Managing Partner and Chief Commercial Officer at
Ted O’Brien is Managing Partner and Chief Commercial Officer of Oluma Resources. Prior to launching Oluma Resources with Nick Cron in September 2021, Ted spent five years with Xcoal, most recently as Vice President – Pacific Basin Operations, based in Singapore. Ted has extensive experience in coal marketing and logistics, and is well versed in the interplay between geopolitics, macroeconomic developments, and global coal markets.
Prior to joining Xcoal, Ted spent 10 years at Doyle Trading Consultants, LLC, now part of McCloskey by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company, culminating in his role as CEO.
Ted serves as an Independent Trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee on the Board of the Goehring & Rozenczwajg Resources Fund.
Dr. Neil J. Bristow
Managing Director at
H&W Worldwide Consulting Pty Ltd
Dr. Bristow has been actively involved in the steel and steelmaking raw materials industries for over 22 years. During this time, he has led numerous investigations in coal and iron ore technical and market research, minerals strategy development, and market planning for BHP’s coal business, and was Chief Analyst for BHP Billiton’s Carbon Steel Materials Group, leading the Market Intelligence Group in Singapore.
His key expertise in steel, metallurgical coal, iron ore, and manganese ore and ferroalloys, coupled with strategic vision and long term analysis on future directions in emerging markets, saw him as an early proponent of the rebirth of the global steel industry, the rise of China and of coal’s growth story, together with a strong belief in China’s emergence as a major seaborne metallurgical coal importer. He has been a strong advocate for India’s growing coal demand.
In April 2009, he formed H&W Worldwide Consulting, putting his strong market analysis and strategy skills to good use across bulk commodities, including iron ore and coal –for both coking and thermal.
As an internationally recognized expert in areas of steel and steelmaking raw materials, long term trends and scenarios, he has written and presented numerous publications at highly respected international conferences and meetings.
Dr. Yukihiro Kubota
Chief Manager, Coal & Coke Research Departmentat
Nippon Steel Corporation
Dr Yukihiro Kubota obtained his PhD from Tohoku University in 2012. He has over 20 years of cokemaking research experience in Nippon Steel Corporation. His current role in NSC is the Chief Manager, Head of Coal & Coke Research Department, Ironmaking research Laboratory. He specializes in coal blending theory, coal preparation techniques, coke quality estimation, strength, size, and reactivity. His Keynote address at ISSCI 2023 focuses on current topics of development of ironmaking and cokemaking in Japan.
Head of Salesat
Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions
Graduation from university: 1992 (business administration)
1992: start of professional career with coke plant technology company Thyssen Still Otto (which in 1999 became Thyssen Krupp EnCoke and in 2004 was integrated in the company ThyssenKrupp Uhde)
1992 – 2017: development of projects for new coke plants as well as coke plant revamps with an emphasis on Latin America, but also in Europe, North America as well Asia
2017: new position “Head of Sales”
Further engagement: board member of German coke plant experts association (VDKF)
Dr. Ahmed S. Firoz
Former Chief Economistat
Economist Research Unit, Ministry of Steel India
Dr. Ahmed Shah Firoz served as Chief Economist at the Economic Research Unit of the Ministry of Steel till recently, studied Economics in India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, to acquire is his Masters (MA) ,M.Phil. and Doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees. He worked on the problems of disequilibrium states of the market specifically involving consumer behavior in shortage economies of the erstwhile USSR, Hungary and Poland. He also worked on the concepts of soft budget constraints in investment decisions in both centrally planned and market economies.
Firoz is currently a member of the Expert Group in the government project Mining 2035 undertaken under the auspices of Niti Aayog, the government’s most important think tank and policy driver. He is a Member of the Governing Body of Thought Arbitrage Research Institute ( TARI), a professional research body. He is also member of the Advisory and Governing Body of Steel User Federation of India ( SUFI). He continues to advise the government on various policy and strategic matters related to the iron and steel and coal and other related sectors. He is also seen as the architect of India’s new steel policy.