Members of our advisory board offer advice, expertise and experience to assist the Mannufacturing Futures Research Institute in achieving its vision, objectives and strategy. This includes matters relating to specific program themes, relevant industry and sectoral trends, policy, skills and training, business development and market intelligence.

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 multiple applications including to detect magnetic fields and locate valuable deposits of minerals. Dr Foley 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's 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.

Patrick Blanchard completed his graduate studies and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. In 1999 he joined Ford Research & Advanced Engineering with his work focusing on the development of materials and manufacturing technologies for vehicle mass reduction. 

From 2009 to 2019, he led an R&D team tasked with concept design and development of class A and structural composite components destined for a wide variety of Ford and Lincoln vehicle programs. Since 2019, he assumed the role of Technical Leader for Advanced Polymer Systems directing a broad range of projects in support of longer-term automotive fuel economy, emissions and sustainability targets.

Vonda Fenwick joined SEMMA as the CEO in September 2019. She has more than 30 years in the manufacturing sector across a broad range of industries including aerospace, automotive, coatings, electronics, engineering, fibreglass, food, sheet metal fabrication, petrochemicals, plastics, rubber, scientific equipment and steel industries. Vonda has held senior management roles to GM level in SME’s with 12–200+ employees.

Vonda was an inaugural Board Member of SEMMA in 2003 and has worked with manufacturers including BHP, Orica, General Motors Holden as well as complex, high tech SME’s in aerospace and analytical equipment. Vonda has participated in various government-industry forums including the Federal Government Strategic Industry Leaders Group for the Science Industry.

Dr Karl-Heinz Füller studied mechanical engineering at the University of Stuttgart (Germany) and at the George-Washington University (USA). He has worked for more than 25 years for Daimler AG in the various research topics of materials, processes and concepts. Previously he held management positions in the materials (CFRP), concept development (BIW) and manufacturing areas.

In his current position he is involved in setting up research projects with Startups and ARENA2036 and is responsible for future exterior concepts and new materials, especially in the context of sustainability. Dr Füller has received several awards for new material innovations and has presented as guest speaker at many national and international conferences. In 2017 Swinburne appointed Dr Füller to an Adjunct Professorship.

Brad Horden has end to end supply chain responsibility for DuluxGroup, inclusive of customer service, procurement, manufacturing, distribution and the supporting activities of supply chain planning, engineering and supply chain finance. In addition, Brad also has responsibility for IT and Safety and Sustainability for DuluxGroup.

Prior to joining DuluxGroup in November 2006, Brad had a number of senior supply chain roles within multinational consumer product companies including Group Manufacturing Manager for Asaleo Care (previously SCA Australasia), Logistics Director for Campbell Arnott’s Australia and National Operations Manager alongside a variety of other operations roles for Snack Brands Australia (previously Frito-Lay Australia). 

Brian Hughes has worked with composites since 1989 and is the owner and Managing Director of Composite Materials Engineering (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 a strong background in business and commercialising new technology and matching technology to products and markets.

Anne Koopmann-Schmidt is is a leadership coach, lecturer and speaker who works with individuals and organisations leveraging her leadership experience in the STEM industry. Anne holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business Management and has over 10 years of experience as an engineer and senior manager in the manufacturing industry delivering major transport projects. 

Since January 2020, Anne has been teaching “Leadership for Innovation” at the University of Melbourne as part of their School of Engineering’s Innovation Practice Program. 

For her commitment to Quality Excellence, Anne was awarded Young Manufacturer of the Year at the Victorian Manufacturer’s Hall of Fame and has recently been named one of Australia's Most Innovative Engineers by Engineers Australia for her “Strengths in Diversity” team development program.

Dr Matthias Meyer is General Manager at Marand Precision Engineering. Marand is a solution provider for automation and turnkey, and a manufacturer of high-precision components and tools for aerospace, defence, automotive, rail and energy industries.

Matthias studied mechanical engineering at Clausthal Technical University in Germany and received his PhD from Braunschweig Technical University while he was working at the German Aerospace Centre DLR. Matthias has a strong background in carbon composites and automation and has worked in executive positions in industry and research. 

Siemens is the largest industrial software company in the world, and Samantha Murray is their first Head of Software based in Australia. Samantha joined Siemens following a successful 25-year career in senior positions across the Asia Pacific with companies such as Microsoft, HP and SAS, where she managed teams responsible for designing, selling and implementing enterprise software solutions within commercial and public sectors. 

Samantha’s strength in sales and leadership across the region will be  invaluable at a time when there is increasing demand for advanced software that can help integrate data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise. Samantha works with Australian industry of all sizes to build capability and develop the tools needed to compete with anyone in the world on the journey to the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0. 

Anna Reid 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.

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