At the time of writing this newsletter the higher education sector is still awaiting the outcome of the government’s proposed legislation which will be considered in the Senate this month. This was a key topic at the recent Group of 8 (Go8) Board meeting, where there was uniform objection to the proposals to place a greater funding burden on students and to reduce university funding. The latest Go8 newsletter includes comments from myself and the other Go8 VC’s.
During September, I attended the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit in London where the pressure on university finances was a frequent topic of conversation and debate. UNSW and the PLuS Alliance had a high profile at the Summit, through the award ceremony for the first PLuS Alliance prizes and a panel session on the future of higher education involving Ed Byrne, Principal and President of KCL, Michael Crow, President of ASU and myself. Our UNSW delegation also took the opportunity to hold a recruitment event for our Scientia Fellowship Program, which was well attended and prompted an interview with me on Sky News about the impact of Brexit and Trump on international recruitment of UK and USA based academics. Parts of that interview were used last week in an ABC radio feature. During the Summit the latest Times Higher Education Rankings were announced placing UNSW at 85th place globally, with our PLuS Alliance partners KCL and ASU ranked at 36th and 126th respectively. The London trip finished with a superb one day conference on “The Future of Higher Education” jointly organised by Laurie Pearcey, UNSW PVC International, and Simon Marginson, Director of the UCL Centre for Global Higher Education. Proceedings of the conference will be available by the end of this week at www.fghes.com.
I was pleased to welcome over 70 new appointees at the most recent quarterly introductory meeting for new UNSW staff and to note a good balance of professional and academic staff and of those local to NSW, from further afield in Australia and from overseas. A warm welcome to UNSW to all of these staff - a full list of the new appointees and their roles can be downloaded here. Amongst those who have recently started work at UNSW are: Darren Goodsir, as Chief Communications Officer; Elizabeth Eastland, as Director of Entrepreneurship; and Dan Beecham, as Chief Digital Officer. Congratulations also to Warwick Dawson on his appointment as Director, Knowledge Exchange and to Russell Nelms, who has taken on the role of Chief Strategy Officer following the departure of Peter Noble who has returned to the UK.
The last few weeks have seen numerous awards, achievements, events and initiatives at UNSW further details of which follow in the main section of the newsletter below.
Key initiatives have included: the launch of Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd with an investment totalling $83m from UNSW, CBA, Telstra, Federal Government and NSW Government; the launch of the inaugural Big Anxiety Festival, the largest mental health arts festival in the world attended by over 1,000 people; the announcement of the creation of a new UNSW Education Institute which will be directed by Adrian Piccoli, former NSW Education Minister; outstanding work in Vanuatu led by Richard Corkish and students in our Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics; the start of the Walan Mayinygu Youth Program, led by Rebecca Harcourt from our UNSW Business School, supported by indigenous entrepreneur Liam Ridgeway and students Ashley Finegan and Shaun Wright.
Important and memorable events have included: UNSW participation in “R U OK? Day”; the hosting at UNSW of the Heads of Counselling Services Conference bringing together all leaders of university services from Australia and New Zealand; the inaugural series of pre-dawn breakfasts in Goldstein Dining Hall bringing together our Islamic students during the period of Ramadan; the Hal Wootten Lecture delivered by UNSW alumnus Elizabeth Broderick; a memorable 3 minute thesis event with 22 participants won by PhD candidate Alice Russo for her work on endogenous viral elements; and the first in the series of Faculty Showcases, held by UNSW Built Environment. Faculty Showcase events for each of the remaining UNSW Faculties and UNSW Canberra will follow over the next six months.
A long list of achievements and awards by staff students and alumni have included: UNSW success in the latest round of New Colombo Plan funding; 51 UNSW staff promoted to Associate Professor (full list below – congratulations to all); the amazing UNSW clean sweep in the 2017 Snow unigames by students Taylah O’Neill, Callum Watson, Zoe Spanos, Phoebe Tudhope, Greg Whitehead and Kate Hobbs; Eureka prizes to Justin Gooding (Outstanding Mentor to Young Researchers) and our UNSW team contributing to the Scabies Research Group (winners of the Infectious Diseases Research Prize); recognition of UNSW Bookshop as Campus Bookseller of the Year (again!); Associate Professor Michael Legg’s prize in the Academic of the Year category at the annual Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards; recognition of Eileen Baldry, Megan Davis, Ross Buckley and Rick Richardson as Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences; awards to Gigi Foster, Lauren Kark and Pramod Koshy at the Awards for University Teaching; Daniel Mansfield voted by UNSW students as KPMG most inspirational teacher; funding awards to Aron Michael, Melissa Knothe Tate and Binghao Li from the Australian Government Global Connections Fund; NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Awards to Bridianne O’Dea of the Black Dog Institute, Emma Barrett and Louise Mewton at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), Louis Wang at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and Dr Matthew Baker of UNSW Science; and success of UNSW students in the NSW Japanese Speech contest.
The newsletter includes tributes to two outstanding contributors to the UNSW community. Professor Walter Ernest "Darty" Glover AO was UNSW Dean of Medicine from 1985 to 1998 and died age 85 years. Professor Ken Cavill who was Head of UNSW Chemistry, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and was awarded the first ever personal Chair at UNSW, passed away at the age of 95 years. They are both remembered with gratitude for their service to UNSW and the academic community. Another great UNSW contributor, the late Professor Brien Holden was remembered in India this month by the inauguration of the Brien Holden Institute for Optometry and Vision Sciences at the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad.
Other sections of the newsletter cover: the high rating of UNSW for graduate employability; the progress of the UNSW finance transformation project; the new book by Claire Higgins from the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law on Australia’s refugee policy; the UNSW contribution to the Science in Australia Gender Equity Athena SWAN Symposium in Brisbane; progress with our UNSW Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Board; an update on progress on action related to sexual assault and harassment; the outstanding address by our Dean of Law, Professor George Williams to the National Press Club in Canberra on the Australian Constitution; the departure of the new Sunswift Violet Solar car designed and built by UNSW engineering students for the World Solar Challenge race from Darwin to Adelaide; the selection of UNSW architecture student Jincheng Jiang for a Renzo Piano Foundation internship in Italy; success of UNSW Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in competing for a cutting-edge metal 3D printer; coverage of our UNSW Medicine PlayMed training application; and to the relief of many the new lifts in the Barker street and Botany Street parking stations.
The Marriage Equality Campaign is continuing to attract a lot of attention publicly. Whilst UNSW as an institution does not take a position on political or campaigning issues, the University is committed to freedom of individual expression and ensuring that everyone in the UNSW community can express their views in a respectful and lawful manner on all issues. The Chancellor David Gonski AC and myself expressed our own personal views this month and we encourage everyone eligible to take part in the postal survey.
The first retreat for UNSW Education Focussed academics was held last week in the Hunter Valley (see below) and I understand that it was a great success. At the same time I hosted at UNSW, the annual teaching excellence awards dinner. The retreat and the awards event are powerful reminders of the quality and commitment of our leading educators and of the journey we are on to ensure that they are appropriately valued and recognised. Congratulations to all of our recently appointed Education Focussed academics and to all of the teaching award winners (listed here). My thanks for your stellar contribution to UNSW.
