Our People

Protest Engineering is led by experts in their fields – leaders who combine deep experience and the ability to take the best long-term decisions.

Laboratory Manager - Melbourne

Cameron Axon

Cameron has approximately 12 years’ experience in the construction industry serving as a geo-technician on many major infrastructure projects in Victoria. Cameron joined Protest Engineering in 2016 and is currently the Melbourne Laboratory Branch Manager, where he oversees all Melbourne Laboratory projects. Throughout Cameron’s experiences, practical mindset, positive communication skills and dedication ensure his positive impact across all projects he is involved in.
Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Mark Ballard

Mark has over 30 years’ experience in geotechnical engineering. He has worked throughout UK, New Zealand, Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory on various projects acquiring valuable knowledge and experience. Mark’s qualifications include BEng (Hons) MICE, CEng, FIEAust CPEng, NER and RPEQ. He is also an accredited slope risk assessor (RMS).

His has experience working with contractors, consultants and multidisciplinary teams to deliver solutions to complex geotechnical problems within commercial, industrial, residential, government, mining, and civil infrastructure projects.

Mark has also had extensive experience in the management and leading teams of engineers, drillers and support staff, business development and marketing and the mentoring of junior staff. His main areas of geotechnical competence include:

  •           Planning, coordination, and management of geotechnical investigations.
  •           Interpretation of a broad range of innovated geotechnical investigation methods and laboratory testing.
  •           Characterisation of soil and rock materials and assessment of engineering properties.
  •           Development of geotechnical engineering models.
  •           Risk assessment and analysis of projects.
  •           Slope stability assessment and analysis.
  •           Design and construction of shallow foundations, deep excavations, and ground improvement. 
  •           Retaining wall and rock/soil anchor design.
  •           Earthwork’s construction inspections and testing.
  •           Design of remedial works.
  •           Deformation, settlement, and consolidation assessment.
National Laboratory Annex Manager and Founder

Samuel Bamford

Sam’s career began in 2003 conducting drilling, testing and cracked house investigations. He has gained industry knowledge and experience through working with a range of large engineering firms.

In 2015 Sam co-found Protest Engineering and is currently the National Laboratory Annex Manager. Throughout his career Sam has performed extensive testing on soils, rock, aggregate and concrete over a wide variety of test methods. Sam has also performed site investigations and supervision over large projects. Sam displays a broad range of high-quality knowledge over all facets of soil testing and the construction industry. His knowledge and expertise in the establishment of Annex facilities for NATA accredited laboratories is unrivalled.

Director of Major Projects

Matt Boyer

Matt is a chartered civil engineer and geologist and brings to the team over 20 years of experience working with consultants and contractors to deliver solutions to complex geotechnical problems on major civil and industrial construction projects. He has worked within the infrastructure, water, power and energy sectors for government organisations and major resource clients. In addition, Matt has managed geotechnical investigations and multidisciplinary landslide repair and pavement projects. His area of expertise is earthworks, pavements, retaining and foundation design.

Matt is an accredited slope risk assessor in line with Roads and Maritime Services (NSW) and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (QLD). His qualifications include BSc(Hons) MSc CGeol CPEng(Civil) MIEAust FGS NER RPEQ

Download Matt’s professional profile here

Laboratory Manager - Brisbane/Gold Coast

Nick Dobson

Nick’s experience across his 16 years in the construction industry have seen him play an essential leading role as geo-technician on some of the largest subdivisional projects completed in Southeast Queensland. Nick was brought onboard in 2022 to step away from the field and lead the Ormeau Laboratory as its current Branch Manager, where his guidance and shared experience is shaping our up-and-coming team members. With his pragmatic approach to the industry and approachable demeanour aiding the servicing of all projects across the Southeast Queensland region.
National Annex Contracts Manager

Adam Drumgold

Adam has 13 years’ experience in the construction Industry and joined the Protest Engineering team in 2022 as the National Annex Contracts Manager.

Adam has worked on and established multiple major projects in mining and the main roads sector across Australia and also has been a part of local residential infrastructure.

He has a vast knowledge of construction material testing and specifications. Adam has a passion for delivering projects on time and to the highest standard.

He believes in building a team culture with a positive attitude.

Practice Director - Brisbane West

Quentin Hill

Quentin is an experienced client and process focussed professional leading our Brisbane West Practice, comprising Morrison Geotechnic and a Protest Laboratory. He brings a diverse range of skills and knowledge to Protest Engineering including relationship management, ESG values, leadership, project and people management, and geology gained over a 25 year career in technical and leadership roles in the resources and construction industries.

Now leading our Morrison Geotechnic brand, a mainstay of southeast Queensland geotechnical sector, Quentin had an early career across a wide range of roles including engineering geology in greater Brisbane and exploration geology across Australia and government. Later, over seven years as Managing Director of a listed resource company Quentin honed his delivery, managerial, strategic and capital raising skills engaging with some of the world’s leading miners, steel and trading companies while also developing deep project, feasibility and stakeholder management skills. Quentin brings passion, vision and integrity as Practice Director.

BSc University of Sydney (Geology)

Grad Cert Business administration Griffith University

Associate Structural Engineering – Gold Coast

Troy Hunt

Troy is a forward-thinking structural engineer currently in the role of Branch Manager for Structural Engineering on the Gold Coast. Troy completed his Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Civil engineering in early 2017 after working with Protest in an undergraduate capacity. Troy accepted a role at Protest Engineering at the commencement of our Structural Engineering Division and in the years since has acquired experience in a large range of projects, becoming a valued member of the team before transitioning into the Branch Manager role in early 2020.

Troy has experience managing projects in the residential, commercial & industrial sectors, including tilt-up panel & structural steel warehouses, residential dwellings, suspended slabs, retaining walls, demolition, temporary support, and structural integrity assessments.

Business Support Manager

Nikki Kahl

Joining the team in 2022 as our Business Support Manager, Nikki is responsible for all Corporate and Project Support Services.

Nikki has over 30 years experience in the Engineering, Mining and Construction sectors and having previously worked for Hatch and Lendlease, she brings with her a wide range of project coordination experience.  Nikki’s responsibilities include Corporate Services, HR and Project Delivery Support.

Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Liam Kelly

Liam’s deep strategic approach as Managing Director has enabled Protest Engineering to continue to grow, transform and blossom into one of the most innovative Consulting Engineering Firms in Australia. Liam understands what it takes to run a multi-faceted and dynamic engineering firm, driving continual growth across all engineering services and construction materials testing (CMT) services. Prior to co-founding the business in 2015, Liam gained experience as a soil technician, gaining a depth of technical knowledge from the ground up. Having served with the Australian Army Reserves from 2010-2016, Liam has what it takes to lead and succeed in adaptive environments with values that echo in Protest’s motto: Synergy, Efficiency, and Sustainability.
Practice Director – Sunshine Coast

Sean Kelly

Sean has over 11 years’ experience in the Geotechnical Engineering Industry. He is currently performing the role of Practice Director – Sunshine Coast where he oversees all Sunshine Coast geotechnical engineering and laboratory projects. Throughout Sean’s career, he has obtained his Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques and subsequently became a NATA level 5 technician. Sean finished with Honours in his Bachelor of Civil Engineering. Sean’s skills range from, but are not limited to, supervision and management of ground investigations, site inspections, pile design and certification, temporary works design, soft soil remediation, stability analysis, soil and rock mechanics, in-situ testing, earthworks supervision and consultation in related disciplines.

Sean’s qualifications include BEng (Hons), MIEAust, RPEQ, CPEng and NER

Download Sean’s professional profile here. 

Principal Geotechnical Engineer - Sunshine Coast

Ryan Kemp

Ryan Kemp is a Chartered member of Engineers Australia (CPEng) and a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ). Currently a Principal Geotechnical Engineer at Protest Engineering Pty Ltd, Ryan has over twenty-five years’ combined experience in geotechnical engineering, soil mechanics, earthworks, civil materials and related disciplines during his employment in the private sector.

Ryan began his career soil testing as a young man in 1998 and after completing a Certificate IV in materials testing, continued worked in the material testing space until 2002. Ryan then excitedly took the opportunity to work as an Engineering Services Technician/driller for another four years. During this time, Ryan began his engineering studies and eventually in 2006 had the opportunity to join the Geotechnical Engineering team at Protest Engineering, where he began his professional journey. Since then, Ryan has established a solid reputation in the Geotechnical Engineering space and completed studies in both Civil Engineering and Business Management (majoring in Leadership and Management).

Specialising in geotechnical investigation, finite element analysis, permanent and temporary works design, construction monitoring, materials testing and consultancy Ryan has worked for a variety of projects in the following sectors: mining, commercial, residential, school, industrial, road and rail, bridge, power station, pipeline, mine and telecommunication.

