Professor Michael Milford joins the Board of MTA Institute

The MTA Institute, MTA Queensland’s Registered Training Organisation and the largest private provider of automotive apprenticeships and training in Queensland, has welcomed Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Professor Michael Milford to its Board.

A multi-award winning educational entrepreneur with a Mechanical and Space Engineering degree and a PhD in Robotics from The University of Queensland, Professor Milford currently leads a team at QUT researching Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics and their application in the world of mobility and autonomous vehicles.

Recognised internationally for his work, Professor Milford is a frequent keynote speaker at technology events across the world and has collaborated with organisations including the Australian Research Council, the US Air Force, Harvard University, Oxford University, MIT, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and has delivered presentations to Google, Amazon and Microsoft.
As well as his position at QUT, Professor Milford also is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow and Chief Investigator at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision.

While AI and robotics represent his field of research, Professor Milford has a long history in supporting science education and helping young people to learn – and, just as importantly, enjoy learning – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.

His Math Thrills project – which creates STEM-related educational resources for students from early childhood through to adulthood – uses movies, books and games to engage young people in the study of STEM subjects in an entertaining way, and has been sold in 33 countries around the world. This passion for education, as well as his field of research, is what drew Professor Milford to agree to join the Board of the MTA Institute.

“Three things really piqued my interest and made this opportunity appealing,” he said. “The first is that this is an industry which will see great opportunity and great disruption. Autonomous vehicles and intelligent transport will be the amongst the first major new disruptors, so there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure people are well prepared.

“The second thing is how proactive MTA Queensland is in informing their members not only that change is coming but that it does not necessarily mean it will be doomsday. We must be ready for change and prepare for it, and that is a really balanced and inspiring message which I think is what most industry bodies should be emulating.

“The third thing is the emphasis on training and upskilling for a future where people are probably not going to be in the same job for 40 or 50 years.

“While this is not particular to the motor trades, it will be unlikely that you will stay in the same role or career for your entire life. The ability to rapidly and comfortably retool and retrain is, I think, going to be critical for everyone.”

According to Dr Brett Dale, CEO of MTA Queensland Group, Professor Milford’s appointment to the MTA Institute Board will help inform and guide the organisation as new technologies and educational opportunities are revealed, and his experience and knowledge will prove invaluable.

“Our industry is facing a level of technological disruption never before seen and much of this disruption is underpinned by AI and robotics – areas that many have an interest in, but in which few have real expertise,” said Dr Dale.

“We have been working alongside Michael at our Carmageddon symposiums and other events and he is, without question, an authority on these areas that are most relevant to our industry’s future. It was a no-brainer that we would want him on our Board.

“It is a great win for the MTA Institute to have someone of Michael’s calibre working with us and its truly reflective of a new era in which we will continue to ensure that our future workforce is equipped with the latest skills and knowledge essential to our industry.”

6 Jul 2018