Our story

While Wave Swell Energy is a recently established company, many elements of its technology have been developed over a period of more than a quarter of a century. The inventor of the company’s technology, Dr Tom Denniss, first proposed an earlier version of the technology in late 1990.

After inventing the initial technology, Dr Denniss oversaw the ongoing R&D program and subsequent construction of the first full scale ocean based prototype of the technology.

As early as 1999, the European Union’s Independent Adviser for Wave Energy stated in writing that he believed the technology would be the first to make wave energy commercially viable. Accolades such as this soon attracted the attention of venture capitalists and other investors. The resulting injection of capital saw the technology become a world leader in the sector.

Over the ensuing decade the evolution of the company’s technology continued unabated, along with further awards and accolades, such as Tom Denniss being the first person inducted into the International Ocean Energy Hall of Fame at a conference in Hawaii in 2007.

A small group of individuals recently realised the potential for establishing a corporate identity to capitalise on Tom Denniss’ world leading wave energy technology experience. Wave Swell Energy Ltd was established.

The latest technology is an extension of the oscillating water column (OWC), the most established concept in wave energy. However, new and unique world-first innovations differentiate the technology from past inventions, ensuring no infringement of any existing IP. In addition, the technology is superior in performance, simpler in design and, therefore, more robust and cost effective than other OWC technologies.

These new technological developments are the basis of Wave Swell Energy’s intellectual property – a marked improvement in performance and commercial viability over other world leading wave energy technologies.


Our mission

Wave Swell Energy Ltd is an unlisted Australian public company. The company has developed a world leading proprietary technology that converts the energy in ocean waves into clean and emissions free electricity. This electricity can be transmitted to shore and into the grid, or used to power an onboard or shoreline located desalination facility.

Wave Swell Energy is currently developing a 1 MW wave energy project that is intended to be installed in the ocean off the west coast of King Island, between Tasmania and the Australian mainland. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the ability of the company’s technology, when installed at large scale, to produce electrical energy at a cost comparable to that of new coal-fired power plants. WSE is collaborating with Hydro Tasmania and the King Island Council and community to ensure the project is developed to be of benefit to all stakeholders.

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Tom Denniss

Chief Operating Officer

John Brown

Chief Technology Officer

Scott Hunter

Project Manager

Tom Wilson


Tom Denniss B.Math, B.Sc (Honours Class 1), PhD - Co-Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Tom has a PhD in Mathematics and Oceanography and has been involved in the wave energy industry for over 25 years. Besides having invented the technology of Wave Swell Energy, Tom has served as the Australian Government’s representative on the International Energy Agency’s Ocean Energy Systems Executive Committee, as well as on the Global Roundtable on Climate Change, an initiative of the Special Adviser to the Secretary General of the United Nations. Tom was the first person to be inducted into the International Ocean Energy Hall of Fame in 2007, has served on the Australian Government’s Advisory Board for the Clean Energy Innovation Centre, and is a current member of CSIRO Advisory Committee for the Australian Wave Energy Atlas Project. In 2013, Tom set a new world record for the Fastest Circumnavigation of the Earth on Foot, running the equivalent of 622 marathons in 622 days. He was also a finalist in the 2014 Australian of the Year competition, won by Adam Goodes. As a director of Wave Swell Energy Ltd Tom’s board responsibilities include technology.
John Brown, B.Bus (Econometrics), CFP - Co-Founder, Board Member, Chief Operating Officer
John has more than 25 years' experience in investment banking and financial services. He has worked for leading global investment banks in New York, London, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne. John's career includes foreign exchange trading, corporate advisory work and wealth management advice. John worked closely with Tom Denniss during the 90s in the Treasury and Commodities division of Macquarie Bank building trading models and taking them to market. John has had a strong interest in the renewable energy sector for the past 20 years. As a director of Wave Swell Energy Ltd John’s board responsibilities include the company’s day-to-day operational matters.
Scott Hunter B.Eng (Nav. Arch.) - Chief Technology Officer
Scott is the Chief Technology Officer and has been working in the ocean renewables industry for 15 years. Scott has a Bachelor of Engineering in Naval Architecture from the University of New South Wales. Scott has spent 13 years developing wave energy technologies from small R&D projects to the deployment of full scale wave energy converters. Prior to joining Wave Swell Energy Ltd Scott spend 18 months in the USA developing tidal energy technologies with a leading company in this field. Scott was heavily involved in developing and validating the core intellectual property of Wave Swell Energy.
Tom Wilson B.Eng (Civil) - Project Manager
Tom has been working in the renewable energy sector for 3 years, with a vested interest in wind, wave and biogas technologies. Tom has a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Technology, Sydney and is a member of the Institution of Engineers, Australia. He spent his initial years in the building and construction industry as a managing director of Engineering companies in Australia, UAE, and UK providing specialist engineering services on Government, commercial and private projects. Involvement in various Civil and marine projects saw him transition to become an owner operator of a dredging company and subsea cable burial company. More recently he has focused as a marine construction engineer on Bridge and Jetty construction for major civil, oil & gas infrastructure projects.
Ian Coltman LLB, B.Ec, Grad Dip Bus Admin - Board Member
Ian is the founder and principal of Coltmans Legal, a boutique legal practice advising on corporate and commercial law as well as financial services regulation. Ian has practiced law for more than 30 years. Before establishing Coltmans Legal, Ian worked at leading law firms in Melbourne and London, was Head of Legal in Australia for a global fund manager and was an Assistant Director at ASIC. Ian has extensive corporate experience through his advice to Boards on a broad range of issues, his hands on involvement as a director on a number of voluntary Boards and his role as company secretary for numerous public and private companies. Earlier in his career Ian was a commercial litigator, conducting disputes involving a broad range of corporate and commercial issues. He has run major actions, several of which are now reported cases, including Water Wheel, ASIC’s landmark insolvent trading claim. As a director of Wave Swell Energy Ltd Ian’s board responsibilities include legal, compliance and governance.
Greg Winnett B.Bus (Accounting), CA - Board Member
Greg is a Partner at Accru Melbourne a comprehensive Financial Services business and has over 30 years’ experience working with Corporate and Private Clients. He is a Member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, a Registered Company Auditor and Tax Agent. Greg specialises in audit and assurance services and has built a wealth of knowledge across many industries. Clients include public and private companies based in Australia and overseas, large proprietary companies, incorporated associations, trusts and other reporting entities. Professional involvement with a diverse client base has enabled Greg to develop a comprehensive understanding of business systems, information technology, corporate governance and financial management. As a director of Wave Swell Energy Ltd Greg’s board responsibilities include accounting, finance and governance.
Peter Doherty, AC, FAA, FRS, Nobel Laureate - Consultant
Peter Doherty is a Nobel Prize winning immunologist and former Australian of the Year who is known for his work in the area of infection and immunity. He has published hundreds of research papers and reviews and has been a member (or chair) of many public health-related government committees and task forces, here and globally. Latterly, he has taken a strong interest in the effects of anthropogenic global warming on the sustainability of complex life forms and has written several, “lay” books (A Light History of Hot Air, Sentinel Chickens: what birds tell us about our health and the world, and The Knowledge Wars) that deal, in part, with this issue. He serves (or has recently served) on the not-for-profit boards of organisations dealing primarily with the assessment and mitigation of climate change and is committed to the idea of finding technology-based solutions.