In Summary

  • A new committee has been established to guide research and innovation at Swinburne
  • The committee includes industry, government and business leaders
  • Former BASF Chairman Ross Pilling to chair

A new Industry Research Advisory Committee has been appointed at Swinburne to guide the university’s research and innovation strategy.

The committee will focus on matters relating to specific sectors, opportunities and trends such as:

  • future industries
  • regional developments
  • innovation and technology
  • policy
  • research agenda
  • research training
  • market intelligence

The committee comprises leaders from industry, government and business in Australia and throughout the region.

The inaugural chair is Ross Pilling, former Chairman and Managing Director, BASF Australia and New Zealand, former Deputy National President Ai Group and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Mr Pilling brings a wealth of multinational industry experience across a diversity of sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, chemicals and polymers, construction, mining, personal care, home care, health and nutrition.

“This initiative is critical to achieving our research with impact agenda in line with our Research and Innovation Strategy 2020,” says Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) Professor Aleksandar Subic.

Five new research institutes will spearhead Swinburne’s research engagement. They will bring together expertise in:

  • data science
  • health innovation
  • smart cities
  • social innovation
  • manufacturing futures

to solve significant real-world problems in partnership with industry, business and community.

“Our institutes will benefit greatly from the strategic advice and guidance of the new industry research advisory committee,” Professor Subic says.


The members of the inaugural Advisory Committee are:

  • Ms Brenda Shanahan, Chair, St Vincent’s Institute Medical Research and ACMD
  • Dr Anita Hill, Executive Director, Future Industries, CSIRO
  • Mr Andrew Lezala, CEO, Metro Trains Australia
  • Dr Amanda Caples, Lead Scientist and Deputy Secretary Sector Development,
  • Government of Victoria
  • Mr Manoj Nagpaul, Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan, Wipro
  • Mr Ian Christensen, CEO, Excellerate Australia Ltd.
  • Dr Jane Burns, CEO CRC Young & Well, CEO SynCo, Professor of Innovation and Industry
  • Professor Joyce Kirk, Former President of RMIT Vietnam and former Dean, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Fred Ashbury, Chief Medical Officer, Viviphi Ltd