BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Peter van der Gracht, P.Eng.
Peter is a successful start-up veteran, with over thirty-five years of experience leading companies through multiple financings, operational build-outs, acquisitions, mergers, and buy-outs. Peter has in the past or is currently, chairman, director, consultant, or investor of over twenty for-profit organizations. Peter supports the following not-for-profit organizations, Entrepreneurship@UBC, a University of British Columbia seed-stage investment fund and program, and Alacrity Foundation, a not-for-profit start-up foundation. In the past, Peter supported two Federal Government activities. He was a member of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council and he was the Global Industry Advisor for Global Affairs Canada. Peter holds a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and is the recipient of multiple awards for entrepreneurship.
Matthew Kowalczyk, Eng.
Matthew is a mechanical engineering graduate of the University of British Columbia School of Engineering and subsequently studied at Laval University in software engineering. His professional career includes leading a design team for automated vision systems for manufacturing, then successfully founding a company that developed sensor-based ore sorting technology for the mining industry. Since joining OFG in 2014 the company has been continuously active in seafloor minerals exploration projects and has continued to grow through close collaboration with its clients in the development and deployment of new AUV services, as well as specialised sensors and technologies for seafloor mapping and inspection.
Peter Kowalczyk, P.Geo.
Peter is a founder of Ocean Floor Geophysics. He has a background in mining geophysics and extensive experience in mineral exploration worldwide. Prior to starting OFG, he was chief geophysicist for Placer Dome, the second largest gold mining company in the world, at that time. Peter has a strong background in electrical, magnetic, and electromagnetic potential field methods used in mineral exploration and in the economic evaluation of mineral deposits. He designed the electromagnetic system OFG built to map the Solwara SMS deposit and subsequently used on multiple SMS exploration cruises in the western Pacific and in Japan.
Peter is an expert in the geophysical response of seafloor mineralization. He has participated in the development of multiple geophysical systems now routinely deployed by OFG on AUV and ROV platforms for commercial survey work. Peter is a registered geophysicist in the BC society of professional engineers and Geoscientists. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.Sc. (geophysics) in 1970.
Karsten Hjelseth, M.Sc.
Director | Manager at PGS
Karsten has close to 20 years of experience in finance, strategy, M&A and business development spheres across several capital structures and industries, but particularly within the oil and energy sectors. He represents PGS Geophysical AS on OFG’s board of directors. As a Manager at PGS, Karsten's responsibilities entail M&A, corporate strategy and business development for the company. Prior to joining PGS, Karsten held various positions within equity research, sales and capital raises in the Scandinavian investment banks ABG Sundal Collier and Pareto. Karsten has a Master of Business Economics and Administration from BI Norwegian School of Management, with a specialization in finance.
Alison Proctor, PhD., P.Eng.
Alison is a Mechanical Engineer with internationally recognized experimental research on dynamic modelling and control of underwater vehicles. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria. Alison joined OFG in 2015 as an AUV pilot and control system engineer. She has run many offshore projects for the company including OFG's collaboration with the winning GEBCO-NF Alumni Team in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE. Prior to joining OFG, she worked at the University of Victoria as Chief Underwater Vehicle Engineer. During her tenure, she was the principal engineer for the Bluefin 12 AUV and designed and implemented various algorithms for the vehicle. Alison is a certified operator of a number of ROVs and AUVs including the Saab-SeaEye Falcon, Bluefin-12, ISE Explorer 3000, WHOI REMUS 6000, OceanServer IVER and the Kongsberg Hugin.