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Future of the Faculty of Engineering

2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University. It is my great pleasure to support the Faculty in celebrating 50 years of achievement and growth. This dynamic website not only enables us to journey through 50 years of Engineering at Monash, but glimpse into future of the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University.

The history of the Faculty of Engineering is revealed through written text, images and historical documents which demonstrate the path by which the Faculty has continually grown, innovated and progressed with the ever-expanding need for engineers in our society. Since its establishment in 1961, the Faculty of Engineering has become one of the largest in Australia, renowned worldwide for the quality of our teaching and research, and the calibre of our graduates.

Over the past 50 years, the Faculty of Engineering has provided an environment that allows excellence to flourish. The vision and leadership of the Faculty throughout its establishment and subsequent decades, has continually strengthened and fostered a sense of direction for the Faculty. By placing significant emphasis on the calibre of its staff, the Faculty acknowledges that the impact of staff on student development is crucial to successful graduates and research environments. It is a testament to the Faculty that many of our staff have been members of the Monash Engineering community for considerable periods of time. With their loyalty and devotion to the field of engineering, teaching and research environments at Monash University, the Faculty is able to attract and retain the best and brightest.

Engineers solve the emerging problems of our society. Brilliant inventions over the last 100 years have made significant contributions to the human condition. However, the world of engineering will dramatically change over the coming decades. Traditional areas of engineering will continue to expand, with increasingly new and significant areas of engineering emerging.

Consider the major issues of our time such as climate change, water and sustainable energy for development. These are issues looking for solutions. The solutions will most likely be found by teams of engineers and specialists in cross-disciplines working together. More than ever before, these teams will span the globe giving a whole new positive meaning to the word 'globalisation'.

At Monash we are examining our teaching methods and curriculum to ensure that tomorrow’s graduates can work productively in this environment. We will seek to ensure that our graduates continue to be skilled in advanced analysis and creative design; in synthesis and problem solving. Our aim is to embed these traditional attributes of engineering within the context of these globalised issues. Additionally, programs such as the Leadership in a Technological Environment Program, the Work Ready Program, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and Women in Engineering ensure that our graduates are not only academically skilled, but are also equipped with the skills and confidence for professional growth and development.

Looking towards the future of engineering and future approaches to engineering innovation, the Faculty of Engineering, alongside CSIRO, has established the New Horizons facility, scheduled to open in 2012 on the Clayton Campus.

The New Horizons initiative is a platform for excellence in future manufacturing research and teaching that aims to transform manufacturing in areas such as biomedicine, transport, aerospace and mineral processing. The facility will co-locate 300 staff from Monash with 150 from CSIRO in a modern world-class facility. Working together, we have the opportunity to create globally significant research groups on an internationally competitive scale. These teams will be able to tackle the significant issues of the future such as climate change and new energy solutions.

The Faculty of Engineering is focused towards being part of the future grand challenges in engineering. In order to play a significant role in these grand challenges, the Faculty of Engineering has increased its global reach over the years by fostering relationships with a number of international affiliates, making us a truly global faculty.

Our relationship with the School of Engineering at the Monash Sunway Campus, Malaysia, has allowed us to deepen our engineering knowledge and function on a global scale. Students studying Engineering at Monash are able to transfer between Sunway and Clayton, gaining a global education and understanding of future engineering challenges across the world.

The recently developed IITB-Monash Research Academy located in Mumbai, India is going from strength to strength. The Research Academy is a joint venture between Monash University and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. It is a truly unique global research partnership where PhD students work on goal-directed, cross-disciplinary challenges.

Furthermore, major international firms such as Orica and BHP Billiton are pursuing their research agenda in collaboration with Monash, fostering significant relationships between Monash and industry. Similarly we have a growing footprint in China through strategic alliances with the 2+2 programs. Around 100 students come from China each year to complete their engineering education.

Looking forward, we endeavour to create an environment where each engineering and cross-discipline research area can be explored. I believe the Faculty’s Research Centres provide an environment in which the brightest students and scholars can together pursue their educational and research goals at the highest international standard and contribute to the prosperity of Australia and the world. The Faculty will continue to stand at the forefront of knowledge and of discovery by allowing space for the exploration of emerging research areas. We will continue to encourage recruitment of the best and brightest minds to enrich our students’ education and experience with the Faculty.


Future of the Faculty (audio)

Our goal today is to maintain a world class engineering facility so that our students are able to go out with confidence and create the industries for our future prosperity. It is through our students that we ensure our legacy reaches much beyond our lifetime.

Professor Tam Sridhar
Faculty of Engineering