After a period as an honorary staff member and a Professorial Fellow, Professor Robin Batterham joined the Melbourne School of Engineering as Kernot Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2010. Professor Batterham is devoted to furthering energy research in the University and is deeply involved with the Melbourne Energy Institute. He brings enormous expertise and experience to the School, building on his long and very distinguished career in industry and government, and is the immediate past President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (2007-2012).
Professor Batterham has been named in Engineers Australia’s list of the 100 Most Influential Engineers for 2010. Sponsored by Engineers Australia, the list aims to acknowledge engineers who have a positive influence on society.
He graduated from the University of Melbourne in Chemical Engineering in 1965. He obtained his PhD in 1969 and was awarded a CSIRO scholarship to undertake postdoctoral studies in the United Kingdom at the central laboratories of ICI (UK).
He returned to Australia as a research scientist with the Division of Chemical Engineering in CSIRO. During this period of his professional career he undertook a significant number of innovative projects in the mineral processing field and he was ultimately appointed as Chief of the Division of Mineral and Process Engineering at the CSIRO in 1985. During his career with CSIRO, Dr Batterham promoted close interactions with industry, leading to the development of a number of novel processes which are in use today in the mineral sector in Australia and overseas.
In 1988 he was approached by CRA Ltd, now Rio Tinto Limited, to take a major role in technology development for that company. Many of the company's industrial technology successes are a result of Professor Batterham's work.