Management

Graeme B

Dr Graeme Barnett

Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

Graeme brings more than 30 years’ experience in the area of biomedical and biotechnology business including driving start-ups, strategic partnership negotiation and management, 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 Technology with Panbio Limited, a multinational biotechnology company that listed on the ASX during his tenure, and five years as CEO and co-founder of BioChip Innovations Pty Ltd, a private unlisted biotechnology company. His experience also includes intellectual property and R&D management, business development and marketing in the biomedical and biotechnology sectors.

 

Graeme holds degrees in medical microbiology including a PhD from the University of Newcastle Medical School. Prior to his biotechnology career he held a senior health management position as Scientific Director of Virology at the Hunter Area Pathology Service in Newcastle.

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 Institute of Chartered Secretaries Australia (FCIS), 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.

Professor Peer Schenk

Chief Scientific Officer

Peer is a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Qponics and leads the Algae Biotechnology Group within the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences 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 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. His laboratory at the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences harbours a large collection of local algae strains from tropical and south-east Queensland.

 

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

Mr Geoff Wilson

Consultant, Media & Promotions

Geoff is a co-founder of Qponics and brings 50 years’ knowledge of and experience in the food and agriculture industry to the Company.  During the 1980s he was agribusiness columnist for “The Age” newspaper in Melbourne and was also editor of a number of agribusiness publications.  Prior to this he was a publicity officer for the Australian Wool Board and was public relations manager for the Australian Dairy Board, and its subsidiary, Asia Dairy Industries (Hong Kong) Ltd.

 

Now retired, Geoff remains passionate about issues relating to green roofs, green walls and urban agriculture, and regularly writes articles for publication on these subjects as well as aquaculture, aquaponics and omega-3 essential oils.

Swami

Dr Swaminathan Detchanamurthy

Chief Technical Officer

Swami is both a process chemical engineer and an algae bioprocessing specialist.

Previously, Swami was an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Sriperumbudur, India. He was also a co-founder Director – Technical and part-time Chief Scientific Officer with Seagrass Tech Pvt Ltd in India, a company that produces marine microalgae in outdoor raceway ponds for export to Europe. He was also Scientific Advisor with Alga BioPro, and algae company in Christchurch New Zealand. He also held postdoctoral positions at two United States universities in the field of bioprocessing.

 

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

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