The Cog Systems Team

Cog is a young (stealthy) startup company. We create, license, and integrate products and technology for building the next generation of connected mobile, IoT, and embedded devices. This is where cybersecurity matters – in every connected device.
Careers at Cog Systems

Culture & People

We are a company of builders, leaders, owners — who bring varying backgrounds, ideas, and points of view to innovation on behalf of our customers. Our diverse perspectives come from many sources including gender, race, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, culture, education, as well as professional and life experience.

Our Team

Dr. Daniel Potts

Dr. Daniel Potts


To me, success means building and working with a team who shares a common vision. This is when the greatest innovation occurs.

As Cog’s CEO, Dan is responsible for establishing and executing the strategic direction of the company, building great products and evangelizing the adoption of the most trusted and secure architectures in the connected devices used today.

Potts is a security professional and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in the design, implementation and delivery of embedded and secure systems. He has worked extensively in the field of operating systems and security architecture. Throughout his career, Potts has been a proven leader, innovative visionary, software architect and inventor with success delivering innovative product and professional services solutions across the mobile and embedded ecosystems.

Previously, he held technical and executive positions at commercial businesses, startups and major defense organizations including National ICT Australia, Open Kernel Labs, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman.

Potts received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of New South Wales through his research into improving the performance of distributed systems.

When not globetrotting for work, Potts keeps busy swimming, creating delicious BBQ on his smoker and spending time with his family.

Carl L. Nerup

Carl L. Nerup


Working for a startup is much like climbing a mountain. There are a million different ways to get to the top, keeping in mind that the shortest route usually is not the best choice. It’s all about navigating and expediting resources wisely.

Carl Nerup is the Chief Marketing Officer at Cog. In this role, he is responsible for leading sales, marketing, product development, business development and evangelizing the adoption of the most trusted and secure architectures to meet and exceed customer business requirements.

Nerup has more than 30 years of experience in the security and wireless industries. Previously, he was Vice President, Samsung Global Enterprise Business where he led sales for the Samsung Knox Secure Mobility platform. He held vice president positions at General Dynamics Broadband in charge of business development for GD Protect and AT&T’s Strategic Business Development organization where he was responsible for identifying new business opportunities across all AT&T business units. Prior to that he held management positions at Digital Island and Aerial Communications.

In addition to his corporate experience, Nerup continues in his role as a partner at Skyline Partners, a private equity firm based in Denver that specializes in select investments and specialized management consulting. He also served as an Executive in Residence at Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked with the Quality of Life Technology Foundry; a National Science Foundation Engineering Resource Center.

Nerup is a frequent speaker at industry forums and conferences. He also provides advisory services to numerous companies in the emerging technology and telecommunications industries as well as select non-profit organizations and graduate schools.

Nerup received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Seattle University and is a former rugby player for the United States Naval Academy. In his spare time, Nerup is an avid backpacker and lover of the outdoors.

Grant Cushny

Grant Cushny


I like to take a holistic approach to the operational and financial health of the company. It’s about people, resources, message and product all working together, not just numbers.

Grant Cushny is COO and is responsible for driving solutions to delivery and exceeding customer expectations.

Grant has an impressive career spanning over 20 years of business and engineering program management experience. His strength is in his passion to work with customers worldwide to discover new opportunities and make things happen. Grant has held technical and executive positions at General Dynamics, Open Kernel Labs, Tollgrade communications and Teradyne. His leadership and level head in solving complex business operational issues and a can-do attitude, makes him a key member of the executive team.

Grant has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

Carl van Schaik

Carl van Schaik

Chief Technology Officer

I am inspired by innovation and talented people who turn ideas into reality. All things in great abundance here at Cog.

Carl van Schaik is the Chief Technology Officer at Cog. He is responsible for creating, enabling and delivering the next-generation of innovative technology and products that enhance the security, robustness and productivity of connected devices.

Van Schaik is a world-class leader in the commercialization and evolution of hypervisor and virtualization-based technology.  Since 2002, he has led L4 microkernel design and development, bringing it to multiple architectures including ARM, MIPS32, MIPS64 and IBM Power ports.

Van Schaik was instrumental in developing the microkernel virtualization technology at University of New South Wales and NICTA, Australia’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence. In addition, he designed the OKL4 Microkernel and OKL4 Microvisor, which have been built into several billion devices worldwide.

Previous positions include Chief Software Architect at Open Kernel Labs and General Dynamics C4 Systems.

Van Schaik has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Cape Town.

Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson

Chief Commercial Officer

What drives me professionally? I am motivated by seeing others realize outcomes they doubted were even possible. This is the constant evolution of a successful start-up where ideas intersect with inspirational talent and tenacious execution.

Peter Wilson serves as Chief Commercial Officer responsible for working across the Cog team to drive growth and organizational maturity.

Wilson is an executive leader with expertise in transforming businesses in markets that face constant disruption. By developing progressive market strategies, challenging the status quo and daring his team to explore new horizons, he has been able to achieve unprecedented growth, revitalize businesses and create new market-leading offerings. Wilson’s 20+ year professional journey within the technology industry includes leading both private and listed companies, having worked in a hands-on capacity across all areas of operations and sales in complex development and outsourcing environments across ANZ, Asia and China.

Wilson has a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.), Marketing degree from the University of Western Sydney.

