Graeme B

Dr Graeme Barnett

Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

Graeme is a co-founder of Qponics who brings more than 30 years’ experience in positions of leadership in biomedical and biotechnology business including strategic planning, partnership management, overseeing financial and quality management, and researching, developing, and bringing new health-related products to market.


Prior to founding Qponics Limited he served more than five years as Vice President for R&D and New Technologies with Panbio Limited, a multinational diagnostic biotechnology company that completed a successful IPO during his tenure, and five years as CEO, Managing Director, and co-founder of BioChip Innovations Pty Ltd, a private unlisted molecular diagnostics biotechnology company that developed and patented a novel PCR test platform. His experience also includes medical microbiology and virology, intellectual property management, business development and marketing planning in the biomedical and biotechnology sectors. Graeme is therefore competent in overseeing all scientific and business aspects of Qponics’ operations.


Graeme holds degrees in medical microbiology including a PhD from the University of Newcastle faculty of Medicine (Australia), (now integrated into the College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing) and an MSc, Dip. Sci and BSc from the University of Otago (New Zealand). Prior to his biotechnology career he held a senior health management and research position as Scientific Director of Virology at the Hunter Area Pathology Service in Newcastle, New South Wales (now part of NSW Health Pathology).

Mr Peter Wetzig

Director, Chief Financial Officer, Company Secretary & Corporate Counsel

Peter holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Univ of Qld), Postgraduate Diploma of Corporate Management (ICSA), is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (FCA), Governance Institute of Australia (FGIA), and of Chartered Governance Institute [UK], formerly Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, (FCG), and he is admitted as a Barrister, Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia.


Peter brings more than 30 years’ experience as a corporate and financial executive using his corporate governance, financial management and legal skills within the high technology and manufacturing sectors including ASX- and NASDAQ-listed public companies.


Peter has led a number of boards of directors of Australian companies, many start ups in the emerging and developing technology field, to embrace and implement a best practice corporate governance structure and culture to provide a platform where shareholder value can be unlocked and safeguarded.


Since 2003 he has provided professional services and advice as a governance and board consultant, through his consulting identity, GovernanceCulture™. Prior to 2003 he held executive positions including General Manager – Commercial of Metal Storm Limited, Company Secretary, Queensland Rail, and prior to that, he held a number of executive positions in financial and later company secretarial roles, with Pauls Limited (at that time a top 20 ASX listed Queensland company) over a 17 year period.


Dr Peer Schenk

Scientific Advisor

Peer is a co-founder and Scientific Adviser to Qponics and until recently was full Professor and leader of the Algae Biotechnology Group within the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences (now the School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability) in the Faculty of Science at the University of Queensland.  Peer is internationally recognised for his expertise in plant biotechnology, including the development of new disease resistant plants and his extensive knowledge of algae cultivation and harvesting. Peer and his team opened the Algae Energy Farm at Pinjarra Hills at the University of Queensland in 2014, a prototype demonstration farm that deploys new cost-saving technologies to produce food, feed, nutraceuticals or biodiesel from microalgae. This pilot farm recently completed a significant upgrade, converting it to a small-scale commercial algae farm with the assistance of Qponics’ $1 million Cooperative Research Centres Project grant. Peer is the conservator of a large collection of local microalgae strains from tropical and south-east Queensland.


Peer holds a PhD in microbiology, botany and plant pathology from the Georg August University Göttingen, Germany.

Swami New

Dr Swaminathan Detchanamurthy

Director and Chief Technical Officer

Swami is both a process chemical engineer and an algae bioprocessing specialist, and provides scientific and technical advice to the Board as a Director and as honorary Chief Technical Officer.


Swami is presently president and co-founding Director of Seagrass Tech Private Limited in India, and Seagrass Technologies Australia Pty Ltd in Australia. These companies design, optimise and install raceway ponds for microalgae farms. He is also Lead Research Scientist with an Australian company developing strategic plans for production of biofuels from microalgae.


Previously, Swami was Senior Scientist at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, leading research into microalgae cultivation, harvesting and processing at lab and pilot-farm scale, working closely with Qponics.


Prior to emigrating to Australia, Swami was an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Sriperumbudur, India. He was also Scientific Advisor with Alga BioPro, and algae company in Christchurch New Zealand. He has also held postdoctoral positions at the University of Mississippi and the University of Florida in the United States in the field of bioprocessing.


Swami holds a B.Tech in chemical engineering, and an M.Tech in industrial biotechnology from Indian universities, and a PhD in chemical and process engineering from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand). He also holds a Diploma in Materials Management and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Petroleum Exploration.

Dylan Kreis

Mr Dylan Kreis

Algae Farm Manager

Dylan is a chemical engineer who has worked previously with Simplot Australia, leading continuous improvement processes in the food industry and served at Arnott’s biscuits as a chemical engineer intern.


For the past four years Dylan has been a process engineer at UQ, working closely with Professor Peer Schenk and his team at the Algae Biotechnology Group to design, build and operate the upgraded algae farm in Brisbane, funded by Qponics and its CRC-P grant. His process improvement experience in the Australian food processing industry, has led to savings in energy use and financial costs, improvements to quality through design modifications, parameter changes, and process flow analysis, are all being productively applied at Qponics.


Dylan holds a B. Chemical Engineering from the University of Queensland, and a B. Arts Information Systems from Australian catholic University.


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