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Symposium Speakers

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Keynote Speakers

Alicia Aitken

Dr Alicia Aitken

General Manager Strategy Delivery & Governance
ANZ

Alicia is the GM Strategy Delivery & Governance, leading the ANZ Investment Management, Delivery Excellence, Value Assurance and Enterprise Risk Management functions.

Prior to her role at ANZ Alicia held the position of Chief Project Officer for Telstra, where she led the organisation's journey to establish project management as a stand-alone capability separate from IT, business and engineering skills.

Alicia spent several years as CEO, Human Systems International acquired by the Project Management Institute. Her experience ranges through several industries including Telecommunications, Banking & Finance, Defence & Aerospace, Pharmaceutical, Engineering & Construction, Mining, Oil & Gas and Government.

Alicia is the chairperson for the International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM). She is an advisory board member for the Office of Projects Victoria as well Astrolabe, Pioneera and Cloudfloat. She holds a PhD in project management and psychology with a particular focus on how project managers cope with stress and a bachelor of business.

Melissa Cyrulik

Ms Melissa Cyrulik

Product Manager - Software Products and Services Group
Tecolote Research, Inc.

Melissa Cyrulik is a Product Manager with the Software Products and Services Group at Tecolote Research, Inc. She is responsible for managing the software development, support, and training programs for ACEIT and the U.S. Army's Cost Research Hub. She is a cost analyst with over 25 years of experience supporting a wide range of offices and programs throughout the US defense and civilian federal government. She has specialized expertise in cost research, uncertainty analysis, and in teaching cost analysis topics. She holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts, and lives and works in the Washington D.C. metro area.

Naomi Mathers

Dr Naomi Mathers

Aerospace Engineer

Dr Naomi Mathers is an Aerospace Engineer with broad experience across government, industry, academia and defence. She has contributed to the establishment of two key Australian space facilities, the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (Australia's national space environmental test facility) and the Victorian Space Science Education Centre (Australia's first dedicated space education facility) and supported the growth of the Australian space industry through various board positions, including the Space Industry Association of Australia, the International Space Education Board, and the Australian Government Space Industry Innovation Council.

Sirish Parekh

Mr Sirish Parekh

Steve Wake

Mr Steve Wake

Chairman of the Management Standards Committee
British Standards Institution

Steve is at the forefront of the development of national and international standards in Project Controls and Management. A genuine thought-leader. A super-connector. He gets things done.
He is a Chairman of the Management Standards committee of the British Standards Institution responsible for Project Programme and Portfolios. Currently progressing Project Controls and Benefits Management.

He is an internationally acknowledged expert on Earned Value Project Management. Most recently on the newly published ISO standards for EVM and WBS. Currently working on an ISO EVM Implementation Guide.

Steve works with government, national and international bodies and academia as a subject matter expert as well as on matters of governance. Also was one of the authors of Agile Portfolios with ABC. With his Guild of Educators hat on he is working with OECD and the City of London to introduce Fusion Skills internationally to children aged 7-70+

He is currently helping Responsible Project Management come into being - a more ethical conscientious approach to the benefits and impacts of projects. He is championing Circular Economies and Sustainability to combat Climate Change.

Steve has worked in the automotive, print aerospace, defence, insurance and I.T., industries as a project manager and consultant He was Chairman and led the Association for Project Management to their award of Royal Charter.

He is Chief examiner for EVM and Planning with APMG. He curates and chairs his own highly regarded EVA conferences. Now in its 26h year. Also curates the PMI UK's major Synergy event now in its 10th year.

Steve is a visiting lecturer at Warwick WMG, Cranfield University and University College London as well as the Moscow School of Economics.

He has a Master of Arts in Manpower specialising in the sociology and psychology of organisations.

Steve's life-long passion for all kinds of music is almost matched by his continued appreciation of silence.

Invited Speakers

Gordon Kranz

Mr Gordon Kranz

President
Enlightened Integrated Program Management, LLC

Mr. Kranz is a research fellow supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense with research related to improving the Department's acquisition management policies and practices. He is a board member of the College of Performance Management, a non-profit organization serving performance management professionals. As the President of Enlightened IPM, he provides government agencies and contractors advice and guidance on performing disciplined, integrated program management on Agile programs. Before his current position, Mr. Kranz was the Deputy Director of OSD/AT&L/PARCA for Earned Value Management and provided policy and guidance to the US military acquisition enterprise. Mr. Kranz spent 16 years as chief engineer and program manager at General Dynamics C4 Systems and 11 years in the Air Force as a technical manager on tactical communications systems, strategic communications systems, and the F-22 program. He has an MS EE from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a BS in EE from North Dakota State University.

