Dean of Engineering, Professor Iven Mareels and Centre for Neural Engineering Director, Professor Stan Skafidas have been named in Engineers Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers for 2015. The prestigious list is published in the June edition of Engineers Australia magazine, and is also available online.
Professor Mareels (pictured right) was profiled for his work in driving the establishment of the Melbourne Accelerator Program, the University of Melbourne’s startup incubator, which was recently ranked in the world’s top 15 business incubators by UBI Index. Professor Mareels is also chair of the Group of Eight Deans of Engineering and received the IEEE Control Systems Society Technology Award for his work on the control of large scale irrigation channels. He recently hosted the National Indigenous Engineering Summit at the University of Melbourne, in order to develop strategies to improve the participation of indigenous students in engineering education and careers.
Professor Skafidas leads the Centre for Neural Engineering, a multi-disciplinary centre with a focus on the world-wide convergence of the engineering, physical and the life sciences. The centre is developing cutting edge point of care diagnostic devices and next generation bionic devices and implants that will transform health care. Professor Skafidas and his team are also developing revolutionary “brain in a dish” technology, where laboratory-grown cells are able to mimic the human brain and provide a better understanding of disease, and the most effective treatments.
Melbourne School of Engineering alumni were also featured on the annual list. Recent Engineering alumna and former Young Australian of the Year, Marita Cheng was selected as a “panel’s pick” for her work as Robogals Founder. Ms Cheng founded the organisation to encourage young women to take up careers in engineering and technology. Robogals has grown into an international organisation that has taught more than 30,000 girls in seven countries. Ms Cheng is also the founder of 2Mar Robotics, a startup that was supported by the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Accelerator Program. 2Mar is developing robotic arms to be used by people with limited mobility.
Master of Engineering Science alumnus David Singleton was featured for his work in public policy and enterprise sustainability. As Chair of Engineers Australia College of Leadership and Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA), Mr Singleton’s knowledge and leadership has been essential in developing long term sustainable infrastructure and socio-economic growth across Australia.
The list also featured University of Melbourne alumnus, Keith Leslie, Research Officer with CSIRO. Mr Leslie was jointly awarded the ATSE Clunies Ross Award in 2015 for his work on LANDTEM, a magnetic device that detects ore bodies with weak magnetic fields.