Ian Professor Ian Jacobs
President and Vice-Chancellor
EDUCATION FOCUSSED ACADEMICS RETREAT
Our new Education Focussed (EF) academics attended a planning retreat in the Hunter Valley for a three day adventure in educational excellence. They worked on their professional development and shared ideas on how to gather evidence to support applications for prizes, awards and promotion. They refined the EF Expectations Framework that was developed late last year to clarify what is needed to achieve excellence at all academic levels. The EF academics identified the expertise and experience that each EF academic brought to the group. Communities of Practice were created to define the problems and barriers that the university faces across faculties and campuses in delivering educational excellence to our students. At one of the dinners, the EF community celebrated the eight EF academics who have been promoted so far this year, as well as the OLT Australian Teaching Excellence Award recently awarded to Dr Lauren Kark, an EF Senior Lecturer in the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering. Professor Merlin Crossley, DVC Academic, attended the last day of the retreat and announced that foundation funding will be made available to support the success of the first EF cohort. My thanks to Anne Simmons and Cath Ellis for their inspirational work in organising the retreat and ensuring that our EF academics know how much they are valued at UNSW.
UNSW SCORES HIGHLY FOR GRADUATE EMPLOYABILITY
UNSW Sydney is among the top three Australian universities for graduate employability. Of the 500 institutions published in the 2018 QS Graduate Employability Rankings, UNSW is ranked third in Australia, and 36th in the world. The QS ranking follows our maximum five-star rating for ‘Getting a Job’ in the Good Universities Guide last month. The QS Graduate Employability Rankings, which began in 2015, rate not only graduate employment outcomes, but also employer reputation, partnerships with employers, presence of employers on campus, and achievements of alumni. UNSW scored very highly in Employer Reputation (94.7%) and Alumni Outcomes (90%). It was also above the Australian average for Partnerships with Employers and Research Collaboration with Leading Companies. See the full QS rankings report here.
UNSW LAUNCHES AUSTRALIA'S FIRST QUANTUM COMPUTING COMPANY
Congratulations to Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons and all of the Quantum Computing Research team, as well as those in the Division of Enterprise and our Legal office for the massive team effort and success in securing another major step forward for our world leading quantum computing effort. As The Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd was launched last month to advance both the development of a forerunner to a silicon-based quantum computer, and the commercialisation of UNSW’s world-leading quantum computing technology. The NSW Government is the latest partner to join the $83 million venture, pledging $8.7 million from its recently announced Quantum Computing Fund. This builds on earlier investments from UNSW and its quantum computing researchers ($25 million), Commonwealth Bank of Australia ($14 million), Telstra ($10 million over two years) and the Australian Government ($25 million over five years) through its National Innovation & Science Agenda. As Australia’s first quantum computing company, Silicon Quantum Computing will drive the development and commercialisation of a 10-qubit quantum integrated circuit prototype in silicon by 2022 as the forerunner to a silicon-based quantum computer. The company will work alongside the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T), operating from new laboratories within the Centre’s UNSW headquarters. At the company launch, Federal Minister for Science, Innovation and Industry, The Hon Arthur Sinodinos MP, said quantum’s computational possibilities and capabilities had the potential to create new industries and revolutionise sectors across the economy, noting that Australia was at least two or three years ahead of the rest of the world in developing the technology, and the Australian government ‘knew it had to back the effort’. The Centre’s Director Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons said having a company sitting alongside the Centre of Excellence, with the powerhouse of students and postdocs coming through, would ensure Australia stayed at the very forefront of the race. The company board will be chaired initially by corporate lawyer Stephen Menzies, who hailed the public-private partnership as a new direction for the commercialisation of Australian research – noting that Silicon Quantum Computing would maintain vital IP in Australia and develop a nascent quantum information ecosystem in NSW. Up to 40 staff are projected to be hired around the new company, including 25 postdoctoral researchers, 12 PhD students, and lab technicians,with recruitment currently underway.
UNSW QUANTUM PROJECT WINS AT KCA AWARDS
For the second year in a row, UNSW Innovations has won the Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) award for the Deal of the Year – not surprisingly, for our quantum computing investment package - at the KCA 2017 gala event held in Auckland. We also won the People’s Choice Award. KCA is the peak body promoting best practice in industry engagement, commercialisation, and entrepreneurship for research organisations in the region. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Enterprise, Professor Brian Boyle, notes that while the award recognises UNSW Innovations, it would not have been possible without a team effort across UNSW, including Enterprise, Legal, and the Vice-Chancellor's office. The long-term goal is to leverage Australia’s research leadership in silicon quantum computing and establish a brand new, high-tech, global industry based in Australasia.
BIG ANXIETY BRINGS CREATIVITY TO MENTAL HEALTH
The inaugural Big Anxiety Festival, the largest mental health arts festival in the world, is under way – hosted by UNSW Sydney and the Black Dog Institute, in association with over 25 partners across Greater Sydney. Exploring and re-imagining the state of mental health in the 21st Century, leading national and international artists, scientists, technology experts and thinkers are taking part in more than 60 events until 11 November - including state-of-the-art immersive experiences (with the world’s highest-resolution 3D cinema), art exhibitions, theatre and performance, contemporary dance, interactive media events and public forums, with hubs at Customs House, Riverside Theatres Parramatta, and UNSW's Paddington campus. The Festival coincides with Mental Health month, running across October. Our principal Big Anxiety partner is The Bridging Hope Charity Foundation, other major partners and supporters include the Australian Government, Department of Communication and the Arts: Catalyst Arts and Culture Fund; The Neilson Foundation; Australia Council for the Arts; City of Sydney; Mental Health Commission of NSW; and the NSW Government. I was intrigued to hear about one of many offerings: the Mobile Mood Lab, a converted ambulance in which visitors can lay down for testing with wireless heart-rate sensors that record changes influenced by stress and relaxation responses, accompanied by a live soundtrack of their heartbeat. At the launch party in Paddington last week, guests touched and explored the Snoösphere and engaged with the Group Therapy exhibition, exploring their emotional relationship with digital devices and how we experience these sometimes anxiety-making, but highly seductive objects. The Festival has many such encounters aimed at increasing curiosity and empathy, decreasing stigma and promoting psychological and emotional wellbeing. (ABS figures show anxiety is Australia's most common mental health condition: one in four people have experienced anxiety in their lifetime).
The Festival’s Executive & Artistic Director, Professor Jill Bennett from UNSW Art & Design, says 'there is resounding evidence that the arts can boost mental wellbeing' and Professor Katherine Boydell, the Festival’s Mental Health Lead from the Black Dog Institute, agrees: ‘The research underpinnings make this event a world first, establishing an evidence-base for the impact of communities engaging together around mental health issues.’ This is a superb initiative applying innovative UNSW expertise to real-world issues. Everyone is welcome to explore the Festival and join in. View the Festival program.
UNSW PARTICIPATION IN ‘R U OK?’ DAY
Still on the crucial issue of mental health, UNSW again took part in the annual R U OK? Day on 14 September – with various events designed to highlight the importance of connecting with friends, colleagues and loved ones. R U OK? Day is a national campaign to encourage everyone to start a conversation by asking someone, ‘Are you OK?’. The campaign encourages us to keep asking this question right across the year, letting the people in our lives know they are important to us and helping to create a sense of connectedness in the community. Each year, more than 2300 Australians commit suicide, and an estimated 65,000 people attempt suicide annually. Most tragically and of great relevance to us and our student cohort, suicide is the biggest killer of Australians aged 15 to 34 years. R U OK? Day is an important part of the effort to reduce these figures.