Phil Rokic

Mr Phil Rokic

COO
The Aquaculture Group

Phil Rokic is a professional engineer and program manager with qualifications in Mechatronics engineering (Hons) and Computer science (University of Melbourne), Dipl. Of Marine Engineering Management (UNSW) and an MBA in Finance (AIB). Phil has 20 years of experience working with Defence both in uniform and as a management consultant, as a project manager in a COAG reform delivering wide-reaching regulatory reform in the commercial maritime sector and supporting a range of Federal Government departments based in Canberra. Phil is trying to get his kids to enjoy Lego so he can enjoy it again also, he has also been scuba diving for 20 years, both recreationally and professionally in the Cook Islands and in the RAN. Phil has recently branched out into a COO role with a Singaporean aquaculture start-up focussed on environmental benefits, and during COVID lockdown in 2021, started up his own entity to provide greater independence during the second half of his career.

Mick Spears

Mr Mick Spears

Founder and Principal
The Leadership Project

Mick Spears is the founder and principal of The Leadership Project. He is an experienced executive with a strong track record in the development of exceptional high performance teams.

Mick strongly believes that his success in business and life has been through the development and support of the people, teams and leaders around him.

He strongly values diversity of thought and encourages engagement and active participation from people from diverse backgrounds on all topics.

Nitin Thakur

Dr Nitin Thakur

Principal Consultant
Providence Consulting Group

Dr Nitin Thakur has been with Providence Consulting Group as a Principal Consultant for five years. His current role in Defence is that of a Strategic Adviser across Force Design and Force Integration Divisions. Prior to joining Providence, for almost twenty years in Defence, Nitin was involved in strategic analyses and force structure review activities. He was part of the First Principles Review team that designed and operationalised the Force Design function in Defence. His educational training, with post-doctoral experience, is in Nuclear Physics, and he has completed the Defence Strategic Studies Course at the Australian War College.

James Bancroft

Mr James Bancroft

Owner - Hyperion Group Australia, Delivery Lead, Land - Freebody Cogent

James has served time in the RAAF, the Defence APS, as a Senior Manager at a major Defence supplier and has spent the last 5 years as a senior consultant to Defence. He has 15 years' experience as a senior cost analyst in Defence, working on several complex major programs including AIR7000, LAND400, LAND200, Collins Class Submarine, CIOG's HKM and as a Project Director on the 2014 Force Structure Plan Investment Review amongst many other roles. James' work in the cost analysis field has led to multiple DMO CEO Commendations and CASG Gold Service Awards. With tertiary education spanning Engineering, Integrated Logistics Support, Finance and Project Management he is well placed to manage and understand the important linkages between capability life cycle and cost estimation.

Pyrros Radimissis

Mr Pyrros Radimissis

Cost Capability Analysis Manager
Management Resource Consulting

Pyrros is a certified manager of complex engineering programs and subject matter expert in costing capability for Major Defence Projects. He has over 10 years experience dealing with complex problems through undertaking a breadth of roles below and above-the-line across Defence, Mining and Metals, Buildings, Critical Infrastructure and Commercial Enterprises. His cross-disciplinary skillset, spanning across systems engineering, project management, asset management, test and evaluation, provides Pyrros with a unique disposition to perform abstraction of the 'Whole-of-Capability-Lifecycle' problem space.

Shankar Sankaran

Shankar Sankaran

Professor of Organizational Project Management
University of Technology Sydney

Shankar Sankaran PhD PMP® is a Professor of Organizational Project Management at the School of the Built Environment at the University of Technology Sydney. He teaches systems thinking to project managers at a Master of Project Management program and his research interests include sustainable development. He is a Past President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences and this talk is based on his work at the society to explore the future of project management with Professor Tomas Blomquist and Professor Mattis Jacobson of Umeå School of Business in Sweden as we face the challenges of achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals

Shankar is an editor of three books and author of two books about project management. He was the special editor of the Management and Organization Section of the Handbook of Systems Sciences and edited a book titled A guide to Systems Research – Philosophy, Processes and Practice to help researchers use systems methodologies. You can find more about Shankar at profiles.uts.edu.au/Shankar.Sankaran and Linkedin.com/in/shankar-sankaran-260320a/?originalSubdomain=au

Walt Lipke

Walt Lipke

Walt Lipke retired from federal service with over 35 years of experience in the development, maintenance, and management of software for automated testing of avionics. As a manager, a career highlight was his organization's winning of the Software Engineering Institute / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers award for Software Process Achievement.

