Meet our leadership team

Paul GapesPaul Gapes – General Manager & Company Director

Paul is the General Manager and driving force behind the company’s practical, solution-focused approach.   

Gaining his first exposure to smart electronics as an Electronic Warfare Analyst in the Royal Australian Navy, Paul has acquired unique insights into project management, product certification and supplier networks in the electronics field, and a deep respect for client companies’ requirements for practical solutions that work in the field, not just in theory. His work with State and Federal Governments, Energex, NQBP and LendLease has provided detailed industry knowledge with great relevance for PDS.   

In addition to his role steering Pacific Data Systems, Paul plays a pivotal role liaising between mining, exploration, transport, environmental and government entities with unique needs for smart devices, and the company’s internal Research & Development team. 

Under Paul’s guidance, Pacific Data Systems continues to lead the industry by developing innovative products that are technically advanced, fit for purpose and easy to use in the field.

 

Matt WeychardtMatt Weychardt - Financial Controller and Company Director 

Matt is the Financial Controller and designer of many of PDS’s processes and procedures.

Having previously worked with Budget Direct and Collection House, Matt brings to PDS deep experience in ERP integration, development and training,  foreign currency risk, import costing, customs processing, budgeting, financial reporting, financial analysis, sales data analytics, ISO9001, auditing, surveillance and logistics. At PDS, Matt is responsible for managing  the administration, Quality Assurance (ISO9001) and accounting functions.

Matt is fascinated by processes, especially process strategy, planning and ongoing improvement. He also has a keen interest in ERP data and how it can be used to manage technical scope of works, maximise business opportunities, achieve greater customer satisfaction and value, and improve sales and business forecasting.

Matt is a CPA (Certified Practising Accountant) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Queensland. He is also part of the Queensland Leaders.

 

David HugmanDavid Hugman – Production Mgr & Company Director

David is the Production Manger and champion of quality manufacturing at PDS.

David‘s title as production manager understates his role which is broad-reaching, and includes responsibility for manufacturing, installation and repair of a variety of PDS products. His particular speciality is electronics, and his skills include schematics, PCB (printed circuit board) manufacturing, assembly and wiring, and manufacturing resource planning. 

With former employers including Queensland University of Technology and Video Pro, David’s main interest before PDS was in installation and maintenance of professional and broadcast video equipment. Being complex and intricate, the skills learned in this field have been of great practical benefit to PDS.  

David’s passion is quality in manufacturing. It is important to him that, if customers have to travel 10 hours to install PDS’s devices, they can leave them on site with confidence, knowing they will operate reliably with minimum need for maintenance. His down-to-earth, practical approach translates to high performance and reliability for PDS products.
 
 

Susan RathboneSusan Rathbone  -  Logistics Supervisor & Company Director

Susan is the Logistics Manager and a key shaper of the company’s culture.

Susan is in charge of the vital logistics function at PDS, ensuring that components and completed PDS products and third party products, as well as PDS devices for return, replacement, repair, reconfiguration or modification for new purposes, are received or dispatched on time to the right place.  

Susan has been with the company since the early 1990s, fulfilling senior roles in administration, procurement, customer service, stock control, service management and partner management. Working initially with founder, George Porter, Susan has seen the company grow from staff of just 6 to over 25, and has been instrumental in its growth and success. 

Susan loves working with people who are practical, straight forward and industrious and her strong work ethic has helped to shape a distinct culture for PDS..
 

Mark FergussonMark Fergusson  -  Research and Development Manager & Company Director

Mark Fergusson heads up the R&D team and is responsible for converting ideas into real world working solutions, based on low powered electronics and software.

Mark's fascination with electronics goes back a long way; he's been experimenting with and designing devices at home since he was twelve. As a child, he wanted to know how things work, where the potential problems lay, and how to avoid them by thinking 'outside the box'.

Originally repairing video players, TVs and computers for other companies, Mark added medical devices to his areas of expertise, including hearing aids, audiometers and Cochlear's Bionic Ear, before joining PDS in 2010. At first Mark was focused on alchohol testing devices until he was asked by PDS's founder, George Porter, to turn his mind to design; George wanted Mark to create the first FreshView Ripening Controller. When it was a success, Mark was quickly appointed to head up the new R&D division.

Mark's technical areas of expertise are in PCB design, C ++/assembly, software development for Microsoft Windows®, GUI software development, embedded control firmware development, web and database application development, and hardware and software design in a multi-core processor environment.

Mark is fascinated by simplicity; he likes devices to be simple in design, easy to assemble and install, and intuitive to use. He's looking forward to supporting PDS’s continued growth by devising further practical electronic and software solutions to customers' problems.

 

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SatVue does what it says – reliable, continuous cost-effective monitoring – and the payback was under three months just as PDS said.

John Carson - Senior Hydrogeologist, RuralServ*