<< back to Monash Engineering
Home > The Faculty > Strategy and vision > Steady guidance as the dust settles > Recollections of a short deanship

Recollections of a short deanship

bill melbourne

Bill Melbourne

My time as Dean came about when Peter Darvall was appointed to be a Deputy Vice Chancellor. He left a legacy of a very cohesive and well financed Faculty of Engineering and many of the objectives we all shared of being the best Teaching and Researching Faculty of Engineering in the world. It was an act I was very happy to continue.

I think the most pleasing aspect of my time as Dean was the collegiate working of the Heads of Departments. Our meetings had plenty of differences but the end objectives were always agreed in a very harmonious way; we all got on well together. For example, this allowed me to establish an agreed and fully transparent formula for sharing the Faculty funding to Departments. This was done in the shadow of very large costs to the Clayton Campus associated with the mergers that were taking place.

Peter Darvall had managed to establish a fund which allowed us to plan for a Faculty Centre and which I was pleased to initiate and which was subsequently taken to a much better conclusion by Mike Brisk.

On a personal note the Deanship meant, with great relief, that I had to relinquish my position on Council and several other Boards and Committees; it is frightening to think I was on the Union Board, Sports and Recreation, Buildings, PhD and Research, and Accident Research Board, three or four as Deputy Chair, at about that time. 

On the theme of good things it was a pleasure to be able to continue hobby horses such as applied research, working with industry and professional practice, started so well by Ron Barden many years before, the double degree programmes and talking to schools.

My short Deanship was a privilege and with one last objective, to find a long term Dean. When this was achieved I was allowed to return to the Department and to the research and professional practice so dear to my heart, and incidentally sharing in some of the aims of Louis Matheson for a strong Engineering Faculty.

Bill Melbourne