HEADS OF COUNSELLING SERVICES MEET TO IMPROVE STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH
Also on the issue of mental health the Heads of Counselling Services (Australia and New Zealand) Conference was held at UNSW recently on 26 September, and included counselling leaders from New Zealand, the United States, and every state in Australia. The Conference provides a much needed opportunity for the Directors and Managers of Counselling Services located in the post-secondary and higher education sector within Australia and New Zealand to come together to network and discuss the current hot topics in addressing student mental health. The conference dealt with many complex issues and explored creative, collaborative opportunities to addressing mental health needs. It also looked at the next version of the HOCS Benchmarking Survey (project managed by CAPS UNSW Sydney) and discussed the recent Under the Radar Report on university student mental health published by Orygen (The National Centre of Excellence in youth Mental Health) and the work being done to address sexual harassment and increase support. It included an enlightening panel discussion with UNSW students and student leaders talking about the needs of students in relation to mental health services and sharing first hand experiences of using university counselling services. Their feedback will help inform the provision of counselling in the future.
RAMADAN ON CAMPUS
During the winter Ramadan month, the Kensington Colleges provided Islamic students on campus with access to free pre-dawn breakfast in the Goldstein Dining Hall. Ramadan is traditionally a time when families and communities come together for joint pre-dawn and breaking-of-fast meals, and it can be quite an isolating experience for students who are away from their families to get up early and take their pre-dawn meals alone. The timing of Ramadan this year, which coincided with exam period, would have only added to the stress. Over 100 students a day attended to observe the pre-dawn meal talking with friends and colleague students from across the campus. This inaugural program was supported by the Kensington Colleges and the Islamic Chaplain and ISOC, and proved highly successful - providing Muslim and non-Muslim students an opportunity to come together and learn about each other’s traditions.
UNSW SCORES RECORD 2018 COLOMBO PLAN FUNDING
Great success to report in the latest round of the Australian Government’s 2018 New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program. UNSW has secured a record $2.57 million in funding under the NCP, which aims to lift knowledge in Australia of the Indo-Pacific area by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships across the region. Total funding for the New Colombo Plan budget was increased for 2018 to over $37.2 million and our grant almost doubled our 2016 result. Aligned with our 2025 Strategy to increase overseas student experiences, it will provide an extra 794 UNSW students mobility grants of between $3,000 - $7,000 for credit-bearing overseas experiences including exchanges, short programs, internships and language acquisition. Over 40 individual faculty-led programs will be offered in specific countries, including Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Palau, Samoa, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. Above and beyond the $2.57 million, UNSW secured $521,400 to support 258 students for subsequent terms of four multi-year projects across 2019–2021. UNSW has set ambitious targets of 33% of students graduating with an international experience by 2025 (currently we are at 23%), and the NCP plan represents a major external funding source to advance this key strategic objective. UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor, International, Laurie Pearcey, says the record result reflects both the Australian Government’s growing commitment to the NCP and UNSW’s own focus on expanding opportunities for students as a key part of our global impact agenda.
WORKING ON THE VANUATU FRONTLINE
In an earlier newsletter I mentioned the sterling work being done on Tanna Island in Vanuatu by Dr. Richard Corkish, the Chief Operating Officer at UNSW’s Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics. Dr Corkish recently returned from Tanna where, with four of his students and, they had a big impact. They completed installation of solar lighting and phone charging in the aid post at Kwaraka on the south coast; installed temporary lights at the dispensary in Imaki, a workaround for a broken inverter; made a detailed inspection of the cyclone-damaged micro-hydro power system at Imaki (which was built by our students in 2010); got the lights and computers running again in the school at Port Resolution, after months of down-time; collected video, photo and numerical information for future projects at ten aid posts; inspected a geothermal water resource for potential crop-drying at Port Resolution; checked previous installations at four sites; delivered panel-cleaning tools to dispensaries; built and improved relationships and partnerships with communities and government departments, and they brought back photographic evidence. Check out their work in the tropical setting of Vanuatu on Flickr here and here. Richard notes that it was a great learning experience for the students as well as being useful for the communities - more trips are planned early next year.
ADRIAN PICCOLI TO LEAD NEW EDUCATION INSTITUTE
In April we announced the appointment of former NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli as an Honorary Professor of Practice, with special attention to education programs in rural, regional and disadvantaged schools. We are taking this a step further with Adrian becoming the Director of our newly created Institute for Education, based in the University’s Arts & Social Sciences’ School of Education. This interdisciplinary institute, created to focus on educational access and excellence, will bring together scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners to conduct research that will contribute to improving academic and wellbeing outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged students and students who live in rural and remote Australia. An advocate for quality teaching and needs-based funding for schools, in his six years as NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli led significant education reform in NSW and nationally and is regarded as having been one of Australia’s best education ministers. An ardent supporter of the Gonski school funding reforms, he says they are crucial to ensuring all children receive a fair go at school. In October, Adrian will be among panellists discussing ‘Education & equality: Unfinished business?’ as part of UNSW Arts & Social Sciences’ Says Who? series.
UNSW SCORES IN 2017 EUREKA PRIZES
With a record 12 finalists in this year's Eureka Prizes celebrating Australia’s most exciting scientific advances, UNSW picked up two awards on the big night in Sydney - one for efforts supporting the next generation of researchers, the other for combatting the scourge of scabies. UNSW Scientia Professor Justin Gooding won the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor to Young Researchers, with his program of individualised mentorship that creates a supportive environment for research leaders in bionanotechnology and nanomedicine. Scientia Professor Gooding has been a champion of multi-disciplinary research at UNSW as founding co-director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, which draws on the University’s strengths in the Faculties of Science, Engineering and Medicine, as well as the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia. Also winning one of the prestigious Eureka prizes were Dr Lucia Romani, Associate Professor Handan Wand and Professor John Kaldor from the Kirby Institute and Dr Margot Whitfield from St Vincent’s Hospital, part of the Scabies Research Team with collaborators from The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the Menzies School of Health Research and the Ministries of Health of Fiji and Solomon Islands. The Scabies Research Group won the Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research for two world-first trials involving mass administration of the drug ivermectin, which reduced the prevalence of scabies from 33% of the population to less than 2%. They were led by Associate Professor Andrew Steer from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. The full list of 2017 Eureka Prize winners is available here.
ELIZABETH BRODERICK DELIVERS 2017 HAL WOOTTEN LECTURE
Giving the 11th Hal Wootten Lecture, UNSW Law alumna and former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick AO reflected on her life in law, discussing her journey from an early interest in STEM, experiences as a UNSW Law student and how she pioneered the establishment of a legal technology practice. Elizabeth, has dedicated her stellar career to breaking down structural and social barriers faced by women and men strengthening the laws on gender equality. Her calling as an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality led to her becoming Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007-2015), where, among many other achievements, she helped bring about national paid parental leave and cultural change in the Australian Defence Force. In her lecture, Elizabeth reflected that ‘the attacks we experience as human rights defenders are perhaps a signal of our retreating regard for the rule of law’, a retreat hastened by ‘political expediency’. She noted that ‘if we are to value democracy and the rule of law, then we must value those who advocate for them as well'. Elizabeth has always been a generous supporter of the UNSW Law Faculty and serves on the UNSW Law Advisory Council. You can see a video of her Hal Wootten lecture here.
