Insight Alumni eNews – October 2022

18 Oct 2022
professor vicki chen
Professor Vicki Chen

Welcome to the October edition of our Insight newsletter and my last message to our wonderful community as Executive Dean!

After four fantastic years as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT), in November I’ll be leaving UQ to take up a new role as Provost and Senior Vice-President Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

As I prepare for my departure, I’ve been reflecting on our community’s achievements over the last four years, despite challenging circumstances. I am proud to have been involved in implementing new and improved coursework programs and experiences for our students, building better teaching and research infrastructure for our faculty, leading engagement with key industry sectors, and increased the number of research centres and hubs – much of this, during a time of unprecedented uncertainty arising from the global pandemic and natural disasters that affected our state.

In my role as Executive Dean, I have been inspired every day by our passionate and hardworking staff and students who are committed to building a better, healthier, smarter and more prosperous future for us all. Seeing them every day at EAIT, I am confident that our future is in capable hands.

I’m pleased to share some notable news and achievements since my last message in June, highlighting the faculty’s continued momentum.

We are always delighted to see our alumni, researchers and teaching staff being celebrated for their achievements. Congratulations to seven of our esteemed EAIT alumni who were announced recently as 2022 UQ Alumni Award recipients including Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Awardee Leeanne Bond (Bachelor of Engineering 1987, Master of Business Administration 2008), Indigenous Community Impact Awardee Georgia Birks (Master of Architecture 2016; Bachelor of Architectural Design 2013), Distinguished Young Alumni Awardee Bianca Goebel (Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) 2011), and many more. I encourage you to read their inspiring stories here.

Many of our fabulous staff have also received much deserved awards and recognition recently. Dr Jingwei Hou was the recipient of a UQ Excellence in Research Award, and a Queensland Young Tall Poppy in Science Award, recognising his work enabling the net zero transition through unbreakable glass membranes. Professor Yongjun Peng and Dr Liguang Wang also became the first university researchers to be recognised with Research and Industry Excellence Awards from the Australian Coal Industry's Research Program (ACARP).

In research news, we are proud to be part of the new ARC Training Centre for Bioplastics and Biocomposites which is set to become a hub for world-leading research in ‘green’ plastic. We are also one of the lead partners in the Net Zero Australia project, a ground-breaking multi-year study on net zero pathways for our domestic and export emissions. UQ’s contribution is led by Associate Professor Simon Smart, with the interim findings of the study released in August.

Tomorrow is UQ Giving Day! We value the support of our community to join us to promote our two priority initiatives. This year, we’re fundraising in support of The Fourth Year Engineering Travel Fund and The Biography of Queensland Architects Fund.

The Fourth Year Engineering Travel Fund was first established in 1955 through a bequest from Ms Margaret Nicholl. It supports life-changing and career-defining travel opportunities for UQ Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) students. 

The Biography of Queensland Architects Fund will contribute to publishing Adjunct Professor Don Watson’s and Dr Judith McKay’s four-volume biographical dictionary of Queensland’s architects to 1975. All gifts to the fund will be matched by an anonymous donor, up to a total of $25,000.

I encourage you to consider donating to these funds on UQ Giving Day if you can. A gift of any size will make a significant impact.

And finally, I’d like to thank you dearly for your engagement and support during my time as Executive Dean. I have been overwhelmed by the goodwill of our outstanding community of staff, alumni, donors, industry partners and friends, who help us in creative and meaningful ways to achieve our shared goals. I wish you all the very best for the future.

I hope you enjoy reading the latest stories and news in this issue of Insight.

Yours sincerely,