My Melbourne with Stefan Delfgou

June 13 / 112

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What is your title?

I'm the Grants, Contracts and Consultancies Team Leader at the Melbourne School of Engineering. I have a team of four staff, three Research Services Officers and one Publications Officer. Together we help academics with grant applications, contracts, consultancies, those types of things. 

What does your day entail?

A lot of proofreading of grant applications, drawing academics’ attention to funding opportunities, linking with the University’s business processes, the rules of engagement for the University and the outside world, and we share service delivery, so we also work with UoM Commercial, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, the Research Office, etc.

How long have you been with the University?

I have just been here five months, I commenced in January after four years at the University of Delft, but prior to that I was at the University of Melbourne from 2006 – 2009. This role was vacant, and I applied while I was still overseas: I must have done a good job the first time around, because they were happy to have me back. I arrived just in time for a major grant round, so it’s been busy since I arrived.

What about your job do you find particularly interesting? 

It’s a great job, I find working with my academic colleagues particularly interesting. I think it’s great I can read their funding applications and see what their work is, to get an overview of who’s in their field. I enjoy helping them continue their work, and Engineering has some great research projects, like Bionic Visions Australia and research on water and energy - there are too many to project mention – we do lots of societally relevant work.

I quite enjoy jobs where you can problem-solve,  think creatively and get things done, and in that regard the business aspect of my job and the University’s processes means lots of space for creative thinking. I’m never sure what the day will bring, which keeps it interesting.

What’s something about yourself your colleagues may not know?

I quite like comics, I have a large collection of Belgian comics such as Tin Tin and Asterix and Obelix. I have three children, all boys, and the oldest quite likes them too, so our collection runs into the hundreds. We quite like things like Calvin and Hobbes as well. 

Where do you buy your coffee on campus? 

I buy my coffee at Kere Kere, it’s a great favourite with staff of Engineering, they make good coffee and support good causes. My other favourite is Baretto’s, I used to go there when I worked at the Alan Gilbert Building, and sometimes I make plunger coffee. 

What would you say is the best thing about working at the University?

It's a lovely campus with great facilities, but what I enjoy most is the people. I get to work with a lot of outstanding people on interesting topics,  and I am motivated by that. Melbourne has a nice collegial atmosphere and Engineering has a nice culture and cohesion. For me, having returned to the University, it’s nice to rejoin with people I worked with previously. 

What’s a piece of advice you can share?

It’s easy to make things complicated but it’s hard to keep it simple: keep it simple when you can.

 

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