BUILT ENVIRONMENT FACULTY SHOWCASE
The first in a series of Faculty Showcase events was held on 26 September with the UNSW Built Environment Showcase highlighting the outstanding work being done by students, researchers, teaching staff and alumni. Hosted by the Dean of Built Environment, Professor Helen Lochhead, the Showcase featured some of the groundbreaking research, ideas and technology developed in line with the University’s 2025 strategic priorities – academic excellence, social engagement and global impact. ‘Australia is one of the most urbanised societies in the world and urban issues are the biggest challenges of our time,’ Professor Lochhead said. ‘I want people to take away (from the Showcase) the idea that urban issues are complex and multi-disciplinary, are front and centre in our imagination and that we really need to focus on them. We believe in changing the world through positive engagement.’ In the City Futures Research Centre, Associate Professor Hazel Easthope and Dr Laurence Troy revealed what might happen to Sydney’s old apartment blocks and the desperate problems faced by some residents in strata-title properties. Professor Susan Thompson spoke about the importance of building healthier cities and why good public design is crucial to creating strong communities, while PhD student Sian Thompson talked about the positive results that come from apartment residents getting to know their neighbours. Professor Chris Pettit released the latest results from his City Analytics team, particularly advances made with the Rapid Analytics Interactive Scenario Explorer (RAISE) tool. This impressive spatial data device, which allows users to estimate and visualise property values, can predict the price impact of various infrastructure options.
On the University’s Red Centre forecourt, Professor of High Performance Architecture, Mat Santamouris, demonstrated the capabilities of his team’s Energy Bus and their work trying to beat urban overheating, particularly in Darwin. In the small Liveability Lab, Associate Professor, Catherine Bridge, spoke passionately about her team’s research and the technology behind the devices that will help older Australians remain self-sufficient in their own homes. To showcase the Faculty’s global impact activities, Professor James Weirick, explained the many benefits of students undertaking international study tours, Professor David Sanderson asked whose reality counts when disadvantaged communities face humanitarian crises, and Dr Laura Crommelin questioned the impact of online property marketplace Airbnb’s operations in Phoenix, London and Sydney. Other activities included quick-fire presentations (based on the “pecha kucha” concept) by students and staff on key projects and initiatives, and an enlightening tour of UNSW’s Design Futures Lab.
The Showcase concluded with a dose of social engagement – the Cities@UNSW panel discussion, chaired by Professor Lochhead on the implications of spatial inequality in Sydney. The lively panellists were City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone, Associate Professor (Practice) Elizabeth Farrelly, UNSW Planning student Estelle Grech, HASSELL Fellow and Honorary Professor Ken Maher, City Futures Research Centre Director Professor Bill Randolph and Greater Sydney Commission Deputy Chief Commissioner Adjunct Professor Geoff Roberts. My thanks to all of the students and staff who made the day such a success. Built Environment was the first faculty to hold a Showcase event. The others follow later this year and in early 2018.
UNSW FINANCE QUARTERLY UPDATE
I had the pleasure of speaking to the UNSW Finance team at their Quarterly update last week. The Finance team has made excellent progress transforming the delivery of financial services to UNSW, and transitioning to their oneFinance model. Finance was the first team at UNSW to undertake a major change program and it was good to hear about the positive outcomes of the change for the team as a whole, the effectiveness of the new service delivery model and the opportunities created for career development. You can hear more about the experience and reflections of staff in this video which was shown at the event: oneFinance.
NEW BOOK TRACES ORIGINS OF AUSTRALIA’S REFUGEE POLICY
Senior Research Associate at the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, Dr Claire Higgins, traces the key decision-making moments that shaped Australia's refugee policy in her new book Asylum By Boat: Origins of Australia’s refugee policy, published by our own NewSouth Press. The ‘White Australia’ policy was not long gone when the first refugees from communist Vietnam sailed into Darwin Harbour in the mid-1970s, seeking asylum and forcing the Australian Government to define a new national identity. Claire’s book shows how Australia developed a world-renowned refugee response – under the intense pressure of unprecedented numbers of people arriving by sea – and how its original, principled positions were eroded by political exigencies, leading to today’s dramatically different approach to asylum seekers. Both bureaucrats and politicians in the Fraser Government rejected notions of special camps or ‘other country’ settlement, and shared with the Australian public stories of those seeking protection (‘a chemical engineer, an accountant, a bank clerk, typists, and students’, according to one official media release) and details of their heroic survival (‘only 30 kilograms of rice’) on ‘harrowing’ sea journeys. As Claire notes, the Immigration Department then followed procedures ‘consistent with Australia’s international obligations’ and UNHCR noted ‘a high degree of compassion, interest and preparedness to help’ the arrivals.
CAMPUS BOOKSHOP, BOOKSELLER OF THE YEAR
On the subject of books, our UNSW Bookshop has won Campus Bookseller of the Year for the third time in the past four years. The award criteria includes excellence in ordering and stocking policy, best textbook buyers and sales staff, as well as the most effective sell-through and marketing initiatives. Members of the Australian Publishers Association vote on the award. UNSW Bookshop manager Mark Halliday said: ‘To be considered the best means we have to get a lot of things right. This is a credit to everyone involved in the bookshop, whether working out the back or in front.’ UNSW Bookshop was runner-up for this award in 2015, and won in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017. The bookshop on the Kensington campus is managed by UNSW Press, a company owned by UNSW. Its staff is a mix of permanent and casual employees, many of whom are students at UNSW. And of course our loyal customers are academic and professional staff at UNSW, students, alumni, and members of the local community. The UNSW Bookshop Chief Executive Kathy Bail said: ‘In a time of rapid change in the retail sector, the collaborative team in our Bookshop is attuned to the needs of the community and puts our customers first. Our independent bookshop is a friendly destination that offers a high level of service, selects great books and provides a wide range of educational content, a winning mix!’
PLuS ALLIANCE PRIZES
Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla’s, revolutionary approach to the recycling of toxic waste materials has won the inaugural PLuS Alliance Prize for Research Innovation. The award, one of four $25,000 prizes presented at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit in London, recognises outstanding innovation contributions that address global challenges facing society. Veena and her team at the UNSW Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) have developed technologies to convert complex waste materials, such as old tyres, and disused electronic devices, into ‘green’ materials for use in industry, rather than using ‘virgin’ raw materials. The prize for Education Innovation was awarded to Arizona State University Assistant Professor Laura Hosman for her work with SolarSPELL, a portable, solar-powered digital library that helps remove barriers to learning for people in remote areas. Two additional awards recognised global excellence: Narayana Murthy, an Indian IT industrialist and co-founder of Infosys, received the PLuS Alliance Prize for Global Leadership; and CRISPR researcher, Dr Francisco Mojica, won the PLuS Alliance Prize for Global Innovation.
ATHENA SWAN UPDATE
Earlier this month, members of our Athena SWAN team attended the Science in Australia Gender Equity Athena SWAN Symposium in Brisbane, where Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla gave a keynote address to over 350 participants from around Australia. Dr Caroline Ford, was also there representing UNSW in the Super STEM Communicator workshop convened by Science and Technology Australia. The Superstars of STEM is a national program aimed at smashing stereotypes and forging a new generation of role models for young women and girls. Meanwhile, UNSW’s Athena SWAN submission is progressing and will be ready for submission in March next year. UNSW was also advised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency that the University is compliant with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act) following submission of our annual report. Staff and the general public can access the report online.
EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION BOARD QUARTERLY MEETING
EDIB - the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Board – chaired by our Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Eileen Baldry, met on 30 August and discussed a number of key issues which impact on this portfolio. Finance presented on the approach to responsible procurement which includes social, sustainable and ethical sourcing. David Ward, Vice-President Human Resources, provided an update on the provision of childcare services committing to establishing a Steering Group to help guide decision making on the next options for the expansion of Early Years services. The next meeting of the EDI Board is 29 November. Contact Deborah Samuels, Manager Inclusion and Diversity to suggest items for the Board to consider.
SEXUAL ASSAULT & HARASSMENT UPDATE
We are progressing well with the implementation of all recommendations from our own internal audit, the Australian Human Rights Commission survey report, and the reports from the Australian Human Rights Centre at UNSW. A draft Sexual Misconduct Policy will be available for comment in early October, with the launch of the UNSW Sexual Misconduct Strategy in November. We now have an online reporting portal where anyone can report incidents of sexual assault or sexual harassment, past or current, even if the incident is not associated with UNSW. The portal also has a number of FAQs which may answer any questions you have.
SCIENTIA PROFESSOR GEORGE WILLIAMS AT NATIONAL PRESS CLUB
UNSW Dean of Law, Scientia Professor George Williams, is regarded as one of Australia’s leading experts on constitutional law, so his recent address to the National Press Club in Canberra drew plenty of media attention, given the debate around dual citizenship and same-sex marriage, both of which have generated headline news around Australia. Scientia Professor Williams told a packed audience that the Australian Constitution – which is actually contained in a British Act of Parliament was a document with a lot of important information missing, even failing to mention Western Australia, which joined the Federation just before the commencement of the Constitution in 1901. Also omitted is mention of the office of Prime Minister, or any reference to a Bill of Rights, which as George said, is now regarded as essential in every other democratic system. George, described the current crisis over the dual citizenship of some members of parliament 'absurd', noting that ‘in a nation in which half the population is born, or has a parent born overseas, we render people as unfit for political service when another country recognises them as a citizen. It is hard to understand why Australia has put itself in this predicament when dual nationals are permitted to serve in the parliaments of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.’ It was a fascinating address - from an historical, legal and political point of view - and, if you have the time, it is well worth watching, or reading the transcript.
UNSW ACADEMIC WINS IN AUSTRALIA’S TOP LAW AWARDS
Congratulations to Associate Professor Michael Legg who took home the top prize in the Academic of the Year category at the annual Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards, the premier legal industry event of the year. Professor Legg is the Director of the IMF Bentham Class Actions Research Initiative at UNSW Law. The award was given in recognition of his innovation in teaching and his leadership in being the academic member of the ground-breaking FLIP report by the Law Society of New South Wales, which looked into the law and future technologies. UNSW Law also had three student finalists in this year’s Law Student of the Year category - Adrian Agius, Don Nguyen and Khushaal Vyas. Although they missed out on the top prize in this category, UNSW Law Faculty did well with more finalist nominations than any other Australian law school.
FOUR UNSW ACADEMICS ELECTED TO ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
In recognition of their contributions to their disciplines and to society, four UNSW academics are among 46 new Fellows elected to the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) for 2017. Fellows are elected by their peers in recognition of their distinguished achievements and exceptional contributions to the social sciences across 18 disciplines. Our congratulations to the new UNSW Fellows: Professor Eileen Baldry, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Inclusion, and Diversity and Professor of Criminology; Professor Ross Buckley, Scientia Professor, UNSW Law; Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous and Professor of Law; and Professor Rick Richardson, School of Psychology. The 46 new Fellows have significantly advanced research knowledge and developed new approaches to areas as diverse as the social impact of climate change, the regulation and efficiency of financial markets, urban water management, human rights and Indigenous law, Australian history, management accounting, the economics of intellectual property, developmental disabilities and disorders of attention, suicide prevention, Islamic politics and populism, human resource management and workforce diversity, criminology and social work. It’s worth noting that the gender split was equal – 23 women and 23 men - and ASSA President Professor Glenn Withers commented that these appointments affirm clearly that women and men are being recognised for their equal contribution to social science at the highest levels.
UNSW STAFF HONOURED FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE
Congratulations to four UNSW staff - Associate Professor Gigi Foster, Dr Lauren Kark, Dr Louisa Smith and Dr Pramod Koshy – who were presented with awards at the 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching ceremony, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. The awards recognise and reward university educators who have made significant contributions to the quality of student learning over a sustained period. Nationally, 89 Citations were awarded across 32 universities. UNSW was one of only six universities to receive four or more awards. Associate Professor Foster, from the School of Economics, was recognised ‘for invigorating economics education and informing higher education policy through national leadership on academic standards, widespread community engagement, innovations in teaching and rigorous policy-relevant research’; Dr Kark, a senior lecturer in the School of Biomedical Engineering, was recognised for ‘promoting global citizenship by creating domestic and international programs that enable engineering students to genuinely contribute to improving healthcare provision in the developing world’; Dr Smith, from the School of Social Sciences, was recognised for ‘the design, development and implementation of research-led accessible and innovative teaching and learning resources in the field of disability studies’; and Dr Koshy, from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, was recognised for ‘the development and implementation of a teaching strategy of complementary content and style to enhance student learning in multidisciplinary science (academic) and engineering (industrial)’. UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Merlin Crossley, who attended the award ceremony with Professor Geoff Crisp, UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education, rightly noted that the awards not only shine a spotlight on some exceptional teaching staff, but showcase the outstanding educational experiences available to UNSW students generally. Congratulations to the four winners.
KPMG INSPIRING TEACHER AWARD AT UNSW
Geoff Crisp has also announced a new award, sponsored by KPMG, which acknowledges the most inspiring teacher for students enrolled in a first-year undergraduate program. The recipient for 2017 is Dr Daniel Mansfield from the School of Mathematics and Statistics in the Faculty of Science. UNSW students enrolled in first year undergraduate maths courses voted Dr Mansfield as their most inspirational teacher. Daniel is having a good run this month - he was also in the news with colleague, Associate Professor Norman Wildberger, for their discovery that a 3700-year-old Babylonian clay tablet contains the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table.
BRIEN HOLDEN INSTITUTE FOR OPTOMETRY AND VISION SCIENCES IN HYDERABAD
The late Professor Brien Holden's influence on eye care in India has been recognised following the inauguration of the Brien Holden Institute for Optometry and Vision Sciences by LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in Hyderabad this month. The inauguration of the new institute was celebrated at the World Council of Optometry’s congress with the late Professor’s son, Daniel Holden in attendance. The newly named institute, which incorporates the Bausch and Lomb School of Optometry, specialises in education, research, patient care and human resource capacity building in Optometry. LVPEI, one of the leading eye research, treatment and teaching hospitals in India, has been a long-time collaborator with the Brien Holden Vision Institute at UNSW, dating back to the 1980’s.
Professor of Optometry at UNSW, and founder and CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute, the late Professor Holden dedicated his life to improving the quality of life and vision of people around the globe with his dream of ‘vision for everyone, everywhere’. He was awarded Optometry’s highest honour when he was awarded the Prentice Medal in 2014, and believed passionately in the potential of India, a country he loved, and its people. It’s only fitting now that this new LVPEI institution has been named after him. Congratulations and warm wishes to Brien’s family.
