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Strategy and vision

A new leader

In March 1995 the Faculty of Engineering welcomed its next Dean, Michael (Mike) Brisk. Like each of the Engineering Deans before him, Brisk came to Monash with a unique background, leadership style and vision for the future of Monash Engineering. Eight months after Melbourne stepped into the role of Dean – two months longer than he had initially intended – he gladly handed over to Brisk and became his Associate Dean.

Brisk came to the Engineering deanship from outside Monash University and with both industry and academic experience. His engineering education commenced at the University of Sydney where he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) in 1960 before going on to complete his PhD, also at the University of Sydney. Immediately after completing his doctorate, Brisk began working at ICI in the United Kingdom in their Central Instrument Research Laboratory. He returned to Australia in 1971 to take up a Senior Lectureship in Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney. The following twenty years were spent both working in industry – mostly for ICI – and moving in and out of the university sector.

Similar to former Dean Lance Endersbee, Brisk was exceptionally well connected within industry circles. Not only was he well respected as an engineer, but he was also heavily involved in professional organisations such as the International Federation of Automatic Control, the Institution of Engineers Australia, and the Institution of Chemical Engineers. But unlike Endersbee, Brisk also had experience within academia. His curriculum vitae was dotted with various periods of involvement in curriculum advisory bodies at universities across Australia and several adjunct or associate professorships. One of these was actually an Adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering at Monash itself – a role that had commenced in 1993.

During his time as Adjunct Professor, Brisk had got to know the Faculty at Monash. In his own words he was motivated to apply:

because my contact with Engineering at Monash over the last year has convinced me that not only is it already one of Australia’s leading and most progressive Engineering Faculties, but it is very well positioned, with appropriate leadership, to become the most relevant Engineering Faculty in Australia, if not the Asia Pacific Region.