Past Event

Changing Gears: Driving the Transition to Renewable Energy in Australia, From Solar Cars to Utility-Scale Projects


Wed 24 May 11:30am - 12:30pm


Free, No Booking Required


Community Hall
National Gallery of Victoria, Russell Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia


Accessible bathroom All gender bathroom Assistance animals welcome Seating available

Changing Gears, experts will discuss the changing energy landscape and the critical need to transition to renewables. Together they will explore how to address grid capacity challenges to accommodate distributed energy resources like EVs and how solar cars powered only by the energy of the sun can offer much relief to the distribution grid with the electrification of transportation. These three panelists will also discuss large-scale renewable energy projects and the roadmap to a sustainable future for all including essential partnerships that see university and industry collaboration that is delivering real-world outcomes.

Moderated by: Gemma Savio, NGV Curator of Architecture and Design


Siham Knowles – ACCIONA Energía - General Manager, Technical Services

Siham is an experienced strategic, commercial executive and engineering professional with over 25 years’ experience within the energy industry. Siham is the General Manager of Technical Services at ACCIONA Energía, where she leads a team of engineers to ensure that overall project designs are capable of a feasible grid connection and competitive cost of energy. Siham is passionate about the energy transition and helping to shape a more secure, reliable, affordable, and sustainable future.

David Halliwell - Deakin University - Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Partnerships

David Halliwell is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Partnerships, at Deakin University. David has a passion for education and research, and he derives great satisfaction from helping others to advance their careers and to extend the work of the University into the community. David’s involvement with the ASCEND solar car project has been as Executive Sponsor for Deakin. Since joining Deakin in 2015, David has focussed strongly on connecting the University with industry.

Matt Jennings - Deakin University - Associate Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering School of Engineering

Matt Jennings is a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering, Deakin University. Matt has a background in industry as a manufacturing and process development engineer and has been guiding and supervising the students working on the ASCEND solar car. As the Team Manager on this project, he is continuing the technical guidance for the students and helping to build a strong and passionate team to compete in the World Solar Challenge later this year.

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