PROFESSOR ROBIN BATTERHAM AO
Chief Scientist, Australia (1999-2005)
Executive Director, P&O Maritime Services (2003-2007)
Director & Chairman, Defence Maritime Services Pty Ltd (2003-2013)
Chief Executive & Director, Marine Board, Victoria (2000-2003)
Unit: Build & Sustain an Innovative Work Environment
Topic: Lead Innovation by Example & Establish Work Practices that Support Innovation
Professor Robin Batterham is one of Australia’s leading scientists and researchers. He served as the Chief Scientist of Australia for six years between 1999 and 2005. In this position, Batterham advised the Australian Government on all matters associated with science, engineering and innovation. He was responsible for a major research review which produced the blueprint for government support for research in the early years of the 21st century.
Before taking on the role of Australia’s chief scientist, Batterham worked at mining giant Rio Tinto and in the CSIRO, also as a chief scientist in the field of mineral and process engineering. As chief scientist at the CSIRO, Batterham led a total of 240 scientists in four laboratories. These laboratories collaborated directly with companies in the mining and metallurgical industries to achieve improvements in performance. After 18 years with the CSIRO, Batterham took up work with Rio Tinto first in the resource and processing developments team and then as vice president of research and technology. Later he became Rio’s global practice leader in innovation before working as Rio’s group chief scientist. In these roles, Batterham undertook a significant number of innovative projects in the mineral-processing field. Rio attributes many of its industrial successes to Batterham’s work in technology development.
Batterham is now a Kernot Professor at the University of Melbourne. Here he is responsible for strategic leadership of major projects in energy. His current areas of focus include the application of force chain modelling as a key to energy reduction in comminution and the dewatering of biomass and low rank coals.