• Dario Valenza Founder and CEO Keenly interested in fluid dynamics and vehicle design, his creativity found an outlet early on in competitive radio controlled yacht development. Coming of age at a time when the promise of advanced composites was beginning to look obtainable, Dario was part of the first wave of developers. First on a small scale, then as part of larger teams in professional yacht racing. As he became involved in bigger projects Dario gained experience in workflow management, budgeting, communication, and fundraising. In the America’s Cup his roles included hands-on fabricating, design, and operations management. As well as a passion for beautiful design and elegant problem solving, Dario has a broad understanding of the disparate elements that contribute to a successful product. Always interested in cross-pollination to apply knowledge across different industries, Dario explored and successfully contributed to several specialised projects ranging from cars to movie sets to aircraft.
  • Salvador Klein Executive Director A ‘serial entrepreneur’ is a great way to describe Salvador. He has an itch only genuine, grass roots entrepreneurship can scratch. “Digital advancements have changed the way we do business. It is the age of the Entrepreneur and the age of the Contractor, I feel lucky to be alive at this time in history." After being home schooled in Canada he was fast-tracked through the school system in Australia but his admission to Sydney University was sidelined when he secured a position at Fairfax Media. He was 17. “The greatest gift my education has given me is that of an open mind”. Salvador launched his first startup venture when he was 21 while working full time (it promptly failed). “I really didn't know enough back then to run a business. But the psychological experience of starting a company when I was so young cemented a mentality of self –reliance, and the enduring belief that I could create something out of nothing." He then climbed the corporate ranks of listed and private companies. Swift advancement in these commercial roles was always attributed to his commitment to constant innovation. “My success is ultimately down to the fact I continue achieving things that have never been done before. As an employee of big, well-oiled machines, and as the owner of new start-up companies – I do everything differently, being fearless of moving forward. Because once something different succeeds, it will surpass everything else.” Salvador is now up to his 11th startup venture - amidst much failure he now sits on the board of six successful companies. “People always said that I should focus on one thing at a time, I never have. It’s one of the core things I do differently.”
  • Jeff Eager Executive General Manager Jeff Eager joined Carbonix in 2016 as our Executive General Manager. Jeff comes from over 35 years of experience in the aviation industry including senior management roles with Ansett and American Express, and more recently in the drone space. Jeff brings a depth of experience in the aviation sector to Carbonix, ensuring our business is well equipped to offer the same operational excellence as can be expected in one of the most regulated industries. Jeff represents Carbonix’s interest in the global market place, and supports our business growth locally and internationally. He provides important strategic advice to the business, and builds important business relationships with our partners.
  • Cortney Thomson Business Operations Manager Cortney's role at Carbonix is integral to the execution of brand strategy, nurturing of client and investor relationships, and maintaining the day-to-day executive operations of the business. Cortney believes in combining the traditional strategic PR building blocks with progressive communication channels. She is a master in administrative process, PR strategy, and service delivery. Cortney has 10 years experience working in public relations in Europe and Australia. She started her career in financial services, working in the European press office of Lehman Brothers before moving to one of the world’s largest PR agencies, FTI Consulting. She returned to Australia in 2010, and led the consulting team for a Brisbane PR agency before making the move to set up a new, disruptive PR agency, Pirate Pee Argh, in early 2015. Throughout her career, Cortney has developed the brands and communication programs for big businesses such as global fuel operator Puma Energy, national energy retailer ERM Power, and worked with some of the world’s largest financial institutions such as Barclays and Credit Suisse. Today she works with big and small businesses to help them understand their stakeholders and build their reputations.
  • Nick Allen Lead Electronics Engineer Nick brings more than 16 years experience in electrical engineering and a depth of knowledge in UAV integration as a drone designer and pilot. With a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, Nick’s previous roles saw him developing, prototyping and commissioning sensor based sorting equipment for the mining industry, and being named inventor on several patents, including one for correlation and removal of background noise in radiometric sorting, allowing accurate gamma radiation measurement of individual particles spread across a conveyor. An expert in PCB design, layout & assembly, microcontroller programing, FPGA development, and PLC programming, Nick is also an avid RC drone pilot. He brings a combination of experience and passion to his work at Carbonix, and is leading the product development on our fully integrated UAV systems.
  • Antonio Blas Electronics Technician Antonio has joined the Carbonix team in 2017 as an Electronics Technician supporting our Lead Electronics Engineer. Antonio has 10 years' experience electronics engineering and design working for the Saudi Arabian defence force and working in Singapore and Philippines. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Polytechnic University of the Philippines. He has a refined understanding microcontroller-based systems in which can apply to the integration and maintenance of UAVs. Antonio is excited to work with Carbonix as it gives him an opportunity to showcase his skills in electronics while developing UAV systems.
