Centre Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is responsible for the Centre’s responsible governance, with oversight from the Centre Advisory Committee. The Executive Committee is accountable to the Australian Research Council, a statutory agency responsible for Australia’s National Competitive Grants Program and major contributor to the Centre to the value of $19 million in public funding.
The Committee includes representatives from the Centre’s four domestic partners—QUT, the University of Adelaide, the Australian National University and Monash University—and provides the leadership and direction that is critical to the successful operation of our Centre and achievement of our ambitious research program. The members of our Executive Committee are:
Centre Director, Distinguished Professor Peter Corke (QUT)
Centre Deputy Director, ARC Laureate Professor Ian Reid (University of Adelaide)
Chief Operating Officer, Dr Sue Keay
Professor Robert Mahony (Australian National University)
Professor Tom Drummond (Monash University)
The Executive Committee currently meets monthly—more regularly when needed—via videoconference and a quarterly face-to-face meeting located at different Centre nodes in rotation. Meetings cover a range of operational, research, collaboration and commercialisation matters. All meeting documentation, such as agendas, actions, resolutions and notes, is recorded on the Centre’s intranet.
End-User Advisory Board
Our End-User Advisory Board includes up to six representatives from industry, particularly in the Centre’s main areas of application. Members serve a two-year term.
The End User Advisory Board’s role with the Centre is to share their experience of industry needs and give advice on how to best align the Centre’s work with those needs. Once a year, the End User Advisory Board delivers a brief report to the Centre Director and Executive Committee, which provides comments and advice on the Centre’s End-User Engagement activities.
In 2017, the End User Advisory Board met twice including in June at the PwC headquarters in Sydney and again at the Centre’s annual RoboVis symposium in October.
Russel Rankin (Chair)
Russel Rankin has more than thirty years’ experience in the food and beverage industry in various senior commercial and research positions. He has an inherent ability to identify and drive innovation opportunities that deliver a competitive advantage, and he has extensive experience in commercialising innovations from within business and research organisations. Russel is Director and Founder of Food Innovation Partners Pty Ltd, a company that makes connections between commercial enterprises, research organisations, government agencies, financiers, and marketing and industry bodies. His company delivers business, innovation and commercialisation services to the food industry, as well as business development services for companies and research organisations. Through his ability to translate research outcomes into commercial competitive advantage, and translate commercial opportunities back into viable research strategies, he is able to match food companies with research providers, develop pre-competitive, syndicate projects with multiple commercial partners, help companies’ access government support programs, assess equity and make acquisitions, and help food businesses develop and commercialise new ideas. Prior to starting Food Innovation Partners, Russel was General Manager of Innovation with the National Food Industry Strategy, a federal-government initiative established to provide leadership to Australia’s food industry. Before venturing into the commercial arena, Russell worked in food research with the CSIRO for more than 25 years. Russel is an entrepreneurial thinker. As well as Food Innovation Partners, has established a number of new businesses designed to take a range of new innovative food and beverage products to market. In addition to chairing our End User Advisory Board, Russel is Chair of the Advisory Board to Queensland Department of Agriculture and QUT’s Agricultural Robotics program, a member of the Advisory and Assessment Board for the South Australian Government’s Advanced Food Manufacturing program, member of the Advisory Board to KFSU Pty Ltd, a company that makes dietary fibre from sugar cane, and Director of The Food Market Company, Freshly & Co and Beauty Drink Pty Ltd. Russell has previously been a Board member on the Clean Technology Food & Foundries Investment Program, an initiative of AusIndustry under the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and has been an Advisory Board Member for Oski Drinks Pty Ltd.
Alan has worked across a range of industries in Australia, the US, the UK, South East Asia and the Pacific. He has over forty years’ experience in planning, assessment, engineering and construction plus management of major resources, urban development and infrastructure redevelopment projects, tourism feasibility and planning studies. He has qualifications in project management, town planning, environmental engineering and civil engineering, and is experienced in people management, company management and stakeholder communications. Alan has held long-term positions on company and advisory boards for companies such as Sinclair Knight Merz Pty Ltd, Project Dynamics Pty Ltd, ANU Enterprise Pty Ltd, Australian Scientific Instruments Pty Ltd, Very Small Particle Company Pty Ltd and Griffith University’s School of Environmental Engineering. He is now the Managing Director of his own consultancy, which carries out assessment and gives advice on strategic infrastructure projects. Alan spent a large part of his career with a global engineering company, during which time he held a number of management positions, including Queensland and Pacific Business Development Manager, Queensland Operations Manager, General Manager Water and Environment and General Manager International Development Assistance.
Andrew Harris is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Sydney, and the Australian director of Laing O’Rourke’s future engineering and innovation consultancy, the Engineering Excellence Group. Laing O’Rourke is Australia’s largest private engineering and construction business, with a local turnover in the order of $AU3 billion per annum. Andrew received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2002, and has spent the bulk of his career at the interface between industry and academia. He is a Chartered Engineer, and a Fellow of both the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and Engineers Australia (IEAust). Andrew is also a non-executive Director of Hazer Group (ASX:HZR), a listed clean tech organisation. In 2016, he was recognised as one of Australia’s 50 most innovative engineers by Engineers Australia.
Trent is the Lead Partner for Innovation & Digital Ventures at PwC Australia. He helps organisations leverage emerging technologies to transform ideas into customer-centred, commercial outcomes. With two decades of industry knowledge, Trent has worked around the globe—throughout the Asia-Pacific region, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
Rob is the Director of Research and Development at Stryker Australia, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies. Stryker offers a diverse range of innovative medical technologies, including reconstructive, medical and surgical, and neurotechnology and spine products. He has a technical background and holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, which focused on mechanical design and orthopaedic biomechanics.
Peter is the General Manager for ABB Robotics Australia. ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies. He has worked in industrial automation and robotics for over 25 years and has gained a wide range of experience ranging from service, design installation and project management of turnkey systems through to sales, business development and management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computing.
At the end of 2017 we broadened membership of the Centre’s Research Committee to include our Executive Committee, all Chief Investigators and our project leaders. The Committee meets monthly via videoconference, face-to-face each quarter, to review research progress and make decisions on the Centre’s research direction. Each year, the Research Committee conducts a review of the Centre’s strategic research direction, making adjustments as required to ensure it stays on track to meeting its many objectives.