Erol Harvey has always worked at the interface between academic research and corporate-based technological innovation. After completing his PhD in Plasma and Laser Physics at Monash University in 1998, Erol travelled to the UK where he conducted postdoctoral research before joining a spin-off company in Oxford. He returned to academia as professor of microtechnology at Swinburne University, where he built a team oriented towards the industrial applications of technology.
Together with Michael Wilkinson, Erol co-founded MiniFAB in 2002 as a service company for converting world-class research into tangible, high-quality products. Since then, MiniFAB has drawn together an internationally renowned team of engineers and scientists. The company has completed over 900 projects for clients around the world. With an expanding manufacturing capacity that has even greater potential, and a burgeoning market for microtechnology in health and medicine, MiniFAB's outlook for the future is bright.
It became apparent to Erol early on that there was a problem in the way nano- and microtechnology was being translated into the commercial arena. At the end of the 90s and into the 00s, everyone was asking why these cool new technologies weren't being effectively commercialised, Erol says. This wasn't just an Australian problem; it was a popular topic of conversation at conferences around the world. Even today, its still a relevant discussion.