LATEST UNSW APPOINTMENTS & ACHIEVEMENTS
A roundup of some notable promotions, appointments and awards over the past month or so. Professor Michael Keane has been offered a prestigious joint appointment at the UNSW Business School and King’s College London (KCL) – our UK partner in the PLuS Alliance. Professor Keane is widely known for his seminal contributions in empirical microeconomics and econometrics, and his methodological innovations are used extensively in a variety of applied fields including labour economics, health economics and marketing. Based at both UNSW and KCL over the next two years, he will conduct innovative research and teaching featuring a mix of theory and practice spanning disciplinary boundaries to facilitate knowledge exchange. Professor Elizabeth Carson has accepted the position of Associate Dean (Research) at the Business School. Liz is an internationally recognised scholar in the field of Auditing and Assurance, with research interests in the economics and regulation of auditing. PhD candidate Tony Pang, from the SWS Clinical School, has won the prestigious June Halliday Young Investigator Award for Basic Science at Australian Gastroenterology Week. Professor Michael Grimm from St George and Sutherland Clinical School has received the Outstanding Clinician Award at Australian Gastroenterology Week. The Kirby Institute’s Dr Neil Bretana has won this year's Centenary Institute Medical Innovation People’s Choice Award for his work on hepatitis C transmission in prisons. Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby was Highly Commended in the Community Lawyer or Academic of the Year category of the Women Lawyers Association of NSW Awards. Dogs of Democracy, the debut feature by Mary Zournazi, Arts & Social Sciences, was shortlisted for the Best International Film (Professional) at the Telling Tales International Film and Audio Documentary Festival in the UK, and has also been selected for the New York City Greek Film Festival and the 2017 Greek Film Festival in Australia. Kingsford Legal Centre, part of UNSW Law, recently won the Community Service and Social Justice Award at the Australian College of Educators (ACE) NSW Annual Awards. Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous, has been appointed to the Australian Rugby League Commission, the game’s governing body. Dr Caroline Lenette, Arts & Social Sciences, has been awarded an EU-sponsored Durham International Senior Research Fellowship for Research and Enterprise at the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action at Durham University in the UK, to research the ethics of documenting refugee and asylum seeker narratives.
2017 UNIVERSITY PROMOTIONS TO ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Congratulations to the following members of staff (listed alphabetically) who have been selected by the University Promotions Committee for promotion to Associate Professor with effect from 1 January 2018: Dr Martin Andersen, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr Seher Ata, School of Mining Engineering. Dr Paul Baldock, St Vincent’s Clinical School. Dr Graeme Ball, School of Chemistry. Dr Carolyn Broderick, School of Medical Sciences. Dr Julie Brown, Neuroscience Research Australia. Dr Juan Carlos Carbajal, School of Economics. Dr Dewei Chu, School of Materials Science and Engineering. Dr Daoyi Dong, School of Engineering and Information Technology, UNSW Canberra. Dr Chris Donkin, School of Psychology. Dr Hazel Easthope, City Futures Research Centre. Dr Suhelen Egan, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Dr Felicity Fenner, School of Art and Design. Dr Belinda Ferrari, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. Dr Serge Gaspers, School of Computer Science and Engineering. Dr Zixiu Guo, School of Information Systems, Technology and Management. Dr Rita Henderson, School of Chemical Engineering. Dr Anita Ho-Baillie, School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering. Dr Bram Hoex, School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering. Dr Isabelle Jalbert, School of Optometry and Vision Science. Dr Michael Kasumovic, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Dr Amanda Kearney, School of Social Sciences. Dr Mira Kim, School of Humanities and Languages. Dr Tyrone Kirchengast, School of Law. Dr Jonathan Kress, School of Mathematics and Statistics. Dr Guoyin Li, School of Mathematics and Statistics. Dr Lucas Lixinski, School of Law. Dr Limin Mao, Centre for Social Research in Health. Dr Lucy Marshall, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr Penny Martens, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering. Dr Kristy Martire, School of Psychology. Dr James McAuley, Neuroscience Research Australia. Dr Simon McIntyre, School of Art and Design. Dr Brett Molesworth, School of Aviation. Dr Angela Nickerson, School of Psychology. Dr Elise Payzan, School of Banking and Finance. Dr Tri Phan, St Vincent’s Clinical School. Dr Darren Saunders, School of Medical Sciences. Dr Jason Scott, School of Chemical Engineering. Dr Krishna Shrestha, School of Social Sciences. Dr Santosh Shrestha, School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering. Dr Warren Smith, School of Engineering and Information Technology, UNSW Canberra. Dr Elvira Sojli, School of Banking and Finance. Dr Niamh Stephenson, School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Dr Vladimir Sytnyk, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. Dr Robert Taylor, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Dr Wing Wah Tham, School of Banking and Finance. Dr Paul Timpson, St Vincent’s Clinical School. Dr John Triantafilis, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Dr Adriana Verges, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Dr Jason Wong, Prince of Wales Clinical School. Dr Yvonne Wong, School of Physics. Dr Wenjie Zhang, School of Computer Science and Engineering. Dr Mary Zournazi, School of Social Sciences. A pdf of the list is available here.
UNSW RESEARCHERS RECEIVE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDS
Three UNSW researchers are among 18 Australian researchers and 11 small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) sharing $1.4 million under the Australian Government Global Connections Fund, to meet and collaborate with global partners to progress their ideas. The grants provide seed funding to help viable Australian projects to grow in scope and scale and to test commercialisation and proof-of-concept activities. Dr Aron Michael in the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications received $45,597 for development of a carbon nanofiber flow sensor prototype for medical applications and will work with researchers in Singapore; Professor Melissa Knothe Tate, from Biomedical Engineering, was granted $50,000 for tuning and creation of fibres enabling manufacture of smart med-tech textiles, working with colleagues in India and Dr Binghao Li, with the School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems, received $49,834 to develop a cost-effective communication mechanism for underground mines, working with researchers in China. The Global Connections Fund, a component of the Global Innovation Strategy, provides funding of $4.9 million over four years to support Australian researchers and SMEs to collaborate with a global partner through its two components - Priming Grants and Bridging Grants. More information about the Fund and applications for 2018 is available here.
SLEEK NEW SUNSWIFT SOLAR CAR DEPARTS FOR WORLD RACE
After a testing mishap in which (fortunately) nobody was hurt, Sunswift Violet, the car designed and built by UNSW engineering students, is on its way to Darwin to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Backed by the UNSW Solar Racing Team Sunswift, the vehicle will be battling 47 teams from 21 nations in the 3,021 km race from Darwin to Adelaide which begins on Sunday 8 October. The new Sunswift has evolved into something that looks like a family sedan, but - amazingly - uses as much power as a four-slice toaster: enough to drive the vehicle to a top speed of 130 km/h and provide entertainment, air-con, and other systems including navigation, reverse camera parking sensors, and Wi-Fi. The mishap? Sunswift Violet was undergoing speed braking tests at the Eastern Creek raceway when a bolt on the front suspension fractured. Driver James Welch – a UNSW Photovoltaic and Solar Engineering student – diverted the car onto the grass, preventing more extensive damage to the underside of the body. Professor Mark Hoffman, Dean of Engineering (sounding a little like Elon Musk) described the misadventure as a learning opportunity: ‘The car is operating at the cutting-edge of what’s possible, so it’s no surprise they will face setbacks. That’s what an engineering degree should be about, learning about demanding, real-world challenges'. The Sunswift team holds the world land-speed record for an electric vehicle, recognised in 2014 by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, when their previous car – Sunswift V (eVe) – travelled at an average 100 km/h over 500 km on a single charge, breaking a record that had stood for 26 years. This year, teams competing in the Solar Challenge come from Belgium, Canada, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, and US as well as Australia, so competition will be intense! Watch a video here of Sunswift Violet undergoing tests at Eastern Creek, plus an interview with team leader Simba Kuestler. Good luck to all of our solar champions.
