Prof Robin J Batterham

Kernot Professor of Engineering, University of Melbourne

AO, BE, PhD, LLD (Hon. Melb), DSc (Hon. UTS), DEngin(Hon QLD),FAA, FTSE, FREng, FNAE, FSATW, FCAE, FAusIMM, FIChemE, FISS, FAIM, FAICD, FIEAust, CE, CPE, CSci, AMusA

Professor Batterham follows a dual career: as a leader in the shaping of science, engineering and innovation policy and as an engineer. In the policy arena, he was Chief Scientist to the Australian Federal Government from 1999 to 2005 on a part-time basis. As Chief Scientist, Dr Batterham provided advice on science, technology and innovation issues to the Australian Government. This included a major review of how science can drive innovation. The Government accepted the major recommendations and significantly expanded funding – the first and only major change in funding for over 30 years.

As an engineer, Prof Batterham has invented over 20 patent families and has led major initiatives in the mining sector. He has had a distinguished career in research and technology, in the public and private sectors. He worked with CSIRO in areas such as mining, mineral processing, mineral agglomeration processes, and iron making. As Chief of the Division of Mineral and Process Engineering, he led researchers that achieved singular impact, including the award of the prestigious Australia Prize. His own personal research included improving the fuel efficiency of sintering and pelletising of iron ore by over 30%, demonstrating that changed screening and crushing practices could significantly enhance the production of lump iron ore and improving the productivity of the lead smelter at Mt Isa by over 10% by implementation of adaptive control.

Since 2010, Professor Batterham is the Kernot Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne. He is the recipient of the first named Chair in Engineering since inception of the University, an appointment by the Vice Chancellor and funded jointly by the School of Engineering and the School of Science. He is responsible for driving more engagement between the University research base and end-users.

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