  • Andrew Stevenson Composites Fabrication Team Leader Andrew has truly impressive extensive experience in advanced composites. A qualified shipwright, he did his time at major well known industry leading companies. All along he was building his own race boats in the Moth Class, RC yachts, and RC aircraft. He campaigned his creations, earning valuable practical understanding of the behaviour of engineered composites. Andrew joined Carbonix when the Cockatoo Island base first opened, and has been integral to setup of the place and processes there. He cares passionately about his work and takes pride in every product that goes out the door.
  • Alex Cray Composites Fabrication Technician Alex joined the Carbonix team in September of 2015 as a fabricator. Having completed his four-year apprenticeship, he is a qualified shipwright. Working on a variety of challenging projects, he has become a valued member of the team. Alex’s favourite part about working at Carbonix is our approach, which encourages challenging traditional thinking to innovate. He believes that the benefit of using carbon fibre is the versatility of the material. Alex has contributed greatly in refining our ‘one-shot’ processes where parts are made in one piece using internal bladder pressure, often requiring complex bagging sequences. He says such processes teach you to treat the materials and production sequences with respect, taking the time to appreciate the work journey toward excellent products.
  • Rainer Rodrigues Composites Technician Rainer joined Carbonix in 2016 as a composites technician. Having a Brazilian background he gained experience in South America, mastering skills in boatbuilding and design. He hopes to continue following his passion as part of the unique Australian business that is Carbonix. Rainer takes pride and care in laminating, trimming, assembling, bonding, prepping, painting, and executing the necessary processes to create elegant products. A willingness to learn and work hard, combined with a valuable pre-existing skill set, makes Rainer a valuable addition to the team.
  • Rebecca Chester Aeronautical Design Team Member Rebecca joined the Carbonix team in 2016 as an Aeronautical Designer and Engineer. She joins us from the United States of America where she has completed an array of impressive qualifications including a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Rebecca has honed her knowledge within a practical setting completing internships with Lockheed Martin and Cummins Aerospace - focussed on product design, quality engineering, electrical testing, and system engineering. Rebecca enjoys working at Carbonix because of how exciting it is to be part of the UAV industry that is expanding so rapidly. She enjoys working as a designer combined with the hands-on integration of components in the workshop.
  • Taylor Thomas Aeronautical Design Team Member Taylor joined the Carbonix team in 2016 with a keen eye and passion for design. He completed a four year honors degree in Aerospace Engineering at RMIT in 2014, having previously earned an associate degree in Mechanical Engineering. Applying his academic and practical skills, Taylor undertook two impressive internships in 2015 spending time at the CSIRO in Hobart, and seven months in Germany with Airbus Defense and Space. His study and practical experience intersect with the majority of content focused on unmanned aircraft systems. Taylor looks to Carbonix to continue to express his passion for design applied to autonomous flying systems.
  • Finley Lewis UAV Technician Assistant Finley joined the Carbonix team for a summer internship having completed year 12 of high school. His final year major design project was building a fully functional medical drone - an impressive feat which garnered wonderful marks in his HSC and some very positive press coverage. Finley has shown great interest in the UAV industry throughout school and hopes to continue his studies at university in 2017. Finley assists in system integration, programming, and electronic installation within the Carbonix team. He confesses his passion for drones, the flourishing industry and the potential in Carbonix’s future direction. His understanding of aircraft of all kinds is aided in no small part by Finley being a 'full size' pilot, regularly taking part in aerobatic competitions.
  • Claudia Neal-Shaw Marketing Claudia joined the team in 2015 to serve the primary marketing and social media role of connecting Carbonix with other businesses and consumers. She has a degree in communications and law and 12-months experience working for one of Australia’s most progressive advertising agencys “oOh Media”. In addition to her media background, Claudia has strong roots in government PR, as a researcher and speech-writer for the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop. Throughout her career, Claudia has also developed social media campaigns for Fitness First and freelanced for a range of lifestyle and property magazines. Claudia brings a new perspective to traditional PR and communications thinking. She also brings a unique mix of old-world training and new-world thinking to Carbonix, and she provides a fresh outlook to brand and communication campaigns.
  • Melissa Bong Research and Development Assistant Melissa started with Carbonix on a Research and Development internship and has quickly become part of the team. She is currently completing a dual Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Neuroscience at the University of New South Wales. She is very involved in aerospace and aviation at university participating in a number of design projects and societies to further this passion. Melissa is also engaged in the Women in Engineering development group creating a dialogue and encouraging more women, especially younger students to join and be involved in the industry. Upon completion of her university degree, Melissa hopes to further her skills in structural design based engineering and knowledge in composites structures.

