Key People

QER is led by an highly experienced team from across a range of fields in the resources sector .

Board of Directors

Pearce Bowman
B.Eng. (Civil), M.Eng.Sc, MBA
Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Pearce's 40+ year career in the resources sector has included executive roles in WMC Resources Ltd and Generation Victoria as well as Senior Management roles at a range of other resources companies in Australia and North America. Pearce joined QER as Managing Director and CEO in 2006. He serves on the QER board as an Executive Director, and is also a Board member of the Queensland Resources Council... read more


Career summary

Pearce has over 41 years experience in the engineering and resource business with a career spanning the mineral extraction and power generation industries.

He worked previously as the Executive Chairman and CEO of PMI Gold Corporation, CEO of Australian Power & Energy Ltd (now Monash Energy), Executive GM of WMC Resources Ltd and CEO of Generation Victoria. This followed a series of senior management roles in the resources sector in Canada and Australia.

Pearce has also served as a board member on several developing resource companies and as President or Chairman on various mineral industry and community associations.

He has served as Member of the Electricity Reform Taskforce of the Business Council of Australia, Executive Member of Minerals Council of Australia, Member of the Premier's Roundtable (SA), President of the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy, Deputy Chairman of the SA Resources Taskforce, Member of the South Australian Development Council and as President of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Mines.

Graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) and a Master of Engineering Science, Pearce has also received a Masters of Business Administration (Advanced) from the University of Adelaide.


Dr Chris Rawlings
BSc (Geology) (Hons), PhD - Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics

Dr Chris Rawlings has a 20 year career and extensive experience in management and executive positions in the resources industry. Dr Rawlings has been a Director of QER since 2006 and was appointed Chairman in 2008... read more

Career summary

Chris was Managing Director and CEO of South Blackwater Coal Ltd and QCT Resources Ltd prior to taking up Non-Executive Director roles.

Chris is Chairman of Carbon Energy, Non Executive Director at JKTech and Chairman at Eagle Street Associates. He is also a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Geological Society of Australia and the Institute of Company Directors.

Chris' previous offices included time as Director at Gympie Gold Ltd, AMC, MC, Magnetica Ltd, QTC Resources Ltd, Queensland Mining Council, Australian Coal Research, World Coal Institute, Non Executive Director at Uniquest and as Chairman at Diversified Mining Services and  Northern Energy Corporation Ltd. He is also a former Chair of the Queensland Resources Council.

Graduating from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Geology, Chris then went on to complete a PhD in Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics.


Michael Arnett, LL.B.

Michael Arnett is the chairman and director of a number of mining companies and has over 20 years legal experience capital raising and in the corporate side of the mining and energy sectors. Michael has been an Executive Director at QER since 2006... read more

Career summary

Michael services a range of publicly listed clients in the property, technology, manufacturing and resource sectors with operations in Australia, Asia and Africa. He has served on the board of New Guinea Energy Ltd and Azon Energy Ltd, Nexus Energy Ltd, Cloncurry Mines Ltd, NRW Holdings Ltd and SEQ Water Ltd. He is also a former director of Archipelago Resources Ltd.

Graduating from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce, Michael has been involved in significant corporate and commercial legal work for the resources industry for over 25 years. He has extensive commercial experience in capital raisings, corporate, mergers and acquisitions and securities work.

He is a former Partner and currently consultant to the international law firm Norton Rose in the mining, resources and oil and gas areas.

Executive Team

John Parsons
Dip ChemTech, MBA
Chief Operating Officer

John has over 36 years’ experience in the minerals and paper industries in the risk management field, EHS, Business Services Management, community relations and all commercial functions. John has been the Director of Business Services at QER since 2008. He has a diverse role which includes responsiblity for marketing and product development as well as business services including environmental support, finance and IT... read more

Career summary

John has worked on the Stuart Oil Shale projects for almost 15 years, as Manager, Environment, Health and Safety for Southern Pacific Petroleum (SPP) from 1997 - 2000 and then Business Services Manager for QER from 2001 – 2007. Prior to working at SPP, John was the Risk Control Manager at WMC Resources Ltd from 1996 – 1997.

John brings a broad knowledge and understanding of the project and its history, including hands on experience of the challenges associated with introducing a new suite of hydrocarbon products into an established market.


David Cavanagh
B.Eng. (Chemical) (Hons)
Technical Director

David is a chemical engineer with particular expertise in thermal mineral processes, developed over 20 years in the resources sector. David has been the Director of Technical Services at QER since 2007. His role includes all aspects of technical development and engineering associated with the development, design, selection and evaluation of different processing technologies and the design of a feasible project concept... read more

Career summary

David has more than 10 years experience working on oil shale projects. David was Technical Manager for Southern Pacific Petroleum (SPP) until 2002, then joined QER as Principal Process Engineer before becoming Director of Technical Services in 2007.

David is intimately familiar with the operation of both the ATP and Paraho shale-to-liquids processes. He has had a major role in the operation of both the Stuart Demonstration plant and QER’s Paraho process pilot trials in Colorado.

Prior to his work with SPP, David had worked in operations support and engineering roles at Mt Isa and at BHP-Billiton’s pioneering Boodarie Iron plant.

David graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Hons) and is currently studying his Master of Business & Technology at the University of New South Wales.


Dr Peter Zambelli
BSc (Hons) - Geology; M. Hum Res Mgt; PhD - Management
Corporate Affairs & HR

Originally a geologist Peter has worked in the Australian resources industry for nearly twenty five years, including ten with global miner Rio Tinto and over ten years in the oil shale industry. His experience is mainly in the area of organisational development , and throughout his career, he has carried various stakeholder relations responsibilities. At QER, Peter’s role includes responsibility for community and government relations, HR as well as legal, administrative and company secretary responsibilities.... read more

Career summary

Peter commenced working with QER in 2007. Prior to joining QER he had operated his own consultancy since 1997. Before that Peter worked in the Rio Tinto Group for over ten years as  Regional HR Manager for Rio Tinto Asia, as Principal Adviser for Comalco Limited, as HR Manager at Weipa. Before moving into HR, Peter worked for four years as a mine geologist. His work as a manager and a consultant has included comprehensive organisational reviews, innovative strategy, policy and systems development and stakeholder relations.

Peter graduated from the University of Wollongong with a BSc (Hons) Geology, and went on to complete a Masters in Human Resources Management from Griffith University and a PhD in Management from the University of Queensland.


 Margaretha Coertzen  
B.Eng. (Chemical)
Technology Director 

Margaretha is a chemical engineer with more than fifteen years’ international experience in new fuels development.  Her role includes all aspects of flow sheet development, integration and optimisation for a commercial kerogen-based fuel production facility, as well as research and technology more

Career summary

Originally from South Africa, Margaretha graduated from the University of the North West in South Africa with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering. 

She started her career with Sasol, a large international integrated chemicals and energy company who are world leaders in gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids. She then moved to Queensland where she continued working in the new fuels development space,  mainly on coal gasification process development.  Margaretha moved into kerogen-based fuel development in 2010 when she joined QER, carrying out research and development as well as commercial concept design, prior to her promotion to her role as Technology Director.