You are invited to connect at The Victorian Vernier Society monthly meeting is on Thursday the 14th March at Kooyong Tennis Club:

Anjali Thirumalavan – Robogoals & Diverse Women’s Mentoring Assoc

Student Board Member Diverse Women’s Mentoring Association

Her key role is to advise on creating new mentoring programs for students from a STEM background and to provide strategical advise on establishing partnerships with STEM organisations.

Regional Executive Officer Robogals, Europe, Middle East & Africa Region

Her key responsibilities are to support and remotely mentor the regional team members in their roles and devise strategies to reach the 2020 vision on the organisation.

Sam Harris – Planet Innovation

Planet Innovation is a multifaceted business with a strong presence in the healthtech sector. They partner with clients to develop ideas into businesses by developing innovative, market-led products and have been recognised by the AFR as Australia’s Most Innovative Company 3 times in the last 5 years. Sam will present a case-study of how Planet Innovation helped a client transform from a pure services business, developing and selling products manufactured in Australia around the world and generating a 9-figure exit deal in less than a decade.

Meeting Overview

Engineers know how to manage plans!

Whether planning a multi-million $ project, the delivery of a new machine or a simple lunch meeting, engineers know to always plan for the unexpected; so when your main speaker chooses (maybe an ill-considered word) to break a few bones in a leisure pursuit and the President and Master of Ceremonies gets called away on business to Italy, success relies on adaption and that is why the Vernier Society March meeting went off with its usual smoothness.

A good mix of Members and Friends were treated to a packed program this month with two speakers and an update on the work of the Vernier Foundation and yet despite this, the stand-in MC still managed to both finish on time, if not slightly ahead and maintain the low-bar standard with this month’s joke!

Supporting more Women in Engineering

In support of International Women’s Day on Friday the 8th of March, the Society first welcomed Anjali Thirumalavan who spoke about her work for two organisations heavily focused on encouraging more women into engineering and manufacturing – ‘Diverse Women’s Mentoring Association’ and ‘Robogals’, the now worldwide women in engineering movement.  Anjali’s passion and enthusiasm for her respective roles came across well and is of course, in harmony with the Vernier Foundation’s support of STEM in school’s collaboration program.  A summary of Anjali’s presentation is available by clicking the button below.

Speaker meets the brief on Innovation

The “Speaker Program” aims to provide its members and guests with pro-bono speakers that demonstrate innovation, productivity and customer service differentiation are essential ingredients in success and our main speaker certainly met the brief; Sam Harris is the Commercial Manufacturing Manager at Planet Innovation in Boxhill.

Planet Innovation, according to their website, is “a ‘healthtech’ innovation and commercialization company that exists to create breakthrough products and commercially successful businesses that transform industries and have a positive impact on the world”.  The company was formed in 2009 by four globally experienced biomedical executive who wanted to create a ‘market-pull’ driven, in contrast to the technology-push methodology, business to develop products and grow businesses.  Sam explained how he joined PI in 2018 to further expand their manufacturing capabilities that were set up four years ago for producing a range of entrepreneurial and innovative medical products.  PI is now firmly established in the medical products niche and employs over 250 people across all disciplines from research to business spin off.  In a fact filled and absorbing presentation, Sam left the audience with at least, two characteristics that embody Planet Innovation’s ethos; ‘open culture and social structures’ and ‘design for manufacturing’ right from the design stage.  In addition, a third element – compliance – was stressed as essential in health product manufacturing, in this case to ISO13485. So much so that Sam explained the ‘Quality Compliance Manager’ sits on the next desk!  Open culture in terms of hierarchy and working environments and cross functional design teams are intrinsic to high technology innovative manufacturing companies.  As was explained, the former is essential to recruit and retain calibre and highly productive people across all disciplines and the latter to ensure that products are designed right from the concept stage with optimum product cost through ease of manufacture as the goal.

The Meeting finished as usual with a resounding vote of thanks, made especially significant this month as Sam and his brother Tom became the latest members of the Society.  Vernier is a fellowship for all those with a passion for Manufacturing and Engineering and welcomes members and guests to its lunches on the second Thursday of each month.

The Vernier Promise!

At Vernier you will:

• Connect and Network with business leaders
• Associate with people who share your interests
• Gain insights and knowledge from authoritive keynote speakers
• Develop and grow your leadership and business prospects
• Promote the sustainability of the Australian manufacturing industry