When's it on?
11-13 September 2019
Mark Pesce is a futurist, inventor, writer, entrepreneur, educator and podcaster.
In 1994 Pesce co-invented VRML, a 3D interface to the Web.
Pesce was a judge on the ABC’s hit series The New Inventors, celebrating Australia’s newest inventions, and writes an award-winning column for the global tech publication The Register.
Pesce brings his skills as a futurist to diverse sectors of the economy, including financial institutions ranging from Westpac, World Bank, HSBC and SWIFT, and regularly facilitates and mentors hackathons on topics as diverse as fintech, blockchain, virtual reality, and education.
Pesce hosts two podcasts: This Week in Startups Australia – exploring tech startups; and The Next Billion Seconds – winner of the Best Technical and Scientific Podcast of 2018 – connecting the work of today’s brightest thinkers with the world of tomorrow.
Pesce has written six books, including The Playful World, which used toys such as Furby and LEGO Mindstorms to illuminate the interactive world of the 21st century.
Pesce founded graduate programs at both the University of Southern California and the Australian Film, Radio and Television School, holding appointments as Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, and Honorary Adjunct at UTS.
Mr Mark Pesce appears by arrangement with Claxton Speakers International.
General President, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada
In August 2016, Mark McManus was unanimously elected General President of the United Association (UA) at the UA’s 39th General Convention and on November 10, 2016, he assumed his new position. General President McManus represents over 350,000 union Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler Fitters, Welders and HVAC Service Technicians across the United States and Canada. These members are engaged in the construction, service and maintenance of projects of every size and scope in North America.
Mark began his career with the UA in 1983 when he was initiated into Plumbers Local 24 in Newark, New Jersey. Early in his career, Mark served as Chairman of the Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers for the State of New Jersey, a position he held for 10 years. After working as a journeyman plumber, Mark was called to lead his local union and served at the highest level for over a decade before being tapped for higher office within the UA. Over the following years, Mark was elected to successively more responsible positions at the international level, culminating in his leadership as General President.
As General President Mark McManus is responsible for supervising the day-to-day affairs of the United Association and for decisions concerning internal union governance, as well as rendering decisions and adjusting disputes and other matters affecting the organization. Within the UA, he is the Chairman of the General Executive Board, the Strategic Planning Committee and is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees on multiple UA Pension Funds. Mark McManus supervises the development and implementation of all major policies and programs of the United Association including the industry leading UA Veterans in Piping®(VIP) Program. He is also the public face and voice of the UA on political and industry matters.
Mark and the UA are extremely active in all aspects of the political world—national, state and local—in a bipartisan manner. He has also challenged his fellow officers to work towards the betterment of UA members and the general public through various initiatives, from fire safety to green energy to water quality.
Mark McManus has had a distinguished career in support of our nation’s hard-working men and women and is unwavering in his commitment to a strong and mutually beneficial partnership between labor and management.
Vanessa Robinson is the Executive Director and Secretary of the Chase and Tyler Foundation
Vanessa Robinson established the Chase and Tyler Foundation in 2011 after her sons, Chase
8 and Tyler 6, died from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in 2010. An unserviced
gas heater spilled deadly carbon monoxide into their Victorian rental home, killing Chase and
Tyler and hospitalising Vanessa with acute carbon monoxide poisoning for near two months,
where she now suffers permeant disabilities.
The accident highlighted a lack of knowledge about gas and fuel-burning appliance safety and
carbon monoxide poisoning by not only the Australian community but also within government,
energy and related industries.
Vanessa founded the Chase and Tyler Foundation in 2011, which is dedicated to the
preventing death, injury and illness from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning through
awareness, education, support services, advocacy and research.
Her responsibilities include the day-to-day management of the Chase and Tyler Foundation,
as well as governance decisions relating to the organisation.
