Deakin Strategic Partnerships

Deakin University aims to be at the forefront of change in Australia. Our innovative, globally-connected education and research are focussed on achieving positive economic and societal outcomes. This is enabled through partnerships with industry, government and community that draw on the expert capabilities within the University’s many Faculties, Institutes and Centres, and partnered research institutions (local and international).

The Strategic Partnerships team facilitates and supports external and internal stakeholders of Deakin University to achieve win-win collaborative outcomes through local and international partnerships, and sector specific strategic initiatives, such as ongoing development of the Geelong Economic Futures Precinct, ManuFutures, and the Deakin Energy initiative (including the 7.25MW microgrid).

Our team

Dr Joseph Lawrence, Pro Vice-Chancellor Strategic Partnerships

Dr Joseph Lawrence is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Strategic Partnerships for Deakin University. The core focus of his role is to foster industry, academia, and government collaboration through major partnerships (local and international), consortia, and strategic initiatives.

Joseph has over one and half decades of leadership experience, crossing the divide between industry, university and government, and was the head of Industry Partnerships for Monash University prior to joining Deakin in 2017. He has a PhD in Engineering Management (‘university-industry-government collaboration business models’), a Master of Engineering in Management (technical MBA), and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Canterbury, and is also a PMP certified project management professional.

Dr Lawrence has previously held senior roles at Macquarie University for philanthropy, and demonstrated significant leadership experience at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, where he was the Director of New Zealand’s Centre of Excellence for Electric Power Engineering (the EPECentre). The EPECentre is internationally recognised as an exemplar for university-industry collaboration for research, innovation, and education, and Joseph wrote the strategic business plan for its establishment in 2002.

Throughout his career, Joseph has led and implemented numerous large-scale multimillion-dollar strategic initiatives that brings together sector-wide industry partners (SMEs to large multinationals), academia, and government, in industries such as advanced manufacturing, food and agriculture, and energy.

Mr Ian Kett, Director, Strategic Programs

Ian Kett is the Director Strategic Partnerships within the Strategic Partnerships Division of the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Deakin University. Ian has been managing major strategic initiatives at the University since 2011 and most recently led the initiation and development of a successful $40m proposal for a large scale renewable energy microgrid research system on Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus in collaboration with industry. This built on his previous work in establishing the Deakin Energy research brand and the foundations for an integrated and innovative research platform in this field at Deakin.

Between 2012 and 2014 Ian had oversight of the development of strategic relationships, contracts and the construction process for the $104m Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre which included the renovation of the Geelong Technology Precinct Building, construction of the new Fibre Processing and Carbon Nexus buildings, relocation of CSIRO from its previous Belmont premises to Deakin Waurn Ponds and the purchase, installation and commissioning of the pilot scale and research carbon fibre production lines located within Carbon Nexus. Ian also acted as the initial Director of the Carbon Nexus research facility establishing early commercial contracts with Korean industry. Following this development, he has maintained the role of the Deakin CSIRO relationship manager to expand the partnership between the organisations.

Ian is a current Board member of the Geelong Manufacturing Council and the Energy Pipelines CRC and has previously been the Executive Director and a full Board member of Kinect Australia (2004 – 2010), Executive Director and Board member of the Victoria Council on Fitness and General Health (VICFIT) (1993-2004) and a senior manager within Government. He has a strong background in health promotion and community development and was a past Ambassador for the Victorian Government’s ‘Go for your life’ campaign and a member of national health promotion task forces.

Dr Adrian Panow, Director Deakin Energy

Dr Adrian Panow As a senior executive and advisor in the resources, agriculture, manufacturing and renewable energy fields across government, private and research sectors, Adrian brings broad technical, commercial and governance expertise to the new role of Director, Deakin Energy.

He is providing leadership in positioning Deakin University as a preferred partner for industry and government in the delivery of innovative solutions to the sustainable energy supply challenges facing modern society. The Deakin Energy initiative brings together capabilities from across the University in a collaborative network that addresses industry- and government-identified issues relating to energy generation, distribution, storage, energy demand management and the corresponding economic policy, and social and regulatory frameworks that impact on those systems.

Adrian has responsibility for delivery of a 7MW solar and storage microgrid on the Deakin University Waurn Ponds campus to address research, energy cost and sustainability objectives.

