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Professor Littlefair is the Head of Engineering in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Deakin University having been appointed as the chair in Engineering in January 2011. From October 2011 until March 2012 he was the Acting Pro Vice-chancellor for the faculty of Science and Technology. Originally from England he gained his master of science degree at cranfield university in mechanical engineering prior to undertaking his PhD at Nottingham Trent University in the area of manufacturing engineering. He was an academic at Southampton university and Southampton Solent University where he was a Reader in mechanical engineering. In 2006 he moved to New Zealand and became a senior academic at AUT University in Auckland where he held a variety of roles including Head of mechanical engineering and ultimately Head of School.
Professor Littlefair is internationally regarded as an expert in the field of manufacturing having lead a team of researchers in England, New Zealand and now Australia dealing with the machining and machinability of materials. As such, he has worked with some of the worlds most research led manufacturing organizations including Rolls Royce, Debeers Toyota and Airbus. He has written extensively on the opportunities in the advanced manufacturing space for Australasia based on highly innovative approaches to product design and development. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and as such is recognised as an eminent member of the Profession. He has also been active in the Engineering Education field and was the New Zealand representative of the Australasian Associate Deans of Teaching and Learning and has published in the areas of Assessing final year projects in Engineering Programmes and the development of research methods for postgraduate students.