Professor Maxwell’s appointment comes just weeks ahead of the opening of the campus’ state-of-the-art engineering building, which will be available to students at the start of the 2019 university year.
With an international reputation for his ability to grow ‘materials out of gasses’, Professor Maxwell has a career spanning more than two decades in the United States and Sweden, including 12 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory USA.
He also has a number of prestigious R&D100 awards, and five patents (with a further eight pending) to his name.
Professor Maxwell said he was drawn to La Trobe and regional Victoria for a number of reasons, including Bendigo’s promising future in innovative new technologies and advanced manufacturing.
“It is well reported that Bendigo has many highly regarded small to medium sized manufacturing companies with whom we could collaborate,” he said.
One of these local companies, Ceramic Oxide Fabricators (COF), already partners with La Trobe as part of a work placement program, and to ensure the University’s engineering courses reflect industry need.
COF General Manager, Peter Crowhurst, said he is looking forward to seeing the opportunities that arise out of Professor Maxwell’s appointment.
“As a successful advanced manufacturing company in Bendigo, we know how important it is to have access to job-ready engineering graduates,” he said.
“Having someone with Professor Maxwell’s background and industry experience helping shape La Trobe’s course structure and content will be a huge bonus,” Mr Crowhurst said.
Associate Professor of Engineering, Dr Ing Kong, said Professor Maxwell is helping fine-tune the fit-out of the new engineering building.
“We are invested in ensuring that La Trobe graduates are ready for work, and to meet the technical and technological challenges that lie ahead in the world of engineering,” she said.
“With his experience in some of the most innovative companies in the world, Professor Maxwell is well positioned to ensure we are at the cutting edge of engineering teaching and research,” Dr Kong said.
Professor Maxwell will also collaborate with fellow La Trobe engineers to support them in their research pursuits.
“Part of my role is to help the department with their research. To help them think of new ideas, to innovate, and do things that are really going to benefit society,” he said.