Dr Peter Rogers AM
From encouraging women into engineering, using engineering approaches to facilitate medical breakthroughs, as well as working in Indigenous communities, Dr Peter Rogers AM has made a substantial impact to our community. That impact has been recognised through his appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia.
“One of the greatest impacts has been to encourage more women into engineering, an historically male-dominated field. I was involved in developing our university’s world-leading engineering leadership program which provided graduates with skills in communications and teamwork. This attracted female students to the faculty, increasing enrolments and graduates from the course.”
Dr Rogers has also been involved in facilitating developments in 3D bioprinting producing 3D models of brain structures used to screen drugs, and to model brain trauma, and to print scaffolds for different medical applications such as growing cardiac cells and inducing bone regeneration. The establishment of an engineering innovation centre – with industry funding – with its focus on 3D additive manufacturing, led to the 3D bioprinting capability.
Initially trained as a chemical engineer, Dr Rogers has spent much of his career focused on commissioning and achieving reliability in engineering operations – building and testing systems to ensure they deliver when they are needed. It is complex work.
“But now I can use my skills and experience to solve broader problems, such as bringing engineering solutions to reduce the incidence of trachoma, a debilitating eye disease in Indigenous communities. One project takes mobile face washing trailers with games and local community music into remote communities. This initiative is helping to stamp out the disease’s transmission.”
“I have always been driven to help others – friends, family, colleagues, our invaluable universities. I am full of gratitude to those who took the considerable time to nominate and support me for this honour.”
In particular, Dr Rogers thanks his wife Cathy Rogers OAM and daughters, as well as a wide range of mentors and colleagues. These include several University Chancellors, Vice Chancellors and Faculty Deans – particularly Dr Alan Finkel AC, Sir Ed Byrne AC, Professor Peter Darvall AO, and Professor Tam Sridhar AO to whom he is also indebted.
“Opportunities in this life are only limited by our imaginations, persistence, and by taking calculated risks.”