CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 01:  Solar photovoltaic panels generate electricity at an Exelon solar power facility on September 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The 10-megawatt facility located on the city's south side is the largest urban solar installation in the United States. The 32,292 panels can generate more than 14,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to meet the annual energy requirements of up to 1,500 homes.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Our executive

Dani Alexander
MBiotech, BBusMan, BSc
Chief Executive Officer, UNSW Energy Institute 

Ms Dani Alexander is a passionate advocate for reshaping our energy system to be clean, affordable, reliable and equitable. Her experience in the energy sector is broad having held roles in universities, government including the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and industrial co-operative research centres. Her background is multi-disciplinary in science and business, reflecting the nature of her work bridging the gap between new technology and transitioning markets.

Dani has a deep and broad knowledge of the energy transition, including energy system flexibility, renewable energy generation, clean fuels, energy storage, grid integration and energy consumers and markets. Her own research focuses on mainstreaming energy innovation across the value chain, accelerating the technology and commercial maturity of new technologies.


Our governance

Cross Faculty steering committee 

The Energy Institute takes a multi-disciplinary approach to energy challenges and opportunities, across a range of faculties and schools at UNSW, which participate in the Institute’s Steering Committee.  

Industry Advisory Board 

The UNSW Energy Institute partners with industry to solve current energy challenges, create future opportunities and lead the global energy transformation. We are grateful to a range of companies and individuals for their partnership and guidance.  

Members of the Industry Advisory Board: 

  • Grant King: Chair of HSBC Bank Australia; Chair of the Climate Change Authority; Chair of Sydney Water;  former Chair of the Business Council of Australia; former Managing Director of Origin Energy
  • George Maltabarow: Former Managing Director Energy Australia; Corporate Adviser and Consultant
  • Peter Tyree: Director of the Tyree Foundation
  • Monique Miller: Chief Investment Officer (Renewables and Sustainable Finance) of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Grant King

Professor of Practice and Chair, Industry Advisory Board

Grant is a leading voice in the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) space. He currently holds several roles including Chair of the Climate Change Authority, HSBC Australia, Sydney Water, the Melanoma Institute Australia and North Harbour Clean Energy. Grant is also a Director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. He previously chaired the Expert Panel on Low Cost Carbon Abatement Opportunities and the Hydrogen Hub Industry Assessment Panel.

Grant was appointed President of the Business Council of Australia in 2016, a role he held until 2019. He was Managing Director of Origin Energy Ltd between 2000 and 2016, following its demerger from Boral, where he was Managing Director of Boral Energy between 1994 and 2000. He is a former Chair of Green Collar, CWP Renewables, Australia Pacific LNG, Contact Energy, Oil Company of Australia and the Energy Supply Association of Australia, and a former Director of BHP Billiton and the Australian Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of Australia.

Energy Institute Management Team

Michelle Vaqueiro Contreras

Institute Manager

With over 8 years of expertise in solar energy technology, Michelle is deeply committed to advancing renewable energy initiatives and driving impactful change in the Australian energy transition. As an accomplished researcher, she has honed her skills in stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, and project management. Michelle’s experience includes significant contributions to impactful projects such as the Silicon to Solar (S2S) study, which played a pivotal role in establishing Australia’s $1 billion Solar Sunshot program. Michelle is passionate about research translation, with a goal to leverage her expertise and collaborative approach to foster innovation and drive sustainable energy solutions in Australia's evolving energy sector.

Mark Twidell

Professor of Practice

Mark is an impactful leader with over 35 years of experience as an executive or director of top-tier organisations including AGL, Tesla, SMA Australia and BP in global distributed energy markets. He holds deep financial, commercial, and governance expertise, having successfully guided solar photovoltaics, battery storage, and enabling control and orchestration technologies from their early stages to becoming bankable asset classes with widespread market adoption. Mark’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable energy transition.