Team And Story

The Carbonix brand was launched in 2015 to reflect growing diversification of Carbonicboats into aerospace and defence.

Carbonicboats was founded in the late ‘90s by Dario Valenza. The vision, driven by a passion for elegant design, was to make available to a broader public skills combining fluid dynamics and advanced composite materials. While Dario worked in a series of America’s Cup challenges, Carbonicboats applied cutting edge knowhow to projects in the automotive realm, in aerospace, and in feature film sets. Carbonicboats also developed and produced competitive radio controlled yachts, collecting impressive results internationally.

Our unique skills and experiences emerged from learning about composites while advancing the state of the art. Our fundamental understanding of composite structures in fluids comes from being around when such technologies were exotic and unknown. Our work on the frontier of composite aeroelastic structures forged a formidable international network of suppliers and consultants. If it moves in a fluid (air or water) and needs to have specific structural properties (light, strong, predictable flex), then we can make it better.

“A sailboat is an airplane with one wing in the water and the other wing in the air. All the problems of lift, drag, structural stresses, balance, and efficiency must be solved for two fluids. Making a yacht competitive means fully understanding the way structures behave in fluids, as well as ergonomics, adaptability, and performance envelopes.” – Dario Valenza, Founder and CEO.

By 2013 Carbonicboats was producing the world’s first fully foiling A Class catamaran and supplying appendages that helped win a World Championship convincingly. Customer work grew to include UAV airframes for an EU defence contractor. Our ongoing R&D includes design tools, manufacturing techniques, telemetry, and life cycle analysis.

In 2014, Carbonicboats committed to creating dedicated facilities and retaining key talent in-house to ensure a full and independent capability to deliver from concept to production. The chosen location, appropriately, was the World Heritage listed and very iconic Cockatoo Island, in the heart of Sydney, Australia.

In 2015 Dario was joined by Executive Director Salvador Klein who brought a complementary set of business skills to Carbonix. The team launched Carbonix and committed to expanding the product range to all-carbon/composite airframes for a range of UAVs, as well as continuing to improve existing lines.

Our core values put quality above all else. Team members have a passionate commitment to constant improvement. Elegant design and creating beautiful solutions are at the heart of why we do what we do.

Carbonix works pro-actively with regulators and certifiers, and is always open about sharing useful knowledge and helping. Among other initiatives there is a collaboration with UNSW for ongoing engineering research. We are driven by a passion for beautiful solutions to complex problems.

 

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