New leadership brings fresh ideas

27 Jun 2017

2017 has brought with it a range of new faces to the Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology Faculty leadership team. Three new Heads of Schools, a new Associate Dean, a new Director of the Advanced Water Management Centre, and a new Director of the Sustainable Minerals Institute have all joined the ranks, with the collective goal to advance EAIT’s teaching, research and industry outcomes.

Meet our new leaders:

Professor Aleksandar Rakić is the UQ Engineering, Architecture and IT Faculty's first Associate Dean (External Engagement).

Professor Rakić leads the Microwave, Photonics, and Communications research group at UQ, focusing on the development of technologies for sensing and imaging across the electromagnetic spectrum including microwave, terahertz wave and optical systems.

In addition to Professor Rakić's teaching and research role within the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering here at UQ, he has served as the Director for International Development within the School.

His experience and passion for international engagement will aid the Faculty’s strategic international focus over the coming years and will support us in improving international recruitment outcomes and developing stronger relationships with alumni and industry supporters around the globe.

Prof Aleksandar Rakic

Professor Michael Brünig is the Head of School at the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at UQ.

Professor Brünig is a data innovation expert with over 20 years’ experience in research and development across industry, government and academia over three continents. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the School’s research, teaching and outreach endeavours, leading over 100 academic and professional staff and for fostering the success of 1800 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Before joining UQ, Professor Brünig worked with Australia’s most widely known science research and translation hub, CSIRO. As an executive manager with the organisation, he led an initiative to establish a National Research Flagship on Digital Productivity and later guided the $90M per annum business unit through a merger with National ICT Australia to form Data61, a new entity focusing on data innovation.

Professor Brünig has published a book, has written for popular media and has produced more than 50 papers in both German and English, gaining more than 800 lifetime citations. His personal research interests include micro sensing, data analytics and automation.

Prof Michael Bruenig

Professor Neville Plint is the Director of the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) at UQ.

Professor Plint has a PhD and an MBA from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and brings extensive leadership experience and a deep understanding of the mining sector, having worked for 20 years with Anglo American in South Africa. Professor Plint was the Head of Business Improvement – Centre for Experiential Learning. Prior to this, he was the Senior Manager Technology and Innovation, and also the Head of Research and Development within the Anglo American Platinum Corporate Office.

Professor Plint’s experience is based on delivering improved operational performance on mining sites by developing and implementing new technologies, whilst establishing a global network of research professionals in academic institutes, mining companies and research organisations.

Prof Neville Plint

Professor Ross McAree is the Head of the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at UQ.

Professor McAree has held the position of Professor of Mechanical Engineering since 2007 and he has undertaken many service roles within the School, including Chair of Research, Postgraduate coordinator, Chair of Teaching and Learning, School Integrity Officer, Plan Leader and Academic advisor.

Professor McAree's research in the area of mining automation places him at the forefront of changes to technology in the mining industry, with his research group involved in the commercialisation of several projects.

Professor McAree collaborated with industry leader Caterpillar to develop and trial the world’s first fully autonomous mining excavator, building a bulldozer capable of production dozing using the ‘pivot push’ method. He was recognised for his contributions to mining equipment automation in 2013 by election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).

Prof Ross McAree

Professor Simon Washington is the Head of the School of Civil Engineering at UQ.

Prior to joining UQ, Professor Washington was the Civil Engineering Discipline Leader and Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Chair at the Queensland University of Technology, and the Director of the Safe Transportation Research and Education Centre at the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Washington's research interests include understanding and modelling travel behaviour, the human and engineering causes and mechanisms associated with transport system related crashes, transport planning, sustainable transport, and statistical and econometric methodologies. Professor Washington has lead over $20 million in externally supported research throughout his career including ARC, NHMRC, and CRC in Australia and National Academy of Sciences, the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and numerous state Departments of Transport in the US.

Professor Washington has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and is lead author on the textbook 'Statistical and Econometric Methods for Transportation Data Analysis' (Chapman and Hall).

Prof Simon Washington

Professor Zhiguo Yuan is the Director of the Advanced Water Management Centre at UQ.

Professor Yuan received his PhD degree in aeronautical engineering in 1992 from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. He shifted research direction to wastewater management in 1994, when he took up a postdoctoral research fellow position at Ghent University, Belgium. He joined the Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC) at The University of Queensland in 1998 and served as the AWMC Deputy Director 2001-2014.

Professor Yuan's research focuses on the development of innovative solutions for urban water management through effective integration of fundamental science and applied engineering. He has won over $30M in competitive research funding since 2001, including 20 ARC Discovery and Linkage grants as a Chief Investigator.

He is the founder of three biotechnology businesses, SeweX, Cloevis and Lodomat, and his research has delivered documented savings of over $400 million to the Australian water industry. Professor Yuan is an IWA Fellow and was named as one of Engineers Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers for 2015. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).

Prof Zhiguo Yuan