Scott Coles

Chief Executive Officer

Our people

Over the past decade, the Optalert team has been leading the world in the development of early-warning drowsiness detection technology. Our dedicated group of technical professionals has pioneered the application of technology to solve the real-world problem of drowsy driving. We remain committed to the goal of saving lives and helping our customers achieve their goal of keeping their employees safe and alert.  

  • Scott Coles

    Chief Executive Officer

    Scott Coles

    Chief Executive Officer

    Scott is currently the CEO of Optalert Australia Pty Ltd, and Director of the subsidiaries of Optalert Holdings - a world leader in fatigue and drowsiness detection technology. He is responsible for all aspects of the global business, including the licensing of Optalert’s intellectual property into new markets worldwide. With revenue growth of over 100% in 2014/15 Optalert closed its most profitable year in over a decade.

    Prior to Optalert, Scott developed and led the strategic turnaround plan that saw ISYS Search Software generate its best financial results in over 20 years, and positioned the company as a desirable acquisition target.

    He has held a range of senior executive roles including: Director of EDS Asia Pacific, Managing Director of Allied Telesis and Director of Avaya. Scott specializes in shareholder exits, strategic planning, technology commercialisation, organization leadership and development and business turnarounds. He also acts as a non-executive Director and mentor to other Australian technology companies.

  • James Gorry

    President Global Sales

    James Gorry

    President Global Sales

    James is an effective business leader with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of senior sales and strategic management roles across professional services, software solutions and channels in all industry sectors in Australia. He has been described as driven, analytical, methodical and a determined tenacious leader who “refuses to lose”.

    In April 2013 James moved to Optalert to take over the reins of the global sales team. He previously worked for IBM as a Business Unit Leader managing a large team, where he had a successful eight year career acknowledged by an IBM Global Management Excellence Award in 2009 placing him in the top 2%. He has achieved year on year growth and has continually exceeded targets as a sales leader.

    James’ broad life and career experiences in several industries have enabled him to bring a level of business strength and determination that is credible and trusted. His key strength is running the business as if it is his own with ownership end to end.

    From closing deals, prospecting, pipeline and bid management to operational excellence and marketing, his focus on the “numbers” give him an excellent reputation.

  • Rhonda Locke

    General Manager Marketing

    Rhonda Locke

    General Manager Marketing

    Rhonda is a strategic and award-winning Marketing and Communication professional with specialist branding skills and extensive experience developing new products for new and emerging markets. Her wide-ranging experience crosses a variety of sectors including wearable technology, entertainment, water, energy, tourism, transport, education, recruitment and healthcare.

    Rhonda has a track record of success in developing and executing tailored, integrated marketing communication programs and galvanising teams to deliver superior results – often within tight timeframes and with limited budgets. She has also significant experience in digital marketing with wide-ranging social media experience.

    In recent years Rhonda has worked as the Manager Marketing Communication for top 50 ASX-listed transportation company Aurizon.

    In June 2013, Rhonda moved to the position of General Manager Marketing for Optalert and leads the strategic decision making for the brand and product positioning. With the only scientifically-proven fatigue technology on the market, Rhonda is confident the future of the Optalert brand and its wearable technology products is looking extremely bright.

  • Chris Hocking

    Vice President Scientific Research

    Chris Hocking

    Vice President Scientific Research

    Chris has a Master’s Degree in Psychophysiology and Bachelor of Applied Science from Swinburne University.

    Prior to joining Optalert, he worked as a researcher at Swinburne and Monash Universities in Melbourne, and for a start-up technology company applying brain activity (EEG) recording techniques to market research. This company focused on the measurement of the instantaneous, subconscious reactions of consumers to advertising material with a view to understanding consumer behaviour based on neuroscience and cognitive psychological models, and was a pioneer in what has now become a new industry, neuromarketing.

    Chris joined Optalert as a researcher in 2007, and has been deeply involved in the development of Optalert’s technology, particularly the real-time monitoring system (IRIS) and the drowsiness detection algorithm. He holds a joint patent with founder Dr Murray Johns for the use of an accelerometer in Optalert’s glasses to improve the detection of drowsiness and driver states.

  • Dr Trefor Morgan

    General Manager Research and Development

    Dr Trefor Morgan

    General Manager Research and Development

    Dr Trefor Morgan has been a leader in commercialising innovative product ideas for over 15 years. Trefor's primary interest is in bringing solid engineering principles to new innovations that will deliver revolutionary solutions to global markets. He has held senior product development positions in VC startups Monitoring Division and Redfern Broadband Networks. Trefor holds a number of patents and journal publications, and is an invited and post-deadline speaker at international conferences.

    He received his PhD, MEngSc, BSc and BEng at the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, University of Melbourne.

  • Nick Corr

    General Manager Customer Support

    Nick Corr

    General Manager Customer Support

    Nick’s 20 years’ experience and passion in delivering exceptional customer service is enhanced by his understanding of the requirements of tier-one customers within the mining sector. His experience delivering product and service-based solutions within mining, transport, manufacturing and training industries makes Nick the perfect fit as Customer Account Manager.

    Nick has over nine years’ experience with the Skilled Group, most of these years accrued at a National Management level. Nick was responsible for a team of Business Development Managers and Customer Support Advisors overseeing 200+ client sites including QMAG, Rio Tinto, BHPB and Xstrata. Nick has a proven record delivering ROI with relation to investment and technology solutions.