Since the initiation of the foundation, Vanessa has lobbied the government for safer gas
reforms and has also appeared in numerous consumer and professional training videos
relating to gas and fuel-burning appliance safety and media training for journalists. She also
spearheaded Australia’s carbon monoxide awareness week, which is a national event held
She is consistently sought after by media for commentary on issues pertaining to carbon
monoxide poisoning incidents across Australia and has been the subject in many print media,
talkback radio and television interviews.
Vanessa is extremely passionate about the plumbing and gas industry, specifically in helping
to promote compliance, safety, education and continuing professional development, which
ensures a safer Australian community.
MC & KEYNOTE
Rob is a coastal geomorphologist by training; Rob taught Environmental Science and Physical Geography at Melbourne State College and Melbourne University, then for thirty-one years presented television weather.
Rob has extensive experience in environmental communications and marketing, business strategy and sustainable development project design responding to the need for business to be informed about new issues and actively develop new development plans and programs to ensure an understanding of changing markets, the emerging green economy and the need for a positive and accountable contribution on behalf of shareholders and stakeholders alike and sustainability strategy development. Rob is a Director of ReThink Sustainability Pty Ltd and water tank supply company GreenCo Water Pty Ltd. He is also a published author and a photographer.
Rob is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an Inaugural Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand and a member of the council of the Royal Society of Victoria. He was a member of the Victorian Coastal Council for seventeen years and was Environment Ambassador to the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Rob has been a local government councillor and was a councillor of the Australian Conservation Foundation through the 1990s. He was a director of Greening Australia for thirteen years, seven years as Victorian President and three years as national President concluding in 2011 and Chairman of the Mornington Peninsula and Westernport Biosphere (UNESCO) Reserve Foundation Ltd for ten years until 2014 and President of Wildlife Victoria.
He is also the Patron of the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria, Wildlife Victoria, and Life Education Victoria. He is a Life Ambassador for Australia Day.
On Australia Day 2014 Rob was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to conservation, to the protection of coastal and marine environments, and to the community.
Dr Steve Cummings
Dr Steve Cummings is the Director Innovation at GWA Bathrooms and Kitchens. Since 1980 he has been involved with the research and development of innovative sustainable bathroom and kitchen products, with a long-standing commitment to water conservation and related advanced drainage research internationally. Following his development of the Viceroy Cistern, the first vitreous china two button dual flush cistern he was responsible for technologies that progressively reduced flush volumes leading the 4.5/3L Smartflush technology released in 2004. The 4.5/3L system is the current industry standard flush volume flush volume used across Australia, that is saving the nation of around 300GLs of water annually.
More recently he was responsible for Caroma Smart Command that is a unique Eco-System of IoT bathroom products that are monitored and controlled at varying levels via data connectivity to Caroma’s cloud-based services. This advanced capacity provides significant opportunities for reductions in commercial building water usage.
Steve was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2012 and is a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia. He is a member of the Australian Plumbing Code Committee, American Society of Mechanical Engineers - ASME A112 CSA technical committees and is chair of number of AS/NZS standard committees including WS/3 – Sanitary plumbing fixtures, WS/ 32 AS/NZS 6400 – Water efficient products – Rating and labelling. He is also chair of the Water efficiency labeling and standards advisory group – WELSAG and is the chair of ISO/PC 316 Water Efficient Products.
In 2001, he successfully completed a Doctor of Environmental Design in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Canberra, Australia. Steve is an expert in his field in the development of water efficient bathroom products and effective drainage systems and has by invitation advised overseas governments on water efficiency. He has produced several scientific refereed journal and conference papers in his field some of which have been presented and published internationally.
He is committed to producing innovative, creative solutions that will save water and improve the lives of all Australians, particularly those with disabilities. Steve collaborates in Australia and internationally with universities, industry experts, governments and standards representatives.
Pete DeMarco is the Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Research for the IAPMO Group. His responsibilities include oversight of IAPMO’s government relations department, water efficiency and green building initiatives, standards development activities, domestic and international plumbing programs, industry outreach programs and development of research projects relating to water efficiency.