Mr. Lipke is a graduate of the USA DoD course for Program Managers. He is a professional engineer with a master's degree in physics, and is a member of the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma. Lipke achieved distinguished academic honors with the selection to Phi Kappa Phi.

He is the creator of Earned Schedule (ES). Mr. Lipke has published over ninety articles on the method, as well as two books, Earned Schedule and Earned Schedule Plus. Additionally, he has presented research on ES and its schedule performance analysis methods at several conferences in the United States, and internationally.

For his contribution to project control, the practice of Earned Value Management, and the creation of ES, Mr. Lipke has received several awards:

  • 2007 Project Management Institute Metrics Specific Interest Group Scholar Award
  • 2007 Project Management Institute Eric Jenett Award for Project Management Excellence
  • 2013 Earned Value Management Europe Award
  • 2014 College of Performance Management Driessnack Distinguished Service Award

In 2017, the Australian Project Governance and Control Symposium honored Mr. Lipke by establishing the annual Walt Lipke Project Governance and Control Excellence Award. The award is made for excellence in research, expanding knowledge of the management and governance of projects, programs, and portfolios in Australasia.

Edmund Chew

Edmund Chew

Technical Manager
Project Controls Institute

Edmund is project controls professional with over 15 years experience. His work experience has been purposefully diverse across multiple industries (including water, buildings, road and rail) and functions (namely project planning, cost control and project management). This has provided Edmund extensive knowledge and capability for developing and delivering projects.

Edmund is currently working on the Metro Tunnel Project in Melbourne as Integrated Program Manager. Beyond the integration of contracts and programs, Edmund's focus on collaboration and aligning the interests of all stakeholders is critical to the timely delivery of the state's flagship project.

Masterclass Presenters

Melissa Cyrulik

Ms Melissa Cyrulik

Product Manager - Software Products and Services Group
Tecolote Research, Inc.

Melissa Cyrulik is a Product Manager with the Software Products and Services Group at Tecolote Research, Inc. She is responsible for managing the software development, support, and training programs for ACEIT and the U.S. Army's Cost Research Hub. She is a cost analyst with over 25 years of experience supporting a wide range of offices and programs throughout the US defense and civilian federal government. She has specialized expertise in cost research, uncertainty analysis, and in teaching cost analysis topics. She holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts, and lives and works in the Washington D.C. metro area.

Presentation: Joint Agency Cost Schedule Risk Uncertainty Handbook (JA CSRUH)

Gordon Kranz

Mr Gordon Kranz

President
Enlightened Integrated Program Management, LLC

Mr. Kranz is a research fellow supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense with research related to improving the Department's acquisition management policies and practices. He is a board member of the College of Performance Management, a non-profit organization serving performance management professionals. As the President of Enlightened IPM, he provides government agencies and contractors advice and guidance on performing disciplined, integrated program management on Agile programs. Before his current position, Mr. Kranz was the Deputy Director of OSD/AT&L/PARCA for Earned Value Management and provided policy and guidance to the US military acquisition enterprise. Mr. Kranz spent 16 years as chief engineer and program manager at General Dynamics C4 Systems and 11 years in the Air Force as a technical manager on tactical communications systems, strategic communications systems, and the F-22 program. He has an MS EE from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a BS in EE from North Dakota State University.

Presentation: High Performance Leadership

Mick Spears

Mr Mick Spears

Founder and Principal
The Leadership Project

Mick Spears is the founder and principal of The Leadership Project. He is an experienced executive with a strong track record in the development of exceptional high performance teams.

Mick strongly believes that his success in business and life has been through the development and support of the people, teams and leaders around him.

He strongly values diversity of thought and encourages engagement and active participation from people from diverse backgrounds on all topics.

Presentation: Integrating Agile with project controls on major projects

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