  • Simon Block

    General Manager Technology

    Simon Block

    General Manager Technology

    Simon began his career with Hewlett Packard in the Computer organisation before moving into the Test and Measurement side of the business, later to become Agilent Technologies. With HP's Australian Telecom Operation, Simon developed leading edge Telecom Test Equipment with over $100M in sales per year by the late 1990's. He then moved to HP’s Vancouver office and played a critical role in the development the world's first instrument for analysing MPEG-2 transport stream over ATM. This included world-first patented algorithms in order to create real-time statistics. Subsequent developments built on the real-time measurements and added analysis of the elemental video streams with close collaboration with HP Labs and the renowned Philips Sound and Vision Labs in Eindhoven (NL).

    In 1998, Simon formed a consulting company in Canada and for the next five years ran a highly successful consultancy in embedded development and device drivers for real-time applications, such as Telecommunications, Cellular Technologies and Signal Intelligence. Simon’s company worked with clients including Motorola, Spectrum Signal Processing (DSP systems) and engineering organisations in Canada and the USA.

    After returning to Australia, Simon worked for Symstream Technologies where he managed the development and adoption of wireless technology for financial industry clients in the Philippines and the UK. Since joining Optalert, Simon has been leading a team responsible for the development of the new eagle early-warning drowsiness detection products and is now focused on external relationships and technology licensing opportunities extending further into the wearable technology space.

  • Renato Lopez

    Business Development Manager

    Renato Lopez

    Business Development Manager

    Renato is a senior Business Development Manager with a strong background in international business, product management and sales, with over 12 years of experience gained within the manufacturing industry domestically and internationally.

    He has developed trusted relationships across many markets through managing a large channel partner successfully from Australia and overseas.

    Renato has been tasked with the development of new business and a local partnerships program in Europe, Asia and parts of Latin America. He is fluent in Spanish and English and brings with him a passion for safety learnt through his years of involvement as a HSE champion in previous management roles. Working closely with Optalert’s professional team, Renato is ready to provide you with solutions and work with you as a partner, not just a supplier.

  • Warren Lewis

    Customer Support Manager

    Warren Lewis

    Customer Support Manager

    Warren has an immense understanding of Optalert’s gold standard technology gained over the past seven years working with the company. A customer retention and growth specialist, Warren has an impressive track record in operational implementation and support. He has accumulated a wealth of industry experience and a second-to-none reputation amongst the global mining sector at a senior management and executive level.

    Warren has achieved success developing drowsiness detection solutions with a broad range of customers and has project managed implementations nationally and internationally.

  • Maria Fernanda Ortega R

    Customer Support Manager

    Maria Fernanda Ortega R

    Customer Support Manager

    Maria is a Customer Support Manager with more than 10 years of experience in customer service within the manufacturing and mining sector. Through her experience, understanding of customer needs and service attitude, Maria is the link between the Latin American customers and Optalert to offer a solution to their requirements.

    She is fluent in Spanish and English. Since 2010 Maria has developed a deep knowledge about Optalert that allows her to give an excellent service to the customers and perform successful implementations on site.

  • Dr Murray Johns

    Founding Director

    Dr Murray Johns

    Founding Director

    Dr Johns is a world authority on sleep medicine and has pioneered research in this field for more than 30 years. He developed the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, which is now a world standard method for measuring a subject’s general level of sleepiness in daily life.

    Dr Johns’ research and development efforts provided the intellectual property for products manufactured by Compumedics Limited, which is listed on the ASX. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Swinburne University of Technology.

    Dr Johns began his working life as a geologist, specialising in hydrogeology. However, he went back to university and studied medicine. After postgraduate clinical training in Internal Medicine at Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, he went on to do a PhD in sleep medicine. He was the first person in Australia to do so, at a time when the discipline of sleep medicine did not exist.

    He did full-time sleep research in Australia, USA and UK for eight years. However, he was unable to practice sleep medicine until he founded the Epworth Sleep Centre in Melbourne in 1988. His was the first private sleep laboratory and practice of sleep medicine in Australia. He retired from clinical practice in 2002, by which time the Epworth Sleep Centre was well known for its clinical practice and research, nationally and internationally.

    In 1994, he began to develop new technology for monitoring the drowsiness of drivers continuously. He called that technology Optalert. Dr Johns was the founding Director of Sleep Diagnostics, which was set up specifically to develop and commercialise that technology. Today, Sleep Diagnostics is now called Optalert Pty Ltd of which Dr Johns holds the position of Chief Scientist.

  • Brian Wilson


    Brian Wilson


    Brian is on the Global Advisory Board for Accenture. He recently retired from a 30-year career in global executive roles at Accenture. Most recently Brian was the Managing Partner for Accenture’s Communications, High Tech and Media Operating Unit in Asia/Pacific, and Director of Andersen Technology Ventures (investing in high-growth technology companies globally).

  • William Deane

    Non Executive Director

    William Deane

    Non Executive Director

    For more than 12 years, William has advised on, and been actively involved in financing and developing early-stage companies from both the company perspective and the investor perspective. He has assisted founders and investors to exit from private companies through trade sales, management buy-outs and public offerings.

    As a Co-founder and Principal of Exto Partners, William assists clients with capital raising, corporate structuring, business development and strategic transaction negotiation. William is an experienced corporate lawyer, having worked in Australia with Blake Dawson Waldron’s corporate group and in the United States with Sidley & Austin’s corporate group and Skadden, Arp, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP’s investment management group. He has advised leading domestic and international corporations on capital raising, stock exchange listing (NYSE, NASDAQ and ASX), mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters.

  • Ian Rodwell

    Non Executive Director

    Ian Rodwell

    Non Executive Director

    Ian Rodwell is the founder of the Adcorp Group and held the position of Managing Director from Adcorp’s inception until his retirement in January 2004.

    He is a Director of Diabetes Australia Research Trust (DART), an organisation responsible for the raising of funds for diabetes research and awarding of grants to medical researchers in Australia.

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