian CleanTech, its partners and its clients all build strong lasting relationships that create value for all involved.
Kate holds a law degree from the University of Oxford and is a registered legal practitioner with the Law Society of South Australia.
Katie Xiong, Associate
Katie (Qi) Xiong is a project manager with extensive international experience gained with one of China’s leading energy companies. She has strengths in understanding issues, creating solutions and then managing and delivering the project implementation.
Katie previously worked for China Southern Power Grid, which is ranked 227 in the Fortune Global 500. Her responsibilities included bidding for international power plant projects and included investigation and analysis of international electricity markets, construction and operations cost estimation, strategy development and implementation, public relations and document preparation.
Katie worked on more than 3,600 MW of power plant projects in countries such as Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Oman, Tanzania, Yemen and Macao. For these projects she managed contractors such as Alstom Power, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shanghai Electronic Power Generation Group and the Harbin Electronic Power Generation Group.
Katie is now leading Australian CleanTech’s engagement with clients in China. This work has included work with wind, solar and construction companies as well as assisting individual and corporate investors to assess cleantech opportunities in Australia.
She has Bachelor Degree in North China Electric Power University (Beijing) and Master of Accounting and Finance in the University of Adelaide.
Ian Jamieson, Associate
BA (Acc), CA, FFinsia
Ian is a Director of Spurling Jamieson Corporate Pty Ltd, with skills and experience in the areas of Transactions, Business Planning and Projects.
He has led teams for the acquisition or divestment of companies in the rail, water and renewable energy sectors. The acquisitions have involved the negotiation of complex project finance and joint venture arrangements.
Ian has assisted companies in strategy development and business planning which has included a significant element of change management to create sustainable competitive advantage.
He has also taken a leading role in a start up renewable energy project and his skills in project financing and structuring have been applied to favourably position a number of other projects for evaluation by investors and financiers.