Episode 21 – Axon Instruments and the Relentless Commitment to Quality with Alan Finkel

May 25, 2023

About this episode

In this episode I have the great privilege of chatting with Alan Finkel. We revisit key formative moments at Monash University and ANU, and the opportunities that emerged from the challenge of accessing and developing the best fit for purpose equipment. We discuss the difference between framing questions and solving problems through a discussion of the Engineering Method, an approach that underpins Alan’s career at Axon Instruments and beyond. Through instrument development, Alan recognises that development needs to be orientated towards needs, those spoken and those yet to be identified, and move past ‘what a customer wants’.

We spoke of time, timing and timeliness in Podcast 13 and we discuss a terrific example of how networks and preparedness catalyse the first key inflection point in the journey of Axon Instruments. That preparedness is founded on the bedrock of ‘The Relentless Pursuit of Quality’. We then discuss the growth of Axon, covering subsequent product launches and explore the one year that didn’t quite meet expectations, reflecting on market surveys and the internal rigour needed for market intelligence and its interpretation.

Our discussion then moves towards post Axon life, a moment of (failed) retirement and the next journeys undertaken with The Florey Institute, Chancellor of Monash University and Chief Scientist of Australia. We close on reflecting on the role the Chief Scientist plays in Australia and in technology transfer closing with Alan’s current writings on the current renewable energy transition.

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