Germany was first to recognise that the world is rapidly entering into the fourth industrial revolution. A term they coined as Industry 4.0. And like industrial revolutions of the past, almost every part of our economy and society is impacted. The challenge is to effectively transition our education system, our businesses, the way we view standards, R&D and more. According to the World Economic Forum, in just two years robotics and Artificial Intelligence will see 70 million jobs displaced. It’s all part of the revolution – but is it all bad? Do we have the skills needed for the future in our education systems, governments and businesses?
Local CEO of Siemens, Jeff Connolly, has played an integral role in driving Australia’s involvement in preparations for Industry 4.0 and the Australia Germany relationship on this topic. In his role in the Australia Germany Advisory Group, led by Senator Mathias Cormann, Jeff established and chaired the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce – now known as the AiGroup Industry 4.0 Forum where he is on the executive Council. Jeff has also been recognised for his contribution to Industry 4.0 through his Adjunct Professorship at Swinburne University of Technology.
At this National Press Club address, Jeff Connolly will share the story of what the fourth industrial revolution looks like, how Australia is preparing for it, and why as a nation Industry 4.0 just may just be the most critical topic of all if we are to address growth and productivity, jobs, balance of trade, scarcity of resources and even climate change.
Professor Aleksander Subic will join Jeff in a panel discussion. He has been part of this journey since the beginning and leads the Industry 4.0 workstream developing the nation’s network of Industry 4.0 Test laboratories with six strategic University partnerships. He sees that university and industry collaboration is critical to Australia’s preparations and future success and has been an instrumental voice in these discussions.
Jeff Connolly is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Siemens group in the Australia Pacific region, the first Australian to hold this position since 1984. He reports directly to the Siemens AG Managing Board. Jeff’s 30 year career in Siemens has given him direct involvement in all areas of the Siemens portfolio as well as broad intercultural business experiences throughout Australia, Europe and Asia. Most significantly he has lived and worked in China for a total of seven years. Between 2009 and 2012 he was CFO of Siemens North East Asia based in Beijing and responsible for more than 80 manufacturing companies, employing around 40,000 people, generating a turnover of approximately AUD 9 billion. Originally from Melbourne, Jeff is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, and has completed the general management program of Duke University USA. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, National Trustee of CEDA, founding member of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, Australian Industry Group Victorian Branch Council President and National Councillor, Chairman of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, member of the Victorian Government Future Industries Ministerial Advisory Council, Director of the European Australian Business Council, member of the Prime Minister / Chancellor German-Australian Bilateral Advisory Group and Member of the Executive Council of the AiGroup led Industry 4.0 Forum (formerly known as the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Task Force), Director of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital PPP and Director of the New Bendigo Hospital PPP.
Professor Aleksandar Subic
Professor Aleksandar Subic currently holds the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) at Swinburne University of Technology. Prior to this appointment, Professor Subic was the Dean of Engineering and the Head of School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at RMIT University. He is internationally recognised for his research in engineering design and advanced manufacturing, having led numerous global R&D projects in collaboration with industry leading to important translational research outcomes and impact.
Professor Subic held positions on the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce, the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council Leaders Group, Deputy Chair of the National Aerospace and Aviation Industries Association, Director of Oceania Cybersecurity Centre, Director of SAE-A and on the Executive Committee of the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC). He served on the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) National Assessment Committee for Engineering and Environmental Sciences and on the research advisory panels of the Defence Materials Technology Centre and the European Engineering Research Council.
Professor Subic is an honorary Professor of Tsinghua University, Tianjin University and Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia (IEAust), Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and Fellow of the International Energy Federation (IEF).