Michael Edwards, General Manager, Boeing Research and Technology – Australia, was guest speaker at a recent RMIT Entrepreneur in Conversation event.
Speaking to more than 45 attendees, Edwards spoke about the intersection between engineering and business and how innovation and creativity have played an important part in the success and growth of Boeing Research and Technology in Australia.
RMIT has a longstanding partnership with Boeing Australia, which this year moved to the next level with the launch of the RMIT-Boeing Strategic Relationship.
Edwards said that Boeing currently makes 47 units of their 737 planes each day and they will move to make 50 units in the near future.
“Innovation is about making it real and Boeing constantly ensure that they bring innovation into practice every day,” he said.
One example of this innovation is Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner which is built using innovative technologies and includes parts that are made all over the world.
“Creativity comes in different forms and Boeing creates an environment where innovation is part of the culture,” Edwards said.
He explained how Bill Boeing engrained enterprising behaviour into the organisation’s culture back in 1916 when he built his first aircraft with the slogan ‘build something better’. This phrase, which is all about innovation and enterprising behaviour, is now used widely at Boeing.
Edwards oversees a highly collaborative research program focussed on the growth and prosperity of the Boeing Australia business units.
Boeing Research and Technology – Australia is the largest international research centre for Boeing outside of the US and works with the best aerospace research institutions around the country to deliver advanced technologies into new or enhanced Boeing products and services.
The RMIT-Boeing Strategic Relationship includes a multi-year research agreement and the establishment of a Boeing Professorship at RMIT.
Before joining Boeing in 2011 Edwards was with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for 11 years. Prior to that he worked for 15 years in the plastics, chemicals and petrochemicals industries in Australia. Edwards is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
The six-part Entrepreneur in Conversation Series hosted by RMIT Entrepreneur in Residence, Dr Marcus Powe, looks to explore and promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the wider community.
Story: Ainslie Logsdon