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Monash University's new Graduate Research Industry Partnerships (GRIP) will jointly deliver more than 60 innovation training development activities in partnership with industry, such as the exclusive Procter & Gamble's Serial Innovator Program, which teaches entrepreneurship and taking ideas from mind to market, for the first time in Australia.  Other training includes intellectual property, commercialisation, project management, chemical industry business environment and Green Chemistry.

'Project Management training'

Graduate PhD researchers Giselle Pacot and Vu Dao discuss how the project management training provided them with useful skills for their career.

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PhD researchers during a Project Management Training session with KPMG facilitators

'From Mind to Market: Commercial Awareness for Researchers training'

On 4 and 5 November 2015 the Chemicals and Plastics Manufacturing InnovationNetwork PhD researchers and staff from the some Network members companies (Agilent Technologies, PerkinElmer, KPMG and Chemistry Australia) attended the 'From Mind toMarket: Commercial Awareness for Researchers' workshop, delivered by Associate Professor Piet Beukman, where they gained anawareness of the factors relating to the commercialisation of research outcomes.

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Graduate PhD researcher feedback includes 'The most useful part of the trainingprogram were some of the tools that Associate Professor Piet Beukman shared on identifying thespace/category in the market that your research would address. It is importantto enter the market with a clear idea of which customer needs are beingaddressed, and who the specific customers are. The videos on case studies werealso helpful in demonstrating what worked and what did not. This training allowed meto look at my research through a different perspective. Specifically, I beganthinking of how my project fits in the product portfolio of my industrypartner, and its possible contribution to their business.'

Scott Fraser (National Key Account Manager Academia & Research) from PerkinElmer who attended the 'Mind to Market' training stated 'One of the best events I've been too – there was no bias and Associate Professor Piet Beukman worked very well to accommodate all attendees. I found all of it useful, it was extremely valuable and should provide the PhD students with great contextual understanding as theyprogress in their projects and possible, in their careers should they head toward industry.'

'Biomass Processing for Chemicals. Fuels and New Materials' symposium

On 8 February 2016 the 'Biomass Processing for Chemicals. Fuels and New Materials' symposium was held in the Green Chemical Futures building at Monash University as part of Monash C&P Manufacturing Innovation Network GRIP/ University of Bath - Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies collaboration.  There were 16 presentations on various biomass topics including sustainable chemical industry and biomass feedstocks, biorefinery, bio-based plastics and manufacturing biorenewable materials.  There were 70 attendees at this symposium.

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Some of the attendees at the 'Biomass Processing for Chemicals. Fuels and New Materials' symposium held on 8 February 2016.

'Understanding Scale-up in the Chemical Industry'

On 13 April 2016 Dr Chris Teleha the Scientific Director at Janssen R&D, Johnson and Johnson gave a workshop on 'Understanding Scale-up in the Chemical Industry' as part of the C&P Manufacturing Innovation Network. He explained the interface of research and early development, and scale-up in an industrial setting.  Chris presented process chemistry challenges, pharmaceutical development manufacturing science, small and large molecules drug product development and real life examples. He explained the use of the Process Mass Intensity (PMI) calculator/ Green Chemistry in industry. Finally Chris highlighted the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) EU guideline and solvents of high concern.  There were 60 attendees at this event.

Graduate PhD researcher feedback includes ‘The focus on the small scale aspects of scale up, in particular looking at reaction chemistry and the issues related to scaling up and simplifying complex reaction procedures from a lab environment to a larger industrial scale was interesting and informative.

The solvent selection guide also allowed the students to reconsider their choice of solvents, especially if their reactions would be used by manufacturing plants in the future. This part of the presentation implied that pharmaceutical companies are becoming conscious of green chemistry, and making the “greener” choice can provide the edge for a particular reaction that one is doing.

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Dr Chris Teleha (first on left) and attendees at the ‘Understanding Scale-up in the Chemical Industry’ workshop on 13 April 2016.

'Lean Six Sigma'

On 28 July 2016 Dr Paul McNicholas, Business Services Operations Manager and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, 3M Australia and New Zealand gave a workshop on 'Lean Six Sigma’ as part of the C&P Manufacturing Innovation Network and Training Program.  Lean Six Sigma is a methodology for pursuing continuous quality improvement, reducing inherent variability and increasing speed.  It requires a thorough process and product understanding and is clearly focused on customer driven expectations.  Paul described the Lean Six Sigma methodology including its key steps of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.  He also presented industry examples of how 3M uses Lean Six Sigma to solve problems and deliver operational excellence in value added processes.  There were 35 attendees at this workshop.

