veski kickstart - October 2015

From Research to Industry – Post Docs and PhDs on the Move

The focus of the veski kickstart on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 was on 'From Research to Industry – Post Docs and PhDs on the Move' with speakers and panelists from a range of industries.

During the veski kickstart session students networked with industry representatives across: Big Pharma, Medical Technologies & Devices, Engineering, Government Policy, Professional Services, IT and Telcos.

 Read the news article.

Speakers & panelists


Dr Leonie Walsh - Victorian Lead Scientist

Leonie has more than 25 years of technology leadership experience in a broad range of industrial applications both locally and globally in companies such as Dow Chemical, Henkel and Visy with a focus on the development and commercialisation of technology. Leonie is Victoria’s representative on the Forum of Australian Chief Scientists. She was recently appointed to the Future Industries Ministerial Advisory Council.

Mr David Brown - Siemens Healthcare Pty Ltd

David is the Country Divisional Lead for the Imaging Division of Siemens Healthcare, Australia & New Zealand. In this role he is responsible for all business activities involving Siemens Imaging, encompassing MRI, CT, X-Ray and Women’s Health, Nuclear Medicine and Health IT. David began his career at Siemens Ltd in 1997 as an Account Manager for Siemens Building Technologies and has held a number of management roles in Building Technologies, Healthcare and Corporate.

Dr Jane Ryan – veski director and CEO Elect Sementis

Jane has many years of international experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries where she has managed research and development programs and held key roles in business development and alliance management. Overseas, she has worked at Roche and Columbia University in the US and with Peptech and Cambridge Antibody Technology in the UK. Upon returning to Australia, she worked with Peptech before joining Biota Holdings Ltd. Jane was appointed to the veski board in 2013.

Mr Mithran Doraisamy – Telstra  

Mithran joined Telstra in January 2014 after a long career as a strategy and general management consultant. As Director – Planning and Improvement Operations, he is charged with driving improvements across Telstra’s largest operational division. Previously, Mithran was a Founding Partner of Ernst & Young’s consulting practice that was built from scratch to having over 500 consultants in Australia/NZ. His expertise is in strategy design and implementation, enterprise transformation and productivity improvement.




Dr Benjamin Schmitt - Siemens Healthcare Pty Ltd

Benjamin works as a Scientist and Collaborations Manager for Siemens Healthcare in Australia & New Zealand. His areas of expertise and professional experience are in research projects and application development in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). In 2012, he was awarded the Merit Award for Scientific Contributions at the Medical University of Vienna. He is co-author of a number of clinical research publications including ‘Advanced MR methods at ultra-high field (7 Tesla) for clinical musculoskeletal applications’.

Mrs Sian Slade – Bristol-Myers Squibb

Siân is a dynamic innovator and problem solver, with a key focus on quality use of medicines and a passionate interest in data connectivity to enable and expedite more impactful outcomes for patients. A pharmacist by background, Siân has an MBA from Imperial College (London) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She’s worked internationally with a variety of roles of increasing seniority at market, regional and global levels including roles in Europe, Asia Pacific, US and the Intercontinental region. 

Dr Uma Adash – Ernst & Young 

Uma graduated from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand with a PhD in Chemistry.  Her PhD work was around testing methods of controlled radical polymerization that would allow synthesis of polymer chains of certain lengths to be used as drug carriers. She then got a job with Orica in Melbourne as a development chemist in their Watercare division (now Ixom). After a couple of years of lab work, she switched to consulting and has been assisting various companies with identification of R&D activities for the past eight years.

Mr Bill Hill – Hydrix Pty Ltd

Bill is a seasoned senior executive with 25 years experience in technology and product development across the industrial, consumer and medical fields.  He recently joined Hydrix to lead their Strategic Business Development. Prior to Hydrix, Bill spent 14 years at Invetech where he held a number of roles including Director of Product Innovation from January 2008 until July 2014. Bill is experienced across the full development spectrum from leading research projects, technology commercialisation and large scale product developments. 


Professor Ian Smith - veski director

Ian is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Research Infrastructure) at Monash University. His research is internationally recognised and he has published more than 170 papers. He has collaborated with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, has filed seven patents and is a co-founder of the proteomics-based, publicly listed, biotechnology company, Cryptome Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd., a non-executive director of Auspep Pty Ltd., and a consultant to Mayne Pharma. Ian was appointed to the veski board in 2011.

What's On