Dr Alex Wonhas: Director, Energy Transformed Flagship
Dr Alex Wonhas leads CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship which aims to create a prosperous, low carbon future for Australia.
21 December 2009 | Updated 11 June 2013
The Energy Transformed Flagship brings together experts from across CSIRO. It also builds partnerships with research and industry groups around Australia and overseas.
All partners work together under the flagship banner to identify economic pathways to significantly reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and to develop cost competitive, alternative, stationary and transport energy solutions.
Dr Alex Wonhas took up the role as Energy Transformed Flagship Director in August 2009, bringing with him significant strategic experience in the resources and energy sectors.
Dr Wonhas joined CSIRO directly from McKinsey & Company, where he was an Associate Principal. During his seven years with the global management consulting firm, Dr Wonhas delivered a large number of high impact strategy projects to senior executives and boards of leading international companies, predominantly in the resource and energy sector.
For example, Dr Wonhas was one of the co-authors of McKinsey’s Carbon Abatement Cost Curve for Australia. He also co-led the development of the climate change strategy of a major global resource and energy company.
He has developed an approach to reduce the carbon emissions of one of the world’s largest mine developments by over 90 per cent compared to baseline emissions.
He has also shaped several long-term commodity strategies for a global resource and energy company to identify opportunities arising from key future challenges such as energy scarcity, climate change and the growth in China and India.
Dr Wonhas has always been passionate about solving the challenge of climate change.
Dr Wonhas has always been passionate about solving the challenge of climate change. As a teenager, he designed a new type of solar power plant that would capture solar energy by splitting water. Unfortunately the proposed process was too inefficient, so one of the activities of the Flagship to date is to improve the efficiency of the water splitting process.
While completing his Doctorate at University of Cambridge, Dr Wonhas conceived, founded and led the Cambridge University Environmental Consulting Society – a student-run environmental consultancy serving several organisations in the United Kingdom (UK). The society has now grown to a 200-strong university member organisation. And at McKinsey he was instrumental in establishing their Australian Climate Change Practice.
Dr Wonhas has been awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honours and a Master of Science with Honours from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.
He also has completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge, UK.
Dr Wonhas serves on a range of energy-related committees and boards including the Australian Solar Institute.
Find out more about Energy Transformed Flagship.