Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Professor Vicki Chen
Professor Vicki Chen, Executive Dean

The beginning of semester one this year kicked off with the enthusiastic return of many of our students back on campus. Whilst it has meant braving the crowds, it has certainly been a welcome sight. Our first-year engineering cohort of over 900 students enjoyed their orientation project day, and we also welcomed our inaugural Bachelor of Design and new dual degree students. We are proud to report that the number of first year women studying engineering continues to grow and now exceeds 27%. Overall, our intake of domestic students for the faculty was particularly strong and reflects the reputation that UQ holds, the hard work of staff in providing a great student experience, as well as the enhanced offerings that we now provide.

We are always delighted to hear about our alumni, researchers and teaching staff who have been celebrated for their achievements. Congratulations to the many talented UQ alumni who were recognised in the 2021 Australia Day honours recently. Some of the notable award recipients from EAIT included, Director of UQ’s Aboriginal Environments Research Centre, Professor Paul Memmott, who was recognised for distinguished service to ethno-architecture and anthropology, to Indigenous housing and cultural heritage, and to tertiary education, while The Honourable Trish White AM was acknowledged for significant service to engineering, and to the people and Parliament of South Australia.

Congratulations to our lecturers and researchers, Dr Michael Bermingham, Professor Matthew Dargusch and Dr Christopher Leonardi from the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering who were acknowledged for their Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in the Australian Awards for University Teaching. Professor Saiied Aminossadati from the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, was also recently recognised for his outstanding work in the classroom with a UQ Award for Teaching Excellence, one of only four recipients across the University for 2020 and the 12th teaching excellence award he has received since 2007! To see the full list of recipients from the 2020 UQ Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, including the Environmental Systems Engineering Team with Associate Professor Kate O'Brien, Associate Professor Steven Pratt, Dr Peter Ellerton, Dr Bernadino Virdis and Dr Lisa Bai, visit the UQ Teaching and Learning website.

Our research continues to have an impact with many significant projects taking place across the Faculty. Optics researchers from our School of Information, Technology and Electrical Engineering, Dr Mickael Mounaix, Dr Joel Carpenter, together with Dr Nick Fontaine’s team at Nokia Bell Labs in the US, have developed a new technique to demonstrate the time reversal of optical waves, which could transform the fