John Grill Centre appoints first executive director

3 July 2013

Marc Vogts has more than 30 years project experience working in multinational companies including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
Marc Vogts has more than 30 years project experience working in multinational companies including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Global expertise will be at the helm of the University of Sydney's John Grill Centre for Project Leadership with the appointment of Marc Vogts as inaugural Executive Director. Mr Vogts will join the centre on 5 August 2013.

With an international career spanning more than 30 years, Mr Vogts brings project leadership knowledge gained while working with multinational companies including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto in Southern Africa, Australia, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and USA.

The centre was established in 2012 with a $20 million gift from businessman and philanthropist Mr John Grill, Chairman of the centre who commented:

"Marc's significant experience in managing large disciplinary teams working on mega projects globally makes him the perfect choice to lead the centre. As a passionate advocate for excellence in project leadership, strategy, risk and complex stakeholder management he is well placed to develop the strategic direction of the centre.

"We have been particularly encouraged by the strong response from industry to our proposed program confirming our view that the centre can play an important role in further developing Australian project leadership skills."

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence, commented: "Our vision for the Grill Centre is to become a global voice on leading large projects from strategy formulation and execution through to successful delivery.

"We are delighted to have secured the appointment of an executive with significant international project leadership experience to help us ensure that the John Grill centre is a world-class centre of excellence," he said.

In Marc's most recent role with BHP Billiton as Vice President, Projects Uranium CSG he was appointed to lead the expansion of the Olympic Dam Mine in South Australia, one of the largest projects globally in the mining sector.

The centre will also be focussed on providing the approaches and experiential learning that contemporary project leaders require. It forms a multidisciplinary and collaborative partnership between the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies and the University of Sydney Business School.

The centre will report to a new Board consisting of international business and academic leaders with representation across infrastructure, energy, aviation, mining, government, technology, academia, banking and finance. Confirmed appointments include John Grill, Kevin McCann, Sir David Higgins, Dr Stuart McGill, John Mulcahy, Nick Greiner, Catherine Livingstone, Jim McIlvenny, Professor Stephen Garton, Professor Tyrone Carlin and Professor Archie Johnston.

Marc will be supported by his management team, which includes the Deputy Director (Academic), Professor Suresh Cuganesan and the Operations Director, Amar Flora. Both continue to consult with industry to validate the need for project leadership and confirm the current skills-gap within Australia, and using the results to develop the executive education program. Initial feedback indicates strong industry support for the proposed program.

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