Justine Jarvinen has been appointed to the role of chief executive officer of UNSW Sydney’s Energy Institute.

JJ, as she is known to both friends and colleagues, takes over the CEO role after spending the past two years as the Institute’s chief operating officer.

Prior to joining UNSW, JJ spent the last 25 years in the energy, finance and non-profit sectors after graduating from Adelaide University with a degree in chemical engineering.

Justine Jarvinen outside UNSW's Tyree Building on lower campus.

She has been Petroleum Reservoir Engineer with Exxon, Senior Business Analyst with Shell, Equity Analyst with JB Were, Head of Community Unit with New Philanthropy Capital, Head of Emerging Technologies with AGL and is currently a Board Member for Pollinate, to name a few.

JJ’s main role is to facilitate partnerships between industry and government bodies with UNSW’s leading energy researchers.

“One of the first things I'm trying to do is to help tell our stories in a way that puts UNSW at the forefront of anybody thinking about energy in Australia,” JJ says.

“We want them to be thinking about the entire breadth of UNSW’s incredible integrated energy expertise. There is, of course, our world-leading solar reputation. But this is integrated with other areas including the fantastic work being done in hydrogen energy technology, energy storage and other technology across the whole energy value chain from the electric car, to powering houses, to businesses and to creating microgrids.”

JJ is being supported by the Energy Institute Industry Advisory Board comprised of newly appointed chairman Grant King, President of the Business Council of Australia and formerly MD of Origin Energy; George Maltabarow, formerly MD of Energy Australia, corporate advisor and consultant; John Pickhaver, Co-Head of Macquarie Capital Australia and New Zealand; and Peter Tyree of the Tyree Foundation.

Professor Joe Dong will also commence as Research Director of the Institute. Joe brings a wealth of expertise and experience as a world leading researcher in power system planning and smart grids –  especially their impact on electricity markets through the use of big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Dean of Engineering, Professor Mark Hoffman, says JJ’s appointment as CEO is testament to the outstanding work she has already done for the Energy Institute in the last couple of years.

“In the short time she’s been here, JJ has launched the Energy Institute, worked to establish the multi-million dollar UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute, and supported the successful bid for a nationally-significant ARC Research Hub for Integrated Energy Storage Solutions.

“At the same time, UNSW has signed a 15-year solar supply agreement to have all its electricity supplied by solar energy.

“I can think of no other person in Australia who is as well-connected and experienced in the energy industry and could match JJ’s depth of knowledge and passion. She is a welcome addition to the evolution of Australia’s leading energy research organisation.

“I look forward to seeing JJ create some great new opportunities to showcase UNSW’s excellence in energy research that will ultimately help consumers, governments and industry in the global transition towards low-carbon energy.”