• Simon Penney (Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner at Consul General Dubai & Northern Emirates)

    Simon Penney

    Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner at Consul General Dubai & Northern Emirates

    Simon Penney was announced as Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner (HTMC) for the Middle East in May 2018. Simon spent many years in the banking sector and has extensive experience leading corporate and financial institution groups and teams across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

    He has full responsibility for all of the Department for International Trade (DIT) work in the Middle East including:

    • growing the overall bilateral trade and investment relationship
    • improving market access for British companies, including small and medium sized businesses
    • developing finance and trade policy

    Simon’s previous roles in the Middle East include Head of Wholesale and International Banking for First Gulf Bank and Chief Executive Officer, Middle East and Africa for the Royal Bank of Scotland.

    Simon has also worked for ABN AMRO Bank in South Africa and the UK, in consulting at PwC and in project finance within the construction industry. Simon has a construction management degree from Reading University and an MBA from Nottingham University.

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  • Bruce Smith (Executive Director, Strategy & Planning of Emirates Water & Electricity Company (EWEC))

    Bruce Smith

    Executive Director, Strategy & Planning of Emirates Water & Electricity Company (EWEC)

    Bruce Smith is a multi-faceted business leader responsible for leading the transition of EWEC’s power and water portfolio from gas to clean energy. Building and developing EWEC’s human and technical capabilities in this area, Smith has overseen the creation of predictive models using a wide variety of modeling techniques to provide detailed insights, grounded in analytical research, that drive strategic planning, future sector vision, secure capacity, and deliver economic value.

    Closely involved in the establishment and development of EWEC, Smith has been responsible for identifying the need for procurement of capacity from new and alternative sources such as nuclear, solar, batteries and reverse osmosis, as well as developing further enhancements to the operations of current power and water generation plants.

    With over 18 years’ experience in the Abu Dhabi power and water sector, Smith has held key positions at various sector organisations in the UAE, including TRANSCO. He started his career in the utility sector as an Operations Manager with Anglian Water in 1992 following an MSc in Environmental Engineering from Imperial College, London.

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  • George Toulopas (Senior Director, Technology and Quality of CEA – Intertek)

    George Toulopas

    Senior Director, Technology and Quality of CEA – Intertek

    George Touloupas has 12+ years of experience in technical consulting for PV, energy storage and hydrogen projects, as well as in PV manufacturing, EPC and project development. He joined CEA in 2015 and has since been leading CEA’s technology and quality team for solar and energy storage, and since 2021 for hydrogen electrolyzers.

    Mr. Touloupas coordinates and supports a multitude of projects, such as the transitioning of CEA's services to digital platforms, collection and analysis of quality data to produce supplier benchmarking metrics, development of supplier intelligence services, development of PV and Energy Storage cost forecasting services, LCOE and LCOH analysis, maintenance of applied quality standards in tandem with the latest trends in production, assistance of clients with warranty claims, development of diagnostic methodologies, lab testing oversight, R&D, etc. Mr. Touloupas and his team have significant contribution in consulting for manufacturing investment projects, performing technical due diligence on new technologies, analyzing cost of ownership and supply chain risks against benchmark technologies roadmaps and forecasts etc.

    Prior to CEA, he was the Chief Operating & Technical Officer at Philadelphia Solar in Jordan. He led projects for BOM optimization, product design, and factory ramp up for PV module and mounting structure production. He was also responsible for PV plant EPC work, training and supply chain restructuring, and evaluation of a 100 MW PV cell manufacturing plant.

    Before Philadelphia Solar, George Touloupas was the Technical Operations Director at Recom, where he was in charge of OEM module production, quality assurance, logistics and operations, BOM optimization and development, bankability and certification, and discussions with equipment suppliers for a planned 1 GW heterojunction cell and module fab.

    Previously, Mr. Touloupas had his own EPC company in Greece, active in the residential, commercial, and large-scale PV sectors.

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  • Jennifer Chammas (Regional Head of Sustainability at HSBC)

    Jennifer Chammas

    Regional Head of Sustainability at HSBC

    Jennifer is based in Dubai and serves as Regional Head of Sustainability for HSBC Commercial Bank “CMB” in MENAT. Her responsibilities are to develop and support the implementation of CMB’s global strategy and underpinning initiatives. More specifically, Jennifer is currently running the review of CMB’s sustainability strategy. The project consists of launching tested, future proof propositions to help customers address their sustainability challenges. She is also project managing restructuring initiatives that HSBC announced in February 2020.

    Jennifer’s banking experience is diverse and ranges from covering retail customers, middle market and large corporates as well as global financial institutions. She was first recruited to join HSBC for a summer internship while she was an undergraduate student and was offered a full time offer in 2012 to join the bank’s global graduate programme. Jennifer spent the first 7 years of her career in various roles with HSBC New York and 3 years with HSBC in London. In her first two years, she served as an investment advisor for high net worth private clients. In this role, she built tailored investment proposals generating $1.5mm of revenue per annum. In 2015, Jennifer transferred to Global Banking division and worked as an associate relationship manager covering a portfolio of banks and broker dealers generating $500m of revenue per annum across transaction banking and structured solutions. In 2017, she joined HSBC Global trade and Receivables Finance division as a business manager. Her responsibilities consisted of overseeing the day to day business activities by coordinating cross- functional projects across sales, product development, employee management, marketing and communications. She also managed the bidding and due diligence process for a $5billion asset acquisition. Upon moving to London in 2019, Jennifer worked as a manager in the global strategy team for CMB. Her responsibilities are to develop and support the implementation of CMB’s global strategy and underpinning initiatives. More specifically, Jennifer managed complex strategic projects for CMB including the review of the sustainability strategy and group payments strategy. In 2021, Jennifer’s responsibilities shifted completely to sustainability where she developed innovative supply chain products leading a multi-disciplinary team.

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