Pete is the founder of the Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC), an organization dedicated to conducting research pertaining to plumbing systems in consideration of the emerging trends towards lower water consuming plumbing fixtures and appliances. He has acted as lead facilitator for the American National Standards Institute’s Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative.
Notably, Pete also co-chaired the Steering Committee for Water Efficient Products which helped to foster the development of the US EPA WaterSense®program. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and previously served on the Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee for the Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).
Allan Dumalay is a civil engineer, a master plumber, and a “water and sanitation” enthusiast. He is a Rotarian proudly bearing the classification “Master Plumber”. As a WPC Individual member, he contributed an article on the July 2018 World Plumbing Council Newsletter Review entitled: “PHILIPPINES: Boracay, a Paradise or a Cesspool?”.
Allan is currently a Board of Director of the National Master Plumbers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (NAMPAP, Inc.). Founded in 1935, the organization’s forefathers have initiated the formulation of the National Plumbing Code of the Philippines and assisted in the passage of the law creating the “National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA)”.
With a compelling courage and outlook of continuing the forefathers’ works for development of the profession, organization, and the country, have supported viable resolutions with the aim and view of furthering the purposes of the organization. One great achievement of the NAMPAP, Inc. was being a Full Member of the World Plumbing Council that gives the organization multiple views of the importance of plumbing in the whole world, thus empowering plumbing professionals to progress.
Allan is full member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and e-member of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), He was able to share contemporary plumbing knowledge to NAMPAP, Inc. members acquiring Continuing Professional Development – requirements for professional license renewal through seminars and conferences as a technical speaker.
As a Rotary International – Local Club active Rotarian and member of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG) and Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group (ESRAG), he intends to coordinate with plumbing professional associations and trade schools, emphasizing the required education, training, and skills of youths in preparing them for a plumbing career that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared as the most important front-line health workers around the globe.
Being a retainer – technical consultant of various construction and developer companies, he contributed in plumbing systems planning and design of hotels and resorts projects, recently the Water Worlds (amusement facilities). He believes that good plumbing systems design, materials specification, installation and testing procedures, maintenance and fault or failure mitigation should and must adhere to the World Plumbing Council: Frameworks of Plumbing Industry Categories – Participation – Practices – Products – Protection: that is within the very boundaries of good plumbing for sustainable development to be attainable.
Robert Funston started his career in horticulture, before moving into plumbing, running his own medium sized plumbing business for fifteen years, focusing on new homes and renovations, maintenance on larger commercial buildings and hot water service repairs. Robert then transitioned into maintenance of larger buildings and facilities management.
Robert Funston has been employed by Chisholm for the past 13 years as a Plumbing teacher, teaching Cert III and Cert IV plumbing, and for the last five years has been employed as Senior Educator in Plumbing. Robert has maintained strong industry links with local water Authorities particularly South East water and assisted in writing training resources and providing plumbing training to practicing plumbers in trade waste and drainage.
In recent years Robert studied as a Fellow of International Specialised Skills Institute studying Decentralised water and sanitary in urban areas poorer countries at UNESCO IHE, Institute or Water. in Delpht, Netherlands. Robert completed a report for this fellowship.’ Improving Plumbing training in Australia considering the Implication on Public Health.
Dr Carol Grossman
Carol Grossman is Acting Assistant Secretary of the National Water Policy Branch in the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and has held this role since late 2018. Prior to that she was Director of Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) program for 2 ½ years.
Under her guidance the WELS program has adopted a much stronger compliance stance and established systems to use its legislated powers consistently and transparently. They have improved communication tools for industry and strengthened relationships with industry groups, state and territory building and plumbing regulators, and the Australian Building Codes Board office. They have also led work towards an ISO international standard for water efficiency labelling, with 13 countries now participating in developing the ISO standard.
Before managing WELS, Dr Grossman worked in a number of Australian government departments on matters relating to water resources, land management and climate change. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and worked as a researcher at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and a lecturer at the Canberra Institute of Technology before joining the Australian Public Service in 2007.
