Authors of The Great 21st Century Energy Challenge book
Michael Ives (Retired engineer)
I am a retired mechanical engineer, graduating in 1962 from what is now the University of Wollongong, and in 1970 I gained a master’s degree in engineering science at the University of NSW. Both courses were based on a part time schedule while I stocked up with practical experience in industry.
My fifty plus years working career had embraced a wide spectrum of industry including those involving energy supply. My forte appeared to be one of project management as I often found myself being placed in that role. Starting at a youthful age of 19 invaluable project skills developed over many projects. The vital characteristics of such deployment which would determine the success or failure of any project were:
- forward and continuous planning
- concentrating on the big picture as well as keeping an eye on the fine detail
- reviewing anything that is likely to have an impact on the project’s execution whether good or bad and acting accordingly.
- keeping all options open
- team building
- risk management
- reviewing progress and constantly questioning popular trends, alternative agendas, chosen paths and methodology.
And of course, blended liberally throughout the above there has to be – safety, quality, time and cost control.
What was the motivation for me helping to write this pdf file (book)? A good question indeed. Well from the outset please be assured there was no hidden agenda. I don’t hold stock in any specific energy company nor do I have affiliation with any industry or political party or even bank with the any of the banks supporting fossil fuels. While I have signed on to receive emails from various environmental and lobby groups, other than the occasional comment or blog, I like to keep a low profile and with an open mind.
The single motivation may even sound selfish. I have family and loved-ones much younger than I. Climate change will barely have any impact on myself as I am in my late seventies. Rather, and if left unchallenged, it is likely to expose these loving souls, plus billions like them, to a climate that has not been experienced by our species for the last 120,000 years. What the actual conditions our homo sapien predecessors faced at that time can only partially be revealed by paleontology research of similar, but ‘naturally’ induced global temperature increases. These times were clearly dire for many species.
Mankind, and most of our fellow global creatures, are perhaps facing the biggest, most challenging, life preservation project ever. Amplifying my motivation for the book is the notion that no key global body appears to be applying some, if any, of the above vital characteristics re Climate Change. In fact it is difficult to recognise any global body at all that is truly taking up the challenge. To date, this climate threat is largely being underestimated, mismanaged, brushed aside or ignored entirely by those we elect to make the big decisions. This must change.
Meanwhile any correspondence regarding errors in the book, corrections, breakthrough energy technology, success stories etc., will be made most welcome.
Dr Matthew Ives (Infrastructure Systems Modeller, Oxford University)
Dr Matt Ives is a research scientist with extensive experience in systems modelling, environmental sustainability, economics, and information technology. He has experience in both the private and public sectors including modelling infrastructure adaptation in UK, assessing AusAID-funded sustainable infrastructure projects in China; working on sustainability indicators with the US Forest service; on fisheries assessment and population modelling in Australia; and in developing software systems for private enterprises.
Dr Ives is currently employed as an Infrastructure Systems Modeller at the Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute where he is combining his passion for environmental sustainability with his years of experience in systems modelling. As a key member of the Oxford-led Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (www.itrc.org.uk) Dr Ives managed the development of the National Infrastructure Systems Model (NISMOD). NISMOD is an infrastructure modelling tool that incorporates key infrastructure components including energy, water, waste, transport and information technology into an integrated system-of-systems for modelling long term infrastructure capacity and demand. Through collaborations with Infrastructure UK and the National Infrastructure Commission Dr Ives has been applying the NISMOD tool to help inform decisions around future infrastructure requirements and the implications of changing socio-economic and climatic conditions on our economic sustainability and prosperity. Dr Ives is also currently working with the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to develop international infrastructure modelling capabilities in post-disaster, post-conflict areas to help ensure that infrastructure is being ‘built back better’ with interdependencies between infrastructure sectors incorporated into planning decisions.
Dr Ives has published on a number of pioneering areas of research including long term infrastructure planning, the valuation of changes in mortality associated with infrastructure improvement projects, the assessment of waste management infrastructure in the UK, indicators for weak and strong definitions of sustainability in forestry management, bio-statistical analyses of species movement, the impact of model structure uncertainty on species population modelling, and standards for risk management of natural resources. Dr Ives holds an Honours degree in Economics and a PhD in fisheries systems modelling from the University of NSW, Australia as well as a Masters of Environmental Management from Portland State University, USA.
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