AWARD-WINNING ARCHITECT RENZO PIANO TO MENTOR UNSW STUDENT
Master of Architecture student Jincheng Jiang has been chosen for a six-month internship with the prestigious Renzo Piano Foundation in Italy. The foundation was established in 2004 by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano to promote architecture through study and research. UNSW Sydney is the first Australian university to be offered a Renzo Piano Foundation internship, joining highly-rated institutions including Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Ecole Nationale Architecture Superior Paris-Malaquais, and Brazil’s Facultad de Arquitectura, Urbanismo. The underlying principle of the internship is ‘learning by doing’, with interns participating in architectural projects including design and experimentation, as well as visiting construction sites to help bridge the gap between academic knowledge and the reality of the architect's profession. Chinese-born Jiang will be based at Piano’s international architectural practice, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) in Genoa, from September. Understandably, he is excited about what will be his first trip to Europe. ‘I came from China to Australia to study at UNSW but this will be a completely different experience'. UNSW Built Environment Dean, Professor Helen Lochhead, sees the internship as a life-changing opportunity, ‘defining in a young architect’s career’, and part of a well-rounded global education.
UNSW SCORES CUTTING-EDGE 3D PRINTING MACHINE
Competing against 250 applications from around the world, UNSW Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering has been selected to receive a cutting-edge 3D printer in a forward-thinking initiative run by General Electric. UNSW Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (MME) was honoured as one of only eight groups to receive a metal 3D printing machine - worth approximately $350,000 - as part of an initiative by global digital industrial company General Electric (GE) to help build the pipeline of additive manufacturing experts to accelerate the adoption of advanced manufacturing worldwide. Dr Xiaopeng Li, Lecturer in MME, reports the selection process was rigorous and based not only on UNSW’s past research excellence in additive manufacturing but our future vision as well. ‘As an emerging manufacturing process,’ he says, ‘it is a disruptive technology that will both complement many traditional manufacturing techniques, and become a major technique in the future, enabling new business models, products and supply chains to flourish.’ The GE 3D printing machine contains a metal laser melting system, designed to manufacture metal components with elaborate structures and parts made from reactive materials like titanium. It is ideally suited to fine detail, high quality surface ﬁnish, and precision component structures. With this kind of 3D printing technology predicted to cause such a cosmic shift in manufacturing in the future, receiving this machine is a fantastic opportunity for our UNSW students and staff to help pioneer some of these techniques.
THE PHIL' 24 HOUR FUN-A-THON IS BACK!
Arc’s student-led philanthropy program Phil’ is proud to announce that it’s 24-Hour Fun-A-Thon is returning on 12th - 13th October. For 24 hours, 25 teams of eight UNSW students and staff will be moving and grooving continuously to raise money for Child Life and Music Therapy at the Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick. You can show your support for this student-led initiative by attending the event or making a donation towards the target of $50,000. For more information visit ARC.
YEARS OF RESEARCH CONDENSED INTO THREE MINUTES
Twenty-two PhD candidates from across UNSW were given just three minutes to give a compelling oration on their thesis topic that would engage an intelligent but non-specialist audience. The winner was PhD candidate Alice Russo from the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences with her presentation on endogenous viral elements, or EVEs for short, that are present in host genomes are a ‘fossil record’ of past infections and reveal new information about what viruses once infected an animal. Alice believes they could help find a virus to be used to control the population of contemporary cane toad pest. That was the bite-sized pitch she made to judges of the UNSW 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition to win the $3000 first prize. Other candidates research explored new frontiers in medicine, business, science, law, engineering, the built environment and the social sciences with their insights into combatting climate change, drug control in sport, disability-inclusive development planning and autonomous systems planning. Alice will now represent UNSW at the Asia Pacific Competition at the University of Queensland and at the international Universitas 21 final – a virtual event with judges watching video presentations. 3MT runner-up Mayooran Namasivayam, from the Victor Chang Institute, won $1,500 with a pitch about his team’s pioneering technique to replace the mitral valve in patients without stopping the heart. Third Prize, and People's Choice Winner, Antoni Tsaputra, from Arts and Social Sciences, received $1,000 for his succinct summary of his thesis about enabling people with disabilities to have a say in Indonesia’s development planning. The ASPIRE winner was decided by year 10 and 11 students from Chester Hill High School, Punchbowl Boys High School, and Granville South Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School. They chose Jonathan Horlyck, from the Faculty of Engineering, who was awarded $500 for his explanation of how the problem of global warming could be solved with nanoparticle technology.
YOUNG RESEARCHERS FACE THE CHALLENGE OF SCIENCE COMMUNICATION
Five young UNSW researchers have received NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Awards, recognising their commitment to science and their drive to communicate. The Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS) honoured the up-and-coming scientists at a ceremony at the Museum of Applied Arts and Science and named evolutionary biologist Dr Angela Crean of the University of Sydney the 2017 NSW Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year. All nine winners will spend a year sharing their knowledge with school students, teachers, and the broader community through workshops, seminars, and public lectures. UNSW winners were Dr Bridianne O’Dea of the Black Dog Institute, for her work on how mobile technology and social media can improve access to mental health care; Dr Emma Barrett at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), for research into mental health and substance use treatment; Dr Louise Mewton, also at NDARC , for creating a ‘smart games’ program designed to prevent harmful alcohol use; Dr Louis Wang at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, who is studying the mechanism of heart failure using high-frequency echocardiography in living zebrafish; and Dr Matthew Baker of UNSW Science, who uses pioneering methods in synthetic biology to template and shape the assembly of one of the pinnacles of evolution, the bacteria flagellar motor. Young Tall Poppies are nominated by their peers and are early career researchers who have under ten year’s post-doctoral experience. Selection is based on research achievement and leadership potential.
LEARNING MEDICINE WITH PLAYMED
One of our most innovative medical research projects, PlayMed, garnered wider professional awareness with a feature article in The Australian recently. Created by Senior Lecturer at the UNSW School of Women’s and Children’s Health, Dr Keith Ooi, a pediatric gastroenterologist and cystic fibrosis researcher and Dr Michael Coffey, a PhD student at the School, PlayMed uses a computer game to create a virtual hospital, allowing medical students to respond to emergencies - administering oxygen or ordering imaging or blood tests for example and see the consequences of their decisions. Every move affects patient vital signs such as heart rate or temperature displayed on an animated monitor and defines the steps to be taken next. Immediate feedback is provided by a virtual professor, whose avatar reportedly looks uncannily like the Head of School, Professor Adam Jaffe, who believes the game has the potential to be commercialised internationally. Keith Ooi says they’ve been working on the prototype for two years and hope to have an app developed by next year. The game features hyperlinks to e-texts and has analytics that allow it to be used for assessment as well as revision. The developer-duo has undertaken a case control study involving more than 120 UNSW undergraduates: at the end of the trial, PlayMed gamers performed 25% better than a control group in an asthma knowledge quiz. Looks most promising.
