Mr Chris Smithies

BEnvMgmt, BBusTech, MAppSci

Principal Environmental Scientist and Country Manager, Lao PDR

Summary

Chris has a varied professional background, having worked predominantly in project management roles in the horticultural and construction industries. He has also worked as a home sustainability assessor for the Australian Government. Chris is Earth Systems’ Country Manager for Lao PDR, where he has lived for many years. He has key experience in the social and environmental due diligence, corporate responsibility, and environmental and social impact assessment.

Education and Affiliations

  • Master of Applied Science (Environmental Management and Sustainable Water Management), Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Bachelor of Environmental Management and Bachelor of Business & Technology, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
  • Apprenticeship in Horticulture, Hobart, Australia
  • Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ), National Students and Early Careers Committee

Professional History

  • 2014 to present: Country Manager, Lao PDR, Earth Systems
  • 2012–2014: Environmental Scientist, Earth Systems
  • 2009-2013: Combat Engineer, Australian Army
  • 2009-2010: Home Sustainability Assessor, Australian Government
  • 2005-2009: Project Management, Construction industry
  • 1994-2005: Gardener/Landscaper (Horticulturalist)

Fields of Special Competence

Project management; business development; environmental monitoring, environmental and social research; renewable energy, sustainability assessment, horticulture and agriculture.

Representative Experience

Some examples of Chris’s recent roles and projects include:

  • Due Social / Environmental Due Diligence and Plantable Area Estimation Project, Lao PDR. Key tasks: Planning and project management
    for project implementation; design and conduct of district and village level surveys and village focus groups; data collection and analysis; stakeholder engagement.
  • Rapid assessment of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in six sectors of the Lao PDR. Key tasks: Desktop research, identification
    of, and engagement with, key stakeholders, assessment of options to further foster CSR in Lao PDR and a presentation of key study
    findings at Lao National CSR Conference.
  • Nam Ngiep 1 Transmission Line, Lao PDR. Key tasks: Client interface, biodiversity assessment, environmental impact monitoring,
    stakeholder engagement, report preparation.
  • Manufacture of Earth Systems second generation mobile pyrolysis technology, Victoria, Australia 2014. Key tasks included: All aspects
    of project management throughout the build.
  • Regional Renewable Energy Feasibility Study for the Grampians Region, Victoria, Australia. Key tasks: Social impact research, data
    analysis and report preparation.
  • 100% Renewable Communities: Renewable Energy Opportunity Assessment for Murchison and Kyabram, Victoria, Australia 2013.
    Key tasks: Regional renewable energy resource assessments, social impact research, Renewable energy technology review, report
    preparation.
  • NECMA Biochar Project, Victoria, Australia. Key tasks: Operational support during prototype construction, resource procurement,
    biochar production and testing, preparation of biochar MSDS.
  • Meredith Dairy Renewable Energy Project, Victoria, Australia. Key tasks: Design of biomass supply chain, report writing, preparation
    of grant application.
  • Phonsavanh Mining Project, Lao PDR. Key tasks: Data analysis of noise impacts in the proximity of the mine.
  • Auscott Cotton Biochar Project, Victoria, Australia. Key tasks: Operational support during construction of a small scale prototype
    gasification plant, resource procurement, testing and biochar production.

Recent News

Biosecurity in the Black: “New pyrolysis technology is an innovative tool in the battle against diseases, explains environmental scientist Peter Hughes.”

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2014 issue of Chartered Forester, the magazine for members of the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF), and is reproduced by kind permission of the ICF (www.charteredforesters.org).

Archaeology a vital key for mineral exploration in West Africa – Stephen Isaac, archaeology expert at Earth Systems explains.

Contact

Earth Systems Melbourne Office
14 Church Street, Hawthorn,
VIC 3122,
Australia
Tel: +61 (0) 3 9810 7500
Fax: +61 (0) 3 9853 5030
enviro@earthsystems.com.au