Professor Chris Stoltz is the founder and Managing Director of specialist engineering and geospatial IT company, Spatial Partners.
He was also Victorian President of Engineers Australia – the professional body representing engineers in Australia and overseas – and, until recently, their national spokesperson.
Professor Stoltz said his key role is to build solid relationships with engineering employers and related industries, aiming to better match the supply of engineers to industry and community needs.
“La Trobe already has a strong Workplace Industry Learning program for its engineering students, which is highly valued by both budding engineers, and their future employers,” he said.
“I aim to extend that to many more engineering employers, and to create new post-graduate placements and research projects.”
The appointment comes as La Trobe prepares to open its state-of-the-art engineering building, part of a $50 million transformation project on its Bendigo campus.
“This will be an advanced, high-tech facility for the increasing number of students we need to attract to engineering”, Professor Stoltz said.
“Australia has a critical need for more engineering graduates, in fields such as electronics, robotics, manufacturing, electrical, information technology and civil engineering.”
Professor Stoltz said, as a profession, engineering is often misunderstood.
“Most people don’t realise the very fundamentals of sustaining health in our community stem from engineering achievements,” he said.
“Without fresh water delivered to every home, and without sewage taken from every home, society as we know it would collapse.”
Professor Stoltz is himself a graduate of the Bendigo campus of La Trobe University. He is also former Mayor of the City of Bendigo, as it was then known.