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Dr Paul McNicholas (on the front right) and attendees at the ‘Lean Six Sigma’ workshop on 28 July 2016.

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'Leadership Development'

On 6 September 2016 Prof Larry Marlow (Marlow Hampshire) gave a workshop on 'Leadership Development' that included exploring leadership, managing the transition from technical specialist to leader, developing influence within the organisation, networking and stakeholder management, personal development and career planning, managing your own and others’ performance, time management, managing multiple priorities and resilience.  Ross Pilling the Former Chairman & Managing Director of BASF Australia & New Zealand was the industry speaker who gave an inspiring talk from his own experiences of leadership.

Graduate PhD researcher feedback on Prof Larry Marlow’s presentation includes: ‘I think making the distinction between management and leadership helped kick off the training with the right framework, as many of us thought that the two concepts were synonymous. The different strategies on building awareness of one’s leadership style as well as of one’s impact on others allowed us to understand how to situate ourselves in different situations. Larry also offered some practical tips such as widening our knowledge of our sector by reading newspapers and business reviews, and reading our industry partner’s annual report prior to our internships.’

Graduate PhD researcher feedback on Ross Pilling’s talk includes: ‘He is a fantastic speaker and his stories were inspiring and fascinating. From him, I learnt that one cannot be an effective leader if one is not authentic; also, tough decisions never get easier. It was cool having someone whom we can look up to as we start shaping our future careers.’

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Ross Pilling (eighth standing from left) and Larry Marlow (twelfth standing from left) with attendees of the ‘Leadership Development’ workshop on 6 September 2016. The attendees were both C&P PhD researchers and supervisors.

‘Understanding financial statements in the Chemistry and Plastics Industry environment’

On 29 September 2016 the ‘Understanding financial statements in the Chemistry and Plastics Industry environment’ workshop was held at the BASF Australia and New Zealand head office located at Southbank in the heart of Melbourne. Firstly, Greg Catterall (Head of Manufacturing Solutions for BASF in Australia and New Zealand) gave an overview of BASF.  This was followed by the ‘Understanding financial statements in the Chemistry and Plastics Industry environment’ workshop that was run by the BASF financial staff.

The key financial topics in the workshop were:

  • Value based management,
  • Introduction to market profit concept
  • Profit and loss statement
  • Balance sheet statement
  • Cost controlling concepts
  • Working capital
  • Credit risk management

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‘Understanding financial statements in the Chemistry and Plastics Industry environment’ workshop held at BASF Australia and New Zealand head office located at Southbank in the heart of Melbourne on 29 September 2016. Greg Catterall (Head of Manufacturing Solutions for BASF in Australia and New Zealand), who gave an overview of BASF is standing, together with the C&P PhD students.

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‘Understanding financial statements in the Chemistry and Plastics Industry environment’ workshop held at BASF on 29 September 2016. BASF finance staff who gave the workshop and C&P researchers.

‘Understanding Legal Obligations in the Chemical Industry’ workshop

On 17 November 2016 a workshop Understanding Legal Obligations in the Chemical Industrywas facilitated by Dr Dru Marsh who is a Senior Associate lawyer at Lander & Rogers Lawyers that deal with workplace relations and safety.

Key topics covered included:

  1. Introduction to safety law, its origins and its future.
  2. Role of chemical specialists in the law.
  3. Case studies included
    1. WorkSafe cases involving chemical safety.
    2. Major incidents such as Longford, Buncefiled and Seveso that have changes global law.
    3. PFAS and emerging contaminants creating modern legacies.
    4. Practical challenges of chemical management.
    5. Drivers for engineering-out risk from chemical processes.

4. A career in the life of...

Series of "career life stages" and characterising how safety law may impact on their careers.

There were 29 attendees at the Understanding Legal Obligations in the Chemical Industry workshop.

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‘Understanding Legal Obligations in the Chemical Industry’ workshop held at Monash University on 17 November 2016. There were 24 attendees and the workshop was delivered by Dr Dru Marsh (on right side of lowest step) who is a Senior Associate lawyer at Lander & Rogers Lawyers.

Business writing skills

On 16 February 2017 the C&P 'Business writing skills workshop: So business documents can be understood in the first read and with the tone intended' was held at Monash University. The workshop facilitator was Lynne Hayward from Steedan.  There were 23 attendees at this workshop.

The key topics covered in the workshop were:

  • The communication process
  • The difference between academic writing and business writing
  • The Government Style Guide as a source of technique and principle
  • The composing process
  • Increasing clarity
  • Tone

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‘Business writing skills’ workshop held at the Green Chemical Future Building at Monash University on 16 February 2017. The facilitator Lynne Hayward from Steedan (front centre) together with the C&P PhD students.