Our Staff

crcCARE relies on contributions from a dedicated team of scientists, postgraduate students, head office staff and partners in industry and government.

Staff are based at our headquarters at the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus and our South Australian office in Mawson Lakes.

Laureate Professor Ravi Naidu

Managing Director & CEO

Ravi Naidu has been a research leader in environmental contaminants, bioavailability and remediation for over 30 years, authoring or co-authoring over 1,000 research articles and technical publications and 13 patents, and co-editing 16 books and over 100 book chapters in the field of soil and environmental sciences. He is founding director of the University of Newcastle’s Global Centre for Environmental Remediation and was the initiator and inaugural director of the University of South Australia’s Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation where he conceived, developed and led the successful bid for CRC CARE in 2004. He was also the initiator and founding managing director/CEO of crcCARE, having engaged significant local and international collaboration, and led the successful bid for crcCARE’s nine-year extension in 2010. Prior to joining UniSA in December 2002, Ravi was Chief Research Scientist and Leader of the Remediation of Contaminated Environments Program at CSIRO Land and Water Division, and Component Coordinator of CSIRO’s Land and Water Sector.

Ravi was awarded a Gold Medal in environmental science in 1998 by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, has been awarded the status of Chartered Chemist, and is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society America (elected in 2000), the Soil Science Society of New Zealand (2004), the American Society of Agronomy (2006) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012). He was elected in 2016 as a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and in 2017 as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Ravi is Chair of the International Committee on Bioavailability and Risk Assessment and a sitting member of the EPA Victoria Contaminated Sites Auditor Panel. He has also been Chair of the Standards Australia Technical Committee on Sampling and Analyses of Contaminated Soils (1999–2000), Chair of the International Union of Soil Sciences Commission for Soil Degradation Control, Remediation and Reclamation (2002–10), and President of the International Society on Trace Element Biogeochemistry (2005–07).

Kat Withnell

Personal Assistant to the CEO and Managing Director

Kat is a highly skilled and versatile professional, currently serving as the Personal Assistant to the Managing Director and CEO of crcCARE. With a strong background in administration and a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry, Kat brings a unique blend of expertise to her role.

With over three years of administrative experience, Kat is adept at managing complex schedules, coordinating meetings, and providing comprehensive support to executives. Her exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail ensure the smooth functioning of the executive office, optimising productivity and efficiency.

Before joining crcCARE, Kat enjoyed a successful career in hospitality spanning ten years, where she excelled as an Assistant Manager. Her experience managing teams of up to 15 individuals in a fast-paced environment honed her leadership and interpersonal skills. She demonstrated exceptional proficiency in fostering a positive work culture, ensuring high standards of service, and managing diverse operational demands.

Ratin Mathur

Industry training manager

Ratin leads crcCARE’s efforts to upskill Australia’s remediation workforce through training and capacity building.

He organises the CRC’s short courses and workshops and engages with industry to ensure that training needs and knowledge gaps are well understood. He holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and has tertiary qualifications in project management, marketing and sales. Prior to joining crcCARE, he held the title of Project Engineer at Mount Gordon Mine in Northern Queensland. Earlier in his career, Ratin held positions with various chemical and petrochemical industry groups in India. He specialises in project planning and development, project management, and project implementation. 

Jessie Xu

Finance officer

Jessie is responsible for payroll, payment of accounts, issuing invoices, reconciliation of project expenses and monthly accounts generating.

She has more than 20 years of experience in the finance industry, including financial accounting work in the area of telecommunication service, and extensive financial accounting experience at a multinational company in the mining and metals industry.

Gaurang Parekh


Gaurang is responsible for providing technical support for Hydrogeological investigations for crcCARE’s Department of Defence projects. He holds a Master of Science (Geology) with a specialisation in hydrogeology from Gujarat University, India.

Before joining crcCARE, he worked as an environmental scientist in NSW and South Australia for Coffey International in the areas of petroleum-contaminated land and groundwater assessment.

In India, Gaurang worked as a hydrogeologist for India’s Central Ground Water Board (the national agency responsible for groundwater investigations and management), where he undertook macro- and micro-level planning for groundwater management.

Dr Ramkrishna Nirola

Director of Research

Ram undertook his PhD on using native vegetation to remediate contaminated soils at mine sites, completing in 2016 at the University of South Australia’s Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation. Other major projects included work on the clean-up of a tannery waste dump site in the Adelaide Hills and on the water use and productivity of Radiata pine in Mount Gambier, SA. He was involved in groundwater remediation at a Defence site in Edinburgh, SA, and PFAS remediation using matCARE™ in Darwin in 2019.

In 2020 Ram worked as a risk assessor on Australian Government pesticide toxicity projects before returning to CRC CARE as a Research Technical Officer prior to taking on the Director of Research role. Ram has published 19 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and was named in the top 10 SA Fresh Science nominees in 2017.

Positions vacant

We don’t have any vacancies right now, but keep an eye on this page for future openings.


crcCARE regularly offers scholarship opportunities.