Research and Development Manager
What did you study?
I completed a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Adelaide, then a PhD in combustion engineering from the University of Adelaide. My PhD research was on jet nozzles.
How has your career progressed?
First I was a Research Associate at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland.
Then I worked for the FCT Group of Companies in Thebarton, South Australia. I worked in a variety of roles, starting as a Combustion Engineer and finishing up as a Senior Project Manager.
I am now the Research and Development Manager at the Centre for Energy Technology at the University of Adelaide. The Centre for Energy Technology is a group of researchers from a range of disciplines working to produce technologies to reduce climate change.
Tasks and responsibilities of your current job
I manage the Centre’s research programs, work to attract new research and consulting income, increase research resources and capabilities, establish new partnerships with industry and government agencies, build the Centre’s profile and promote its capabilities to established and potential stakeholders.
What impacts might this have on the wider community?
Through my work I hope to facilitate research that results in cleaner energy generation and greater use of clean energy. This will hopefully produce a better environment and contribute to the development of Australia’s growing clean energy sector, and hence bring significant benefit to the broader community.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I hope to contribute to Australia’s transition from a high to low CO2 emission society, by developing and commercialising clean energy technologies and services.
Why is the study of science, technology or engineering relevant for your role?
A background in science, technology or engineering is essential for my role as is is necessary to technically understand a wide range of research concepts and programs and how to explain these to potential clients and finding agencies. It is also necessary to understand and keep up to date with the rapid developments in clean energy technologies and strategically plan how the Centre can contribute to this development.
The most rewarding part of my current role
When all the different elements of a research project come together, so that the research is completed – and even better if it delivers a result that is successfully put into practice.
The most challenging part of my current role
Trying to co-ordinate all the elements for a successful research program to come together at the right time: the idea or concept, the collaboration between industry and the university and the funding.