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Advisory board

Offering advice, expertise and experience to assist the institute in achieving its vision, objectives and strategy.

Members of the Manufacturing Futures Advisory board will offer advice, expertise and experience to assist the institute in achieving its vision, objectives and strategy. This includes matters relating to specific program themes, relevant industry/sectoral trends, policy, skills and training, business development and market intelligence.


Dr Cathy Foley
CSIRO Chief Scientist, CSIRO

Dr Cathy Foley, CSIRO Chief Scientist, has made distinguished contributions to the understanding of superconducting materials and to the development of devices using superconductors for a number of applications including to detect magnetic fields and locate valuable deposits of minerals. She is also the Chair of the Australian National Fabrication Facility Victorian Node Collaboration Committee and the ARC Steel Hub Advisory Committee as well as sitting on several other committees and boards. She has made significant contributions to the scientific community as president of several scientific societies and as a member of committees such as PMSEIC giving advice to Government on scientific and technological matters.


Dr Karl-Heinz Füller
Automotive Technology Expert (Germany)

Dr. Füller studied mechanical engineering at the University Stuttgart (Ger) and at the George-Washington University (USA). In 2017 he got appointed adjunct Professor at Swinburne University in Australia.

Mr Patrick Blanchard
Technical Leader, Ford (USA)

Patrick Blanchard is a Technical Leader for Lightweight Materials at Ford R&D. Since joining Ford in 1999, he has focused on the development of materials and manufacturing technologies for vehicle mass reduction.  This has included an emphasis on both polymer composites and magnesium die casting. In recent years, he has led a group tasked with concept design and development of class A and structural composite components destined for a wide variety of Ford and Lincoln vehicle programs.

Mr Brian Hughes
Managing Director, CME

Brian Hughes has worked with composites since 1989 and is the owner and Managing Director of Composite Materials Engineering, trading as CME. CME is well known for its innovation and willingness to develop and introduce new technology, and is now recognised as a global supplier of moulded composite parts to a diverse industry and customer base. Brian has strong background in business and commercialising new technology and matching technology to products and markets.

Ms Anne Koopmann-Schmidt
Leadership Development Consultant

Anne is an accomplished Improvement Leader with a passion for people leadership. She has an established record of business cost reduction, process improvement strategies, lean manufacturing, problem solving and implementation of quality excellence. In 2017, Anne received one of the highest accolades in the State of Victoria at the Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards, being named Victoria’s Young Manufacturer of the Year.

Ms Anna Reid
General Manager, Operations and Supply Chain, Kinrise

Anna is the General Manager for Operations and Supply Chains for Kinrise. Prior to this role she worked for Asahi overseeing 10 factories across Australia and New Zealand, along with the Asahi Beverages Supply Chain Academy and Industry 4.0 program. She has also worked for HJ Heinz and George Weston Foods in Manufacturing Operations and Continuous Improvement roles.

Mr Chris Vains
Head of Digital Enterprise, Siemens

Chris provides Digitalisation thought leadership and solutions to industry through Siemens' wide offerings to connect all levels of a customer's enterprise. An experienced General Manager in the electrical and electronic automation manufacturing industry with a background of several years of automation project engineering predominately in the food and beverage and general manufacturing industries, Chris has a passion for digitalisation and automation solutions, and how technology can help create a sustainable future for Australian business.