11- Dr Erol Harvey – CEO – MiniFAB

Erol Harvey is the Co-FErol Harveyounder and CEO of MiniFAB, a Melbourne based  privately-held contract engineering firm providing custom development and manufacture of medical technology products.  He has a fascinating story, having first arrived in Australia as a refugee, and going on to build a very successful career in both academia and commerce.  I am always extremely impressed by people who are able to bridge the gap between highly technical, specialist work, managing large teams, and growing entrepreneurial businesses.  Erol is an excellent example of someone who has deliberately and effectively built his competencies in each of these areas, and the resulting success of MiniFAB is testament to his abilities.

With a PhD in Plasma and Laser Physics from Monash University, he spent time in Oxford, UK before returning to Australia in 1999 to become Professor of Microtechnology at Swinburne University specialising in microfluidics, polymer microengineering and packaging.

His team was the seed for the subsequent formation of the CRC for MicroTechnology, a AUD$75M vehicle that brought together Australian academia and industry, attracting such names as Cochlear Ltd, Robert Bosch Australia, and the Australian Institute of Sports.

In 2002, together with Michael Wilkinson, he founded MiniFAB. Erol has served on a number of local and federal Australian government committees, international program review panels and in 2006 Erol was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).

He is actively involved in international professional organisations such as MANCEF and serves on International Strategy Group of ATSE (Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering), Australian Federal Government FMIIC (Future Manufacturing Industry Innovation Council) and assists with commercialisation strategies with local universities and research organisations.

In 2011 MiniFAB was awarded the inaugural “Enabling Technology Company of the Year” and in recognition for achievements in entrepreneurship in emerging technology in 2012 Erol was awarded Enabling Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

MiniFAB’s client base includes multinational companies, venture capital-funded start-ups, and university spin outs from around the world who contract MiniFAB to work on the practical implementation and commercialisation of novel science in areas such as biosensors, micro-fluidics and polymer micro-engineering.

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