Dr Keith McLean

Director Manufacturing


Keith McLean has a Ph.D. in industrial microbiology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland where he developed expertise in oilfield microbiology, biofouling and bacterial surface interactions. Following spells in industry and industrial postdoctoral fellowships in New Zealand and Australia he joined the surface chemistry group at CSIRO Molecular Science in 1996 working on surface modification and characterisation for ophthalmic and other polymeric biomaterials applications. He was a team member (1996 - 2008) and project leader (from 2003 to 2005) of the implantable contact lens project in the VisionCRC. This team designed a polymer, surface and surgical methods for an implantable contact lens application which entered a phase 1 clinical trial. This team won the 2004 Royal Societies of Australia Eureka Award for Interdisciplinary Research and the 2009 CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement. He was the Research Theme Leader for Biomedical Materials and Devices in CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering from 2006 to 2014 leading an 80 member team of polymer and surface chemists and biologists developing biomaterials for tissue engineering, stem cell propagation and implantable devices. He was Program Leader for Biomedical Polymers in the CRC for Polymers and Project Leader from 2008 -m 2012 of the Biomanufacturing Project the aim of which was to develop novel materials for stem cell proliferation . He became Director of CSIRO Manufacturing in July 2014 where he leads 400 scientists and engineers developing solutions for high-tech Australian manufacturing. In particular, CSIRO Manufacturing is directed to research in Biomedical Manufacturing; Chemical and Fibre Industries; Metals Manufacturing and Innovative Manufacturing. McLean's research interests include surface modification and characterisation of polymers and their interactions with proteins, cells and tissues; development of low fouling surfaces and self-assembling materials. He is a Past President of the Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Inc. and was a member of the Scientific Committee of the 7th World Biomaterials Congress. He was a delegate (2008-2012) to the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering and is currently Secretary (2012-20). He has been a Keynote and Plenary Invited speaker at national and international conferences and reviews for several journals, Australian Research Council, National Health and Medical Research Council and NSERC (Canada). He is a Board Member of the CRC Polymers; Biomedical Research Victoria; veski and HySSil Pty. Ltd and was on the Governance Committee of the ARC Special Research Initiative Stem Cells Australia (2012-16) and the Advisory Boards of the Institute for Frontier Materials (Deakin Univ 2012-2015) and the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute.He is a Member of the Prime Minister's Industry 4.0 Taskforce. McLean was admitted as Chartered Chemist of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute in 2006 and elected a Fellow, Biomaterials Science and Engineering in 2016.

Professional Experiences

  • ConsultantCorrosion Specialists (North Sea) Ltd1985 - 1986
  • Postdoctoral FellowNCIMB Ltd1986 - 1987
  • Postdoctoral FellowUniversity of Waikato1987 - 1989
  • Research ScientistCSIRO Division of Exploration Geoscience1989 - 1991
  • Postdoctoral FellowCSIRO Chemicals and Polymers1991 - 1994
  • Research ScientistCSIRO Chemicals and Polymers1994 - 1996
  • Research Scientist and Project LeaderCSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies1996 - 2006
  • Research Theme LeaderCSIRO Materials Science and Engineering2006 - 2014
  • Director Manufacturing FlagshipCSIRO Manufacturing Flagship2014

Achievements and Awards

  • Eureka Award for Interdisciplinary ScienceCRC Eye Research and Technology2004
  • CSIRO Award for Research AchievementCSIRO2009

Contact information


  • +61 3 9545 2599
  • +61 448 810 646 (Mobile)
  • +61 3 9545 2446 (Fax)

Postal address: