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Paul Rossiter


paul rossiter

Paul Rossiter has always had an interest in understanding how the real world works. After obtaining honours in Physics at matriculation from Camberwell Grammar School, he was offered a place in the physics department at both the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Rossiter visited both institutions and found Melbourne to be ‘rather “old” and not very inspiring, whereas Monash was very new and vibrant’ with a very young and enthusiastic staff. ‘So’ he reflected, ‘I joined Monash science faculty in 1964 as a somewhat bewildered first year student and so started at great 31 years at Monash.’

After completing his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in 1968, he went on to complete a PhD in physics. ‘My physics PhD was concerned with understanding some of the physical properties of real materials, and so obtaining a position in the Department of Materials Engineering at Monash was just ideal.’ And this is just what happened. After a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, Rossiter returned to Monash to take up a Senior Teaching Fellowship in the Department of Materials Engineering, in 1972. Rossiter was promoted through the ranks until he was made Reader in January 1986, just the second appointment of its kind in the Faculty of Engineering at the time.

In 1987 Rossiter was Acting Head of the Department, before being appointed Professor of Materials Engineering and Head of Department in January 1989. While he was Head of the Department, Rossiter was also made Director of the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology at Monash. ‘Being Head of Department of Materials Engineering at Monash was a great privilege. The Department had wonderful staff, a good cohort of undergrad and postgrad students, an enviable research record, fabulous research facilities and extensive collaborations with industry.’ Rossiter reflected that the Department was such a cooperative and cohesive group that many of his achievements during his time there ‘were actually very much team efforts.’ Some of these achievements include the Cooperative Research Centres, and winning an ARC Key Centre (CAMT) which was used as a professional interface with industry.

After he left Monash, Rossiter joined Curtain University of Technology as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, drawing on his experiences at Monash University to help raise Curtain’s research profile. In 2003 he left academia and ventured into private industry, starting his own business and engaging in freelance consulting. From 2004-2005 he was Director of Research at ISA Technologies. In 2011 Rossiter is semi-retired, dividing his time between his company TVS Specialty Products, playing guitar, aeromodelling and travelling.