Swinburne University of Technology has announced the appointment of Dr Werner van der Merwe as the inaugural Vice-President, Innovation and Enterprise.
Dr van der Merwe will be charged with reinvigorating the innovative spirit at Swinburne and partnering with industry to generate new revenue, drive innovation and improve the university’s overall financial sustainability.
Speaking of the appointment, Swinburne’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pascale Quester said she was delighted that someone of Dr van der Merwe’s calibre and capability was joining Swinburne and would help build Swinburne as the prototype of a new and different university, one that is truly of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Swinburne is fortunate to be welcoming Dr van der Merwe at such an exciting time. Dr van der Merwe joins us from CSIRO, where he is currently their Executive Manager, Commercialisation. He also has wonderful experience at UNSW as their Business Development Manager and has had an extensive career at Sasol across multiple countries in engineering, R&D and commercialisation positions.
“At CSIRO, Dr van der Merwe has played a fundamental role in moving towards more commercial thinking. This aligns with Swinburne’s approach. We are committed to ensuring that the excellent work of our researchers is realised in the commercial world so that others can benefit from Swinburne’s research breakthroughs,” Professor Quester said.
Dr van der Merwe said that he was looking forward to joining Swinburne and supporting the vision of bringing people and technology together to build a better world.
“Swinburne has an enviable reputation in the technology and innovation space. I am looking forward to working with the team to align closely with industry and drive further innovation across a range of exciting disciplines,” Dr van der Merwe said.
Dr van der Merwe has a PhD in Engineering from the University of Pretoria, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is an INSEAD alumni. He will commence in early May 2022.