Previous roles have included:

  • Chief Technology Officer for Flexible Drive Pty Ltd
  • Strategic Advisor to Terrajoule Corporation Inc.
  • State Government of Victoria, Australia
    • Director Earth Resources Development
    • Director Energy Investment and Programs
  • Bonlac Foods Limited – International Business Development Manager – Bioscience

Adrian has a Bachelor of Applied Science (biochemistry/applied chemistry) degree, a Doctorate in industrial biotechnology, Graduate Certificate in Business Administration and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mrs Marilyn Fisher, Executive Assistant PVC Strategic Partnerships

Marilyn has extensive EA experience in both Private and Government business providing high-level administrative assistance.

She enjoys change and updating processes for improved delivery. At Deakin she has worked in the Faculty of Business and Law and the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM). She is now part of the Strategic Partnerships team.

Dr. Georgie Kelly, Manager Research Partnerships

Dr. Georgie Kelly received her PhD from Monash University in 1999 (materials science). She held research and academic roles at Deakin University from 1999-2007, first in the School of Engineering and then the Institute for Frontier Materials ($770k competitive research funding, 42 refereed papers, 4 PhD completions as principal supervisor and another 10 as part of the supervision panel).

In 2007 Dr. Kelly moved to researcher development and management roles in Deakin Research, initially as the ECR Program Manager, then adding HDR training as the Director, Academic Training before moving to the Strategic Partnerships office. Her current responsibilities include development of research engagement in the Deakin-Coventry partnership.

Ms Neela Mcgilton, Director International Research Development

As Director, International Research Development, Neela McGilton develops and manages Deakin University’s International Strategic Research Partnerships. She collaborates with the faculties to actively shape International Research strategy. In addition to partnership management, she provides financial and governance advice to faculties, institutes and centres when considering international initiatives.

Neela McGilton has over 7 years’ experience in Australian higher education institutions and another 7 years in a commercial roles.  Prior to joining Deakin University she held the roles of Senior Strategy Advisor at Monash University and International Program Manager at the University of Ballarat.  In these roles, she was responsible for implementation of the universities’ extensive international undertakings, both in education and research. Prior to that, Neela worked in corporate finance at KPMG and Ernst & Young in Asia and Europe with a focus on mergers, acquisitions, restructuring and transactional advisory.

Neela holds a Master of International Business from Melbourne University and a Bachelor of Science from University Nebraska, Lincoln.

Ms Maureen Reitze, Development Manager

Maureen Reitze, Development Manager, provides strategic advice and recommendations to the Pro-Vice Chancellor Strategic Partnerships in relation to existing and potential industry and strategic partnerships; develops the project documentation and project manages selected strategic projects in collaboration with university faculties and portfolios.

Maureen has 20 years’ experience as manager in High Education sector, including Strategic Projects Manager in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at La Trobe for 5 years.

She is a member of the University Industry Innovation Network.

Dr Lu Sun, Senior Partnerships Associate

Dr. Lu Sun joined the Centre for Material and Fibre Innovation, Deakin University in 2006 as a postdoctoral research fellow after she received her doctor degree from the State Key Laboratory for Supramolecular Structure and Materials, Jilin University, China. Since 2009, Dr Sun has been working on the application of functional materials to fibre/fabric as a Research Academic at Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM). She won “the Researcher of the Year 2008 for Smart Technology” in Geelong and the “Australia Fresh Scientist” in 2009. Dr. Sun has extensive international research relations with Universities and industries, especially in China. Dr. Sun has been awarded the “Sunshine Professor Fellowship”, Wuhan Textile University in 2012 and the “Chair Professor Fellowship, Chutian Scholars programme”, Hubei Province in 2017 in China. She is a member of IFM’s Strategic Partnerships and Industry Engagement Committee, IFM Research and Research Training Committee as the International Collaborations representative and a member of Geelong Chinese Association Council. In 2016, Dr. Sun took the role of China Research Collaboration Coordinator at IFM and has in 2017 also joined the Strategic Partnerships team in DCVR office.

Mrs Alexandra Henkel, Project Officer Deakin Energy

Since joining the School of Engineering at Deakin University in December 2014, Alexandra has taken on a number of challenges, most recently building the industry profile of the School of Engineering. Currently Alexandra divides her time between Deakin Energy (Strategic Partnerships) and Infrastructure Futures (School of Engineering), two new initiatives that are University wide and fast gaining an external profile. As Coordinator for both initiatives, Alexandra is utilising the skills developed from completing a MBA and extensive work history in Australia and, seemingly a lifetime ago, in investment banking in the United Kingdom.

Alexandra is based at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus.

Contact Us

Deakin Strategic Partnerships
General enquiries
+61 3 5227 1102