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Dr Melanie Ayre

Industry 4.0 Sector Lead


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Melanie Ayre is a research consultant specializing in the interaction between people and information systems, or how to translate digital systems designed by researchers into production use. She has developed a recognized expertise in Industry 4.0, and leads strategy and operations for this sector, in domains including energy, defense and manufacturing.

Melanie's focus is on how businesses engage with this transition, and how technologists can make their solutions more accessible. This includes leading situational awareness projects, which combine planning, sense-making of conflicting real-time information, and rescheduling approaches to support decision-making in mixed manual and automated manufacturing build processes. She likes to talk about the economic history of industrial revolutions, understanding that technology by itself isn't enough to change the world.

Melanie has led ASPIRE, since its inception in 2013, which has been recognised by the United Nations Centre for Regional Development for its approach to working with local government and small to medium manufacturing and recycling businesses, to promote business sustainability through match-making around potential supply chains for waste material. As the project leader for ASPIRE, Melanie’s goal was to ensure the platform is as useful and useable as possible for its community, and as such increase its deployment and uptake across Australia. Melanie also led the transition of the IP and customers to independent commercial operation,

Also as a founder member of the Network team, Melanie wanted to see what would happen if it was made easy for CSIRO scientists and engineers to discover capabilities they need, based on the evidence of what people have actually done rather than what they choose to write about themselves. See for yourself at!

Earlier work in Operational Research involved significant expertise in data wrangling and developing visualisation approaches, largely for freight transportation projects. With previous work in software engineering in the oil and gas sector, this gives her significant experience in managing data quality, particularly found and repurposed data - and a key issue for businesses seeking effective digital transformation.

Melanie has a degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow in the UK, and a PhD in Photonics from the University of St Andrews, also in the UK.

Other Interests

Melanie has been developing her leadership skills and ability to support women in STEM fields, including by participating in Monash University Business School's 'Your Leadership Voice' program. You can watch her 'Speak Up Equally', or SUE, talk here

Melanie is a Cub Scout Leader with 5th City of Brunswick, where her recent achievements include the award of her wood beads (and a Cert 4 in Frontline Leadership), and successfully leading a pack of 10 adults and 50 children through Cuboree, also known as a week in a field in the rain with 3500 other children. Twice.