Our Story

Bringing together more than 60 years combined industry experience, CAS was formed in 2010 to address the need for a comprehensive, coordinated approach to optimise the value of the world's vast coal combustion product and solid waste material resources. International clients rely on the CAS team to provide reliable, quality, cost-competitive solutions that meet the standard of responsible, sustainable development. 

CAS operates as a business unit of Optimus Management Limited (www.optimusml.com), a private consulting and investment firm with offices in Hong Kong, Brisbane and Beijing. CAS client teams serve as sector catalysts, knowledge partners and project facilitators, bringing together expertise, networks and resources in a fragmented global industry.

Our Team

The CAS executive team and advisors are composed of industry leading researchers, experts and business people committed to bringing the highest value CCP and waste material solutions into successful commercial operations.

Mr. David HarriS
managing partner

David Harris is founder and managing partner of CAS, overseeing client relationships and corporate development.  In 2006 David founded Optimus Management, a strategic advisory and business development firm serving early and growth stage companies in sustainable materials and cleaner energy.  CAS was formed in 2010 as a division of Optimus, with a mandate to deliver sector-specific expertise for Optimus' clients in coal combustion products, non-ferrous minerals and waste materials industries.

David's investment, business development and marketing experience in energy, construction materials, manufacturing and greentech businesses have included roles with SME's and MNC's in the US, Japan, China and Canada. He is a founding director of the Asian Coal Ash Association and has served since 2010 as chairman. David was an industry advisor to the 2012 China Greentech Report, and is a regular speaker at greentech industry events, including the US-China Greentech Summit, Cleantech Group's 'Cleantech Forum' and World Clean Coal Week. David received his bachelors degree in Political Science with a focus in Environmental Policy from Brock University in Canada. He has lived and worked in mainland China since 2002.

Dr Thomas L. RobL
senior technical advisor

Dr. Tom Robl is the Associate Director for Environmental and Coal Technologies (ECT) at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research. ECT is a multi-disciplinary group of chemists, material and civil engineers and earth scientists researching the management and utilisation of coal combustion products. ECT research includes process development for ash beneficiation, fabrication of new low energy, low carbon construction materials including cements, concretes and polymer composites from coal by products. Tom is a Director of the American Coal Association and Co-Chairman of the World of Coal Ash. He is the author of more than 150 technical reports and publications, as well as four patents. He has more than 30 years of energy research experience related to coal utilization and has been the principal investigator on projects for the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and NATO.  He received a PhD from the University of Kentucky in 1977 in Geology.

Mr. Bill Martin
partner, construction material manufacturing and markets

Mr. Bill Martin is an experienced operations, sales and marketing executive with 25+ years in the Australian construction materials industry. Bill has held executive roles with Boral Australia and most recently with Adelaide Brighton Limited. Bill joined Optimus-CAS as an advisor in 2015 and became a partner in 2016. Bill’s expertise covers raw materials procurement, supply chain management, new business development and manufacturing operations in cement, concrete, masonry and concrete products. Bill also served as vice chair with the Ash Development Association of Australia, was a member of the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia and chair of the technical committee. Bill also participates in development of Australian standards as committee member and technical advisor for cement, fly ash and GGBS standards. Bill provides CAS clients with manufacturing operations advisory and supply chain optimisation, and offers critical insights into international market developments and best practices.

Dr Erik Severin
advisor, research, IP & technology development

Dr Erik Severin has been working as a senior technology advisor and new business development executive with startup companies since 2002.  Erik received a PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1999. His research focus on new materials and instrumentation have led to over a dozen issued patents and peer reviewed papers. A scientist and businessman, Erik's entrepreneurial drive has led to the founding of two new companies and provided valuable technical and management contributions to a number of early and late stage angel and venture backed businesses. Erik assists with technical validation, intellectual property valuation and technology development strategy and planning. Erik also serves as technical advisor to Vecor Limited, a fly ash processing and industrial ceramic technology developer.

Mr. An Yimin
partner, supply chain and finance

An Yimin is an experienced shipping, supply chain and finance professional. A former senior executive with a large SOE (China National Machinery Imp. & Exp. Corp ), Yimin graduated with a bachelor of engineering degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University and earned a master of engineering degree in Supply Chain Management from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Yimin spent the last 10 years in the private sector, most recently as head of China operations for a German multinational project finance and project logistics firm and as a partner in a New York based capital advisory firm. Yimin is an invaluable resource to clients seeking support and solutions in supply chain, investment banking and project logistics.

Mr. Steven Li
manager, international trade and logistics

Steven Li is an experienced International trading, shipping and project logistics professional with 9 years working experience in China National Machinery Imp. & Exp. Corp., a major state owned trading house in China and Burgesen Worldwide, listed in Norway, one of the largest shipping companies in the world. Steven graduated with a bachelor of engineering degree from Shanghai Maritime University in 1999. Steven spent the last 6 years as the Development Manager for a German project logistics multinational company. Steven is a cornerstone team member on all projects involving international trade and logistics.

MME. Wu Xiao Huan
advisor, testing & standards

Amy Wu (Xiao Huan) holds an MSc in Minerals Processing from the Wuhan University of Technology. For the last decade, Amy has worked at the centre of the Chinese solid waste utilisation industry in roles spanning research, technical standards development and advisory to governments and power stations . Amy leads all CCP audit programs, and serves as the standards and material testing manager for CAS in China. She concurrently serves as secretary general of the Asian Coal Ash Association and as director of the Department of Solid Waste Recycling at the Institute for Technical Information for the Building Materials Industry in Beijing.