Financial Controller

Angie Knight

Coming on in early 2023 Angie’s role is an addition to the growing finance team and will oversee the internal and external financial reporting of the Protest Group of companies.

Angie is a Chartered Accountant with 20 years’ experience in both public practice and commerce. Starting her career with KPMG she then gained experience in the budgeting and forecasting aspect of finance in a large multi-disciplinary environment in the UK. More recent years have been spent in SME tax compliance and business advisory, including being the external sounding board for finance professionals in commerce.

Recent notable academic achievements include Australian Dux of CTA2A, a module offered by the Taxation Institute of Australia.

Angie’s qualifications include B.Bus, Grad Dip Fin Mgt and CA.

Laboratory Manager - Moranbah

Jacob Lally

Jacob has over 9 years’ experience in the construction industry. Jacob joined the Protest Engineering team in 2018 and is currently the Moranbah Laboratory Branch Manager. Jacob has received his Diploma in Construction Material Testing and Certificate IV in Civil Construction and Earthworks. Jacob is regularly servicing Mining and Infrastructure projects all across Central Queensland. Jacob has expertise in a variety of construction material testing methods both in the laboratory and the field. Jacobs positive mindset and high integrity in the workplace has aided his growth in the industry.
National Compliance Manager

Zach Meredith

Zach joined Protest Engineering in 2017 and is a committed governance, risk, legal and Compliance Manager. Zach specialises in engineering statutory and regulatory compliance management. Zach has a proven track record within the industry in system implementations, organisational change, acquisitions and transformations delivering improved business outcomes. Prior to commencing employment with Protest Engineering Zach served 6 years in the Royal Australian Navy, and is an accomplished leader, evidenced by earning a CO’s commendation while deployed on HMAS Stuart. Zach has a history of delivering high quality, practical solutions in fast-paced adaptive environments. In addition to his already successful career Zach is set to complete his double degree in Law and Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast this year.
Associate Director, Structural

Stephen Moss

Stephen joined Protest in early 2023 as Associate Director for Structural Engineering in the Brisbane Branch.  Stephen is passionate about efficient structural design and high quality client service. Over the past 25 years Stephen has worked within the private sector and has extensive experience across a wide range of construction sectors including residential, retail, commercial, heritage and non-process oil & gas infrastructure. Stephen also has experience in project management, site management, asset management and business development.  He has a commitment to the structural engineering community and enjoys  mentoring emerging structural engineers.

Stephen’s qualifications include BE(Civil)Hons, MIEAUST, RPEQ

IT Manager

Joe Oliver

Joe is an accomplished IT professional with over three years of experience working in MSPs and educational institutions. Currently, he holds the position of IT Manager at Protest Engineering, where he has proven to be a valuable asset to the team.

Throughout his career, Joe has demonstrated exceptional skills in managing IT infrastructure, resolving technical issues, and ensuring optimal network performance. He possesses strong communication and collaboration skills, which allow him to work effectively with clients and colleagues alike. Joe’s ability to learn quickly, adapt to new technologies, and prioritize tasks makes him an ideal candidate for any IT team. He has a Certificate 3 and 4 in Information Technology, which has provided him with a solid foundation for his work. With his expertise and dedication, Joe is well-equipped to take on any challenge in the IT industry.

Executive Assistant to the Leadership Team

Dannielle Sertori

Joining the team in 2022 as the Executive Assistant to the Leadership Team, Dannielle is responsible for providing administrative support to the CEO, COO and other members of the leadership team.

Dannielle’s background as a lawyer with over four years of experience has equipped her with the necessary skills to excel in her new role. She made a transition into business support in the engineering sector in 2021 and has since been relishing the challenges and constant learning opportunities. With her technical experience and a passion for being organised, efficient, and an effective communicator, Dannielle is well-positioned to provide high quality and well-rounded support to the leadership team. Her primary goal is to help the leadership team grow and support the business to its full potential.

Dannielle’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP).