SOCIAL POLICY CONFERENCE TACKLES AUSTRALIA’S MOST PRESSING ISSUES
The Australian Social Policy Conference (ASPC), the pre-eminent multidisciplinary conference concerned with issues of social policy in Australia and around the globe, was held at UNSW this week on 25 September. The conference attracted over 300 participants from academia, government and the community social welfare sector internationally. The ASPC addresses the most pressing challenges facing Australian policy makers, practitioners and researchers today. I had the pleasure of opening the conference ahead of some interesting discussions around a number of important themes including: poverty, welfare and social inequality; communities, families and children; environment and social policy; disability and care; human services; ageing; indigenous peoples; and a special workshop on Chinese social policy. The Chinese social policy stream of the conference included a keynote address by Associate Professor Bingqin Li from the Social Policy Research Centre on “Inequalities and social policies in China". Other keynote speakers included Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald talking about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; Professor Lane Kenworthy talking about the challenges and opportunities facing Social Democratic Capitalism; Professor Jill Manthorpe about new patterns of financing care and managing money in personal service delivery; and, Professor Greg Marston talking about the potential of ‘post-work’ politics and policies.
FORMER DEAN OF MEDICINE ‘DARTY’ GLOVER FAREWELLED
One of the stalwarts of UNSW Medicine, Professor Walter Ernest "Darty" Glover AO, has died at the age of 85. Professor Glover was Dean of Medicine for 13 years, from 1985 to 1998, and has been remembered by colleagues and former students as a man of ability and integrity, who guided the Faculty in a critical period as it matured. At a memorial service held at St Michael's Anglican Church, Vaucluse recently, his son, Gary Glover, said the family nickname ‘Darty’ stayed with Professor Glover for life. He joined UNSW in 1968 as one of a ‘second wave’ of foundation professors; at the age of only 35, he was appointed Professor of Physiology and Head of the School of Physiology, at a time when there were only about 70 students in first year. He had earlier been a member of academic staff at Queen’s University, Belfast, when he was appointed Senior Lecturer and Consultant Physiologist to the Northern Ireland Hospitals Authority. In a 1996 interview for the UNSW 50th Anniversary History, he said, ‘I certainly came here with the feeling that here was a new place, a growing place, and I was quite excited and stimulated by the other still fairly new professors.’ By the time he became Dean of the Medical Faculty, the School had achieved a strong international reputation for the quality of its research and its rigorous teaching. Professor Glover continued his research on human circulation, and he and colleagues in Belfast carried out the first human studies of beta-blocker drugs. As Dean, he saw the great potential in southwest Sydney, and under this leadership the University began developing ties with Liverpool Hospital and the local area health service. Acting Dean of Medicine, Professor Anthony Kelleher, says Professor Glover was responsible for educating and inspiring a generation of doctors and biological scientists, including himself.
PASSING OF PROFESSOR KEN CAVILL
Another UNSW veteran academic, Professor Ken Cavill, has passed away at the age of 95. Ken was an ex-Head of School of Chemistry, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and was awarded the first ever personal Chair at UNSW. He served several times on the UNSW Council. Born in Sydney in 1922, he graduated from University of Sydney with first-class honours in 1943, did his PhD at the University of Liverpool, and returned in 1950 to what was then the NSW University of Technology, later UNSW. Ken became Head of the School of Chemistry in 1971, and retired in 1982. His research on the chemistry of insect secretions, particularly in ants, was described in 85 publications, a notable and lasting contribution to the field. Ken was a wonderful benefactor to the School of Chemistry, donating funds for the Cavill scholarship and Cavill Prize in Medicinal Chemistry.
WALAN MAYINYGU YOUTH PROGRAM UNDER WAY
Continuing the great work of the Business School in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Wednesday 30 August saw the start of the Walan Mayinygu Youth Program, which was designed and developed by UNSW Business School’s Rebecca Harcourt. Together with Indigenous entrepreneur Liam Ridgeway (NGNY) and two of our Indigenous students studying at UNSW Business School, Ashley Finegan and Shaun Wright, Rebecca delivered the first of four youth programs on Wiradjuri Country in Dubbo. The Walan Mayinygu Youth Program is part of a wider initiative, the Walan Mayinygu Indigenous Entrepreneurship Pop Up Hub Program, which overcomes geographical isolation to provide spaces for individuals and communities to generate their own business ideas and inspire the entrepreneurial spirit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities across regional NSW.
GREAT RESULTS IN NSW JAPANESE SPEECH CONTEST
Students in the UNSW Japanese studies team did well in this year’s NSW Japanese Speech Contest held at the University of Sydney, presided over by the Consul General of Japan, Mr Keizo Takewaka, and sponsored by the Nippon Foundation, the Japan Foundation and others. UNSW had seven students in the three eligible divisions - Beginner, Open and Background. In the Beginner’s, first prize went to our Cassandra (Cathy) Kwok for her speech, ‘Can you eat spicy food?’. In the Open section, we picked up second prize - Yunjie (Jack) Jiang for his speech, ‘House husband: My recommendation’ – plus third prize to Liam Connolly O'Donnell for his speech, ‘Rugby League's local roots.’ In the Background division, Riki Walmsley from UNSW took third prize for his speech, ‘Two halves, one person.’ Professor of Japanese Studies, Chihiro Kinoshita Thomson, reports that the other UNSW participants also performed well, ‘and in my heart, they are all winners.’ Cathy Kwok will go on to represent New South Wales in the upcoming Australian National Final. Good luck!
UNSW SWEEPS BOARD AT SNOW UNIGAMES
Although we are (mostly) closer to the surf than the snow, UNSW again scored a clean sweep at the 2017 Snow Unigames. In the National University Champions division, on the winter slopes at Thedbo, we retained the titles of overall female champion, overall male champion and cross-country champion. The team featured UNSW Ben Lexcen Scholars (and Winter Olympians) Taylah O’Neill and Callum Watson, who won their moguls and cross-country ski events respectively, along with elite athlete scholars Zoe Spanos, Phoebe Tudhope, Greg Whitehead and Kate Hobbs. Thredbo put on a show in what was a tightly contested affair, as the best university skiers and snowboarders took to the mountain for the four-and-a-half-day event. The Snow Unigames drew more than 380 student-athletes from New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and – for the first time – Queensland. UTS secured second place overall and the individual snowboard female trophy. Finishing a close third overall was University of Sydney. Ben Lexcen Sports Scholarships support students with an outstanding ability in sport, by enabling scholars to continue to excel at their sport while also assisting their academic endeavours. Applications for the Ben Lexcen Scholarships for 2018 close on 30 September. You can read more about the 2017 Snow Unigames – with plenty of photos – at the Australian University Sport website.
WALKING UP SIX FLIGHTS OF STAIRS A THING OF THE PAST
The new lifts in the Barker Street and Botany Street parking stations are now open, improving campus accessibility for all students, staff, and campus visitors. The lift cars have glass doors to deliver maximum safety and visibility for car park users. Professor Eileen Baldry, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Inclusion and Diversity, who formally ‘opened’ the lifts, said they were part of UNSW's ongoing program of improvements around the campus, aimed at facilitating greater accessibility, and creating a better campus environment for the UNSW community. All for the better, of course, although I wonder how many staff will continue to use the stairs as part of their daily fitness regime?