Meet our judges
We are grateful for the services of our experienced and dedicated judges.
Garry is the ASB Bright Sparks chief judge and has been involved with the competition since it first started. He is also the founder and managing director of The Resources Guys, which provides strategic development, mentoring, governance, and advisory services for tech companies.
Garry’s list of career achievements includes leading a Deloitte Fast 50 tech company that trebled growth in recent years, being the CEO of a technology exporter whose revenues grew from $1.5mil to $18mil in 18 months, and numerous other leadership roles at tech firms around the world.
With vast experience in innovation, research, and development, Garry is widely respected in the New Zealand and global tech industry and is the perfect person to lead the ASB Bright Sparks judging panel.
Nethra is an Electronics and Electrical Lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and a strong advocate for women in engineering.
She is an accomplished academic in her field, holding Bachelors and Masters degrees (with Honours) from India and New Zealand. She has won research scholarships from the likes of Callaghan Innovation and Brain Research New Zealand, and has extensive experience working as an engineer for numerous tech firms around the globe.
Currently, Nethra juggles her work at MIT with a research project at the University of Auckland, which has a focus on healthcare robotics.
Mira is an experienced mobile app developer at FlexWare, where she develops and maintains Android and iOS apps for a large US-based corporate client.
Mira comes from a strong industrial embedded control systems background, with a BE(Hons) in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Auckland. She is also experienced in developing web applications and database management systems.
Outside of work, Mira is an active member of a local makerspace, and a tutor at a weekly workshop teaching coding and electronics to kids.
Mira is passionate about promoting diversity in the tech industry and regularly attends tech meet ups, as well as speaking at conferences.
Surekha is a seasoned geographer with more than a decade of experience working with air quality.
She currently works as a senior air quality technical specialist at Emission Impossible, an environmental consultancy. Previously, she was an air quality scientist at Auckland Regional Council for five years. She has led numerous high-profile projects throughout her career, such as managing the Auckland Air Emissions Inventory update and maintaining the Auckland air quality monitoring network datasets.
Outside of work, Surekha is a keen community and environment volunteer, and has a deep interest in innovative concepts that can be applied to environmental issues and sustainability.
Nicole is a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) graduate currently in ASB’s Start Me Up programme, which has a focus on technology and innovation.
Her work involves prototyping different technologies and experimenting with a wide range of gadgets. As part of her first rotation in the programme, she worked at ASB’s Innovation Lab, examining the design of architectural software.
Nicole has previously worked at a big data start-up and a financial services company. Her goal over the next few years is to become a full stack web developer.
Ross Petersen is the proud founder of ASB Bright Sparks and started the competition in 2000. His hard work and tireless commitment have grown the competition from humble beginnings into the national programme it is today.
Originally an industry researcher, then a chemistry teacher, Ross came to work for The Skills Organisation full-time to run the programme and to work with schools.
Although Ross retired in 2016, he is still very active in the ASB Bright Sparks community and now sits on the judging panel. His advice and wisdom are regularly called upon by those involved with the programme.