1964 - 1990
Owen Potter was the foundation professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering. Potter studied at the University of Queensland and then the University of Manchester. He worked as a Lecturer in Charge at the University of Manchester while also studying for his PhD from 1954–1960. Despite being offered a lucrative job within the industry in the UK, Potter returned to Australia, taking up the post of Reader at the University of Melbourne within the Department of Chemical Engineering. Unbeknown to him at the time, this job also included the role of Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at RMIT.
In 1963, Potter was invited to apply for the position of Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University. He was offered the professorship in September of that year and remained Chair of the Department until 1990. He was subsequently awarded the title Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at Monash.
During his career Owen Potter invented steam fluidised bed drying and won a number of prestigious awards, including the Arnold Greene Medal from the Institution of Chemical Engineers UK, the ICI (UK) Award for Innovation in Drying and the Kernot Medal from the University of Melbourne. In honour of his achievements and contributions within the Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University created the Owen Potter Award for Chemical Engineering Excellence.