Associate Geotechnical Engineering – Gold Coast

Justin Taing

Justin has over 5 years’ experience in the construction industry serving as both Geotechnician and a Geotechnical Engineer. Justin is currently the Gold Coast Geotechnical Engineering Branch Manager. Throughout Justin’s career, he has established himself as someone who has a widespread knowledge on various areas of the construction industry through his eagerness to learn and dedication to each project. During his time as an engineer and engineering manager he has been required to manage and supervise a team of geotechnical engineers and drilling staff, organise and undertake project management for projects of various sizes and draft and review fee proposals for clients. Practically, Justin has undertaken and been a part of numerous projects covering many geotechnical topics such as landslide and slope stability assessment, analysis and remediation, geotechnical investigations, drilling rig supervision, piling supervision, bearing capacity assessments, working platform designs, retaining wall designs and global stability analyses.

Download Justin’s professional profile here.

Practice Director – Gold Coast and Central Queensland

Blake Thomas

After graduating from the University of Queensland in 2015 with a Bachelors of Engineering (Civil Engineering Major), Blake joined Protest Engineering and was responsible for all construction materials testing (CMT) fieldwork. Blake quickly moved into a leadership role within the Geotechnical Engineering division, which has seen rapid growth to become a team of over 15 staff. Blake’s work ethic and experience lead to a position in the upper management of the company and the title of Practice Director. Since joining Protest Engineering, Blake has been exposed to a wide range of situations and responsibilities that most engineers would not experience in such a short amount of time, which is a testament to his success.

Recently, Blake’s position has evolved into managing all divisions of Protest Engineering, whilst also playing a major part in company acquisition, developing business plans & budgets, and strategic planning for the company. Despite his focus on managerial tasks, Blake continually works to improve his level of geotechnical engineering knowledge and prioritises professional development in the field. This allows Blake to continue to undertake tendering and site consultations.

Software Development Manager - The Boss App

Jakob Vannucci

As a seasoned software engineer, Jakob possesses a wealth of experience in building complex, well-tested systems. With six years of experience in the field, Jakob has become a trusted partner for businesses looking to develop reliable, robust software solutions. He is committed to delivering excellence in all aspects of software development, from the initial planning and design stages to deployment and ongoing maintenance.

Jakob’s technical proficiency and attention to detail make him a valuable member of any development team. He has a proven track record of success in collaborating with cross-functional teams to deliver software solutions that meet both business objectives and user needs. Jakob’s dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest technologies enables him to provide innovative, cutting-edge solutions for his clients.

Whether working on large-scale enterprise projects or smaller, more specialized applications, Jakob consistently demonstrates his commitment to delivering the highest quality results. He is a skilled problem-solver, capable of overcoming technical challenges and finding effective solutions to complex problems.

Accounts Manager

Matt Vannucci

Matt is a highly experienced and accomplished finance professional who has recently joined Protest in 2022. With a background in business planning and cash flow management, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team.

Prior to joining Protest, Matt ran his own Financial Planning and Finance Broking practice for seven years. During this time, he worked with businesses of all sizes, helping them achieve their financial goals through effective financial planning and management.

Matt’s deep understanding of finance, combined with his strategic thinking and business acumen, make him an invaluable asset to the Protest team. He is passionate about driving the strategic growth of the company through acquisition and external funding, and is dedicated to helping Protest achieve its full potential.

At Protest, Matt is committed to working closely with the team to identify new opportunities for growth and development, while also ensuring that the company’s financial position remains strong and sustainable. With his extensive knowledge and experience, Matt is poised to make a significant contribution to the ongoing success of Protest.

Chief Operating Officer

Nick Ward

Joining the team in 2022 as the Chief Operating Officer, Nick is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Protest Engineering. Nick is a Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer with over 30 years of experience across a wide range of construction projects in Australia and Europe and has notable experience in the management and leadership of large multi-discipline engineering organisations. His responsibilities have included civil and structural engineering with project planning, business development, and client relationship management for a variety of clients in large public sector organisations and private industries. Nick is experienced in the delivery of complex engineering solutions for major infrastructure, commercial, heritage, residential, and industrial sector projects and has significant experience in all building types and materials.

Nick’s qualifications include BEng (Hons) MEng, CPEng, MICE, RPEQ, FIEAust, and NER.

Associate Director Structural Engineering - Brisbane

Ben Weeks

Ben has 8 years’ experience in Structural Engineering, he has worked in project management as a professional on high-rise residential, commercial building and infrastructure works. Ben joined the Protest Engineering team early 2022 and is currently the Brisbane Structural Engineering Branch Manager. Ben has been involved in multiple aspects of life cycle engineering from conceptual design and calculations through to detail design, construction supervision and inspection.

Interested in joining the Protest Engineering team? Explore Careers