In his spare time, Wilson is an avid sports fan with a passion for golf. He is also a passionate wine enthusiast.

Suzanne Duggan

Suzanne Duggan

Business Operations Manager

There are many parallels between training for a marathon and project management. Both require self-discipline, attention to detail and perseverance.

In her operations and program management role, Suzanne is responsible for the day to day running of the operations team and program management.

Duggan is a catalyst for developing high performance development teams having worked extensively in software development for the past eight years. She has held project management roles at start-ups and major defense organizations including National ICT Australia, Open Kernel Labs and General Dynamics.

Duggan is APICS certified in Production and Inventory Management and became PRINCE2 certified in 2016.

In her spare time, Duggan enjoys running and has completed the Dublin City marathon, multiple half marathons and Sydney’s road race City-to-Surf. She is a keen horse rider and has competed in many competitions across Ireland.

Diane Gillespie

Diane Gillespie

Executive Director, Global Marketing

I thrive on making sense out of chaos and achieving clarity. In my experience, clarity is one of the most valuable assets that contributes to the success of tech startups.

Diane Gillespie joined Cog as executive director, global marketing to launch and grow Cog’s demand generation program.  Diane has built a communications platform that effectively nurtures the sales funnel in multiple vertical markets globally and has enhanced the Cog brand.

Gillespie is a seasoned marketing veteran, having worked with several leading Fortune 500 companies (The Nielsen Company (NLSN), InnerWorkings (INWK), Ingram Micro (IM)) as well as emerging start-ups (SAVO, Cleversafe).  For more than 20 years, she has directed and led digital marketing teams to execute successful demand generation campaigns, new product development launches and brand awareness initiatives.

With a clear understanding of what it takes to position companies from start-up status through to their long-term vision, Gillespie is able to successfully navigate and address the shifting challenges in driving business development and growth through effective marketing strategy and execution.

Gillespie received a Chick Evans Scholarship to Marquette University where she earned her degree in Public Relations/Marketing.

Alex Venardos

Alex Venardos

Director of Operations and Legal

I love being part of a team that is solving some of the world’s most complex problems.

Alex Venardos joined Cog as the Director of Operations and Legal and is responsible for the legal and risk function and supports Cog’s growth strategy.


Before joining Cog, Alex worked at AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, a federally funded not-for-profit, established to support the growth of Australia’s cybersecurity sector. There she worked closely with government and industry, including startups to develop programs and initiatives to accelerate the growth of Australia’s domestic capabilities. Alex also led an important regulatory reform project with the U.S. MITRE Corporation that recommended Australia adopt the NIST Cyber Security Framework as a move towards international standards harmonization.


Alex started her career as a criminal prosecutor, working for both Federal and State governments. In the private sector Alex has held management and strategy roles in Australia and across Asia.


Alex is a qualified lawyer and holds a Master of National Security Policy from the Australian National University with a focus on the cyber domain. Alex is the Company Secretary of Cog Systems and has recently completed the International Company Directors Course.


Outside of work Alex, enjoys travelling and hiking and is the Sydney co-chapter lead for the Australian Women in Security Network (AWSN).

Kai Engelhardt

Kai Engelhardt

Senior Principal Engineer

What’s the secret to my success? I will never stop learning. The more I learn, the more I can experience, share value with those around me and hopefully develop a better ‘cog’ that makes a difference for the better.

As Senior Principal Engineer, Kai Engelhardt propels Cog’s core technology to transfer confidence-increasing measures from academia to industry – gently, in small steps, by helping engineers embrace formal methods.

Engelhardt has extensive Formal Methods/verification expertise and was a Senior Lecturer at University of New South Wales with the School of Computer Science and Engineering and head of the Theoretical CS Group. He was also involved with NICTA/Data61 helping with the seL4 verification project. Engelhardt has worked on formal methods for about 25 years and learned not to invest in any particular formalism – the underlying principles are formalism-agnostic and can be applied in varying degrees of rigour.

Phil Derrin

Phil Derrin

Chief Software Architect

I am excited to be working with a talented and driven team to fulfill Cog's vision of building secure and trustworthy systems.

Philip brings extensive software development and architecture skills and experience to the company. Prior to joining Cog, Philip was responsible for product roadmap and design, implementation and code review for General Dynamics C4 Systems (formerly Open Kernel Labs, Inc.) as well as feature implementation and maintenance for OKL4 SDK and para-virtualization of operating systems running as virtualized guests under the OKL4 Microvisor. He was also research engineer at NICTA responsible for seL4 and L4 verified projects.

Philip has a BSc, Computer Science from the University of New South Wales.

Anjani Kumar Verma

Anjani Kumar Verma

Software Architect

It’s not just about building software, but driving business. As a cybersecurity software architect, I live and breathe for failure. If you don’t plan for failure, you’re not doing your job.

As software architect at Cog, Anjani assists with design and implementation of IoT security systems using Cog’s virtualization technologies. Verma also leads a team of talented engineers by providing technical and strategic guidance to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Verma has worked in mobile security since 2010 including seven years developing OKL4 virtualization technology. He has held positions with Open Kernel Labs, General Dynamics C4 Systems, ST-Ericsson and ST-Microelectronics, resulting in major achievements with some notable mobile security solutions.

Verma has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India.