David Harper is one of the leading experts in the field of Legionella, waterborne contamination prevention and emergency response. David provides the engineering expertise to a medical team which investigates via epidemiology methods. When the problem is identified, it is David’s job to “Engineer the problem out”.
David was part of the investigating teams of the PHE and the H.S.E. in the U.K. at the B.B.C., Stafford Hospital, Glasgow, London, Scotland, North and Southern Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Australia, on board ships, Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, Cruise Liners, Submarines, gas and oil platforms, and has carried out investigations in many other countries throughout the world.
He is a qualified electrician and qualified in healthcare engineering and estate management, a fellow of the Water Management Society, a member of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and an honorary fellow of the Society of Public Health Engineers.
David has published many articles on Legionella and other waterborne disease. He is registered as an Expert Witness, has been awarded the IHEEM lifetime achievement award for work with waterborne diseases and a medal from the Portuguese government for service in the holiday industry concerning Legionella prevention.
David is known as the leading authority on Legionnaires’ disease, not only in the U.K. but also abroad and is called upon to help with investigations in various parts of the world. David has also been made a Freeman of the City of London and a Livery Man of The City London by The Worshipful Company of Plumbers.
Prof. Lynne Jack
Professor Lynne Jack is Director of Research at Heriot-Watt University’s Malaysia campus. Before moving to Malaysia in 2017, Lynne worked for 24 years at Heriot Watt’s Edinburgh campus, and was a key member of staff supporting the delivery of Building Services Engineering and Architectural Engineering programmes. Her research focuses on modelling the flow characteristics in vertical drainage stacks and in building roof drainage systems; as well as on predicting simultaneous design flow for water distribution networks in buildings. In 2015, Lynne was nominated to the role of Chair of the Scientific Committee of the CIB W62 Working Group; an international research organisation addressing Water Supply and Drainage for Buildings.
Lynne is also President of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers; and the Institution’s first female President. As part of her contribution to the Institution, she served on the CIBSE Scotland committee, was Chair of CIBSE’s Accreditation Panel from 2014 to 2017 and is currently vice-Chair of CIBSE’s Education, Training and Membership Committee. She is co-founder of both the Scottish region of SoPHE (Society of Public Health Engineers) and the CIBSE Inclusivity Panel.
Dr Markus Lenger
Dr. Markus Lenger is CEO and Co-founder of CleanBlu Corporation, which is dedicated to inspiring an environmental revolution in wastewater management.
Markus holds a Doctorate in High Energy Physics and during his 30-year career in wastewater has developed, patented and marketed the CleanBlu FOG-DS, an at-source, in-situ FOG Disposal System.
More recently, Markus has designed and developed water reuse control and building management systems, integrating IoT software and custom PC boards, all while establishing a full in-house production and manufacturing facility in Orange County, CA.
Ryan Milne is the founder and a Principal Consultant of Ecosafe International which is a specialist consultancy focusing on the interface between water and health. Ryan has a Master’s degree in science and extensive local, as well as international, experience within the Water Risk Management sector spanning heath & aged care, mining, oil and gas, remote sites, government and commercial facilities. Ryan has a particular focus on the holistic, practical and effective management of on-site potable, recycled, waste and process water systems. Ryan is an accredited Lead Drinking Water Auditor. Ryan has a passion for innovation and working smarter to achieve better water risk management outcomes.
Martin Sawyers has been Chief Executive of the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board, the independent regulator for those trades in New Zealand, since September 2015. Martin is a lawyer and spent 18 years in private practice before moving to the public sector in 2009. He has held extensive governance roles in both the public and private sectors. In recent years Martin has mainly worked in the area of regulation and is a strong advocate for a pragmatic and solutions focused approach to that discipline.
During his time with the Board Martin has led the introduction of mandatory Continuing Professional Development and a number of competency initiatives, including electronic examinations and oral competency assessments for those with literacy difficulties. He has also led a project targeting restricted work being performed by those unqualified to carry that work out. This has involved the use of mobile phone apps, targeted enforcement and a highly successful public awareness campaign that incorporates a diverse cultural audience.
Christoph Schaer has been working for suissetec since 2008. During this time he was head of the technology and business administration department before becoming deputy director in 2015.
As an electrician with federal certificate of competence he knows the building technology area very well and from bottom up. He later studied as an engineer in information technology & telecommunications and also in economics. Several years of experience in different management functions rounds off his career profile.
Christoph Schaer is 49 years old and lives with his wife in Oensingen SO (Switzerland).
He will succeed the operational management of the association as director from Hans-Peter Kaufmann, who has been in charge of the building technology association for a long time and will retire after 13 successful years in June 2019.
Prof. Armando Silva Afonso
Armando Silva Afonso holds a PhD in Civil Engineering (Hydraulic, Hydric Resources & Environment) from the Oporto University (Portugal) and he is a retired Full Professor at the University of Aveiro (Portugal), Department of Civil Engineering.
His specializations are building hydraulics and water efficiency in buildings, and he is founder and current President of the Board of ANQIP – Portuguese Association for Quality in Building Installations. He is also Founding Member of APRH – Portuguese Association of Water Resources and former regional President of this association.
He is Counsellor Member of the Portuguese Engineers’ Association (OEP), since 2008, Expert in Sanitary Engineering by the same Association, since 2002, and also President of the Board of Directors of the Centre Region of the OEP, since May 2016,
Expert of the European Commission (Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies) under the Working Group “Resource Efficient Buildings – study to Develop a common EU Framework of building environmental performance indicators”, since 2016, and also Expert of the European Commission (Directorate-General Environment), in the field of Water Efficiency in Buildings (2011). He was also invited Expert to the preparation of the “Blueprint for Safeguarding Europe’s Water” (European Commission) (2011/2012).
He is member of the IWA – International Water Association (Specialist Groups in Nutrient Removal and Recovery, Water Reuse, Rainwater Harvesting and Management and Efficient Urban Water Management), since 2014, member of Working Group W062 – Water Supply and Drainage for Buildings, from CIB – International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, since 2008, and member of Scientific Commissions of several International Symposium’s and Congress’s worldwide.
As Consulting Engineer, he as professional experience in several countries, like Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau; Ghana and Equatorial Guinea.
Invited Member of the Portuguese Safety Association, for the transposition of European standards for Portugal in the area of Fire Safety, with intervention in Subcommittees of fire-fighting equipment and manuals, fixed water-extinguishing systems, safety signs and fire safety terminology in buildings, since 2015.
He coordinates the Review Committee of the Portuguese General Regulation on water supply and drainage in buildings, since 2013. He is also invited member of the National Civil Protection Authority for the revision of the Portuguese Technical Notes and Regulations for dry and wet networks in buildings and automatic systems for fire-fighting by water in buildings.
Lea is a strategic thinker and leader in the South African Plumbing sector. While very much a big picture thinker, he is pragmatic when it comes to the implementation of strategies in the industry. He has worked with many industry stakeholders from national and international government agencies, colleagues, parastatals, local authorities to the all-important plumber on the ground, in making a difference to the South African plumbing sector. While his formal education includes a degree in Construction Management and Plumbing qualification, his real-life learning and experience has come from his various business activities and undertakings (failures and successes).
Instead of shouting from the side lines, Lea has given back to the industry by serving the Institute of Plumbing of South African (IOPSA) for the past 25 years as a volunteer. The real start of the journey has been over the past 5 years, where Lea has assisted in guiding the IOPSA team and the South African Plumbing sector onto a path that is bringing back the status of the Plumber to the South African community.
Lea was instrumental in the establishment and formation of the official South African Professional Body for Plumbers. With its objectives including the registration of the South African plumbing community, auditing and compliance of a plumbers work, to continuous professional development of plumbers, the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB), who work closely with IOPSA, strive to develop a proud and professional plumbing industry within South Africa. Lea is currently Chairman of the PIRB and is instrumental in guiding a great national team on a day to day basis.
While very humble in his approach, Lea is adamant that it is not the title that makes a person, but the person that makes a title. He has not only served as the President of the Master Builders Association on more than one occasion, but holds positions on various boards relating to the Built environment. He is currently advising and guiding other trade organisations that wish to follow the successful model of the PIRB.
When not giving back, Lea enjoys spending time with his family. Married to Robyn for over 23 years, they have three children aged 18, 20 and 21. While never sitting still, in his down time Lea’s enjoys thinking up and researching new ideas and concepts. And between that he enjoys fight club…………….but as he says “You cannot talk about fight club!’
His favourite quote is, “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbour he is making for, no wind is the right wind”
Grant is the manager of international projects at IAPMO as well as being the past Chief Expert for Plumbing for WorldSkills International. Grant has held many roles within WorldSkills International and WorldSkills Australia since competing at WorldSkills competition in 1997.
Grant worked as an apprentice plumber in NSW when he was invited to work on a project in Zimbabwe, building classrooms, toilets and furniture in the late 90’s. This experience saw Grant develop a strong interest in water and sanitation projects and the sharing of practical plumbing skills in developing regions around the world. Grant has worked with the World Plumbing Council, Healthabitat, RMIT and the WorldSkills foundation on many projects including Sanitation Studios in Nepal and the Community Plumbing Challenge in India, South Africa, Indonesia and the USA.
Grant has worked as a plumber and plumbing teacher for many years in various regions around the world and back home in Australia.
Jane Stokie FSDF
Commencing her career as an Apprentice Compositor in 1984, Jane Stokie moved into Graphic Design with an Advertising Agency in 1988. Following the birth of her two children she moved to Shepparton in 1993 where she took up the position of Production Manager at the local newspaper for 15 years.
With the vision to further herself, Jane completed an Associate Degree in Graphic Technology at RMIT University in 2005, giving her the confidence to accept the international role of Director of Skills Competitions for WorldSkills. Jane is responsible for Competition technical aspects, test projects, Skill Management Plans, Competition Rules updates, Expert and Technical Delegate professional development and Audits of WorldSkills Standards Specifications in consultation with industry. Ten years later she is still enjoying the challenges and diversity of such a job.
Jane’s involvement with WorldSkills spans more than 30 years, having competed in the Melbourne regional competition in the Graphic Design category in 1986, winning her way to represent Australia at the international competition in 1988. Since then she has been an active volunteer for the WorldSkills movement as a project designer and judge at national and international level including proudly wearing the cap of Chief Expert at the international event on two occasions.
Phil started investigating piping failures in 2012 when he was initially focussed on a German-engineered polypropylene random copolymer (‘PP-R’) piping system that had been used successfully in Europe for more than 20 years but was showing signs of failure in Australian buildings.
His research has now expanded to all types of piping materials given the failures are no longer limited to PP-R and the time period from installation to failure is rapidly reducing. From data recordings of fluid dynamics collected from approximately 80 buildings over a six-year period, Phil has been able to identify many behaviours in and from the plumbing systems that have contributed to piping failures of all materials. The problems that lead to pipe failure are complex only because of the multiple factors that frequently occur in the system simultaneously. Sometimes, there has been as many as 10 issues working simultaneously in a system which has led its failure.
Phil is often engaged by major plumbing manufacturers to investigate the operational performance of a building system in relation to material or equipment failures. He is also sought out to act as an expert witness in material failure lawsuits, where he is supported by a team of polymer scientists and leading corrosion experts. The research and findings that Phil has made are now being recognised worldwide and he continues to encourage industry leaders to help educate and correct the current issues facing the plumbing industry.
Phil is a licenced plumber and an Associate of the Australian Hydraulic Service Consultant Association (AHSCA), the Institute of Plumbing Australia and a former Queensland TAFE lecturer and course developer for the Diploma of Hydraulic Services (2014).