Michael joins UQ after a long career within the Australian sugar industry at Sugar Research Australia (SRA) where he has more than two decades’ experience across varied roles as an industry researcher, research investment manager and executive manager.

Michael’s recent SRA executive manager roles had carriage for SRA’s operational units (assets, facilities, IT, safety and HR) and included significant strategic roles in seeking industry transformational opportunities and resetting the business strategy and operating model.

Michael built and managed SRA’s Research Funding Unit which delivered the Rural Research and Development Corporation (RDC) component of SRA’s remit.

Australia has 15 RDCs which are charged with driving agricultural innovation and impact within their various industries. Michael’s team was responsible for developing and driving the sugar industry research investment process and ultimately, the successful delivery of research projects, programs, outcomes and impact to the industry.

In that role, his team built partnerships and multi-disciplinary teams across internal and external research providers (including various parts of UQ) to address industry needs and provide value.

Most of Michael’s career has revolved around driving scientific and operational collaboration with a specific intent to deliver value and impact.

He has worked across multi-disciplinary agricultural and agribusiness areas and is accustomed to working with complex situations and environments.

Michael remains a scientist at heart and his background expertise is grounded in diverse areas such as plant chemistry and biochemistry, biorefineries and biofuels, diversification opportunities, cane and sugar quality and processing and the development of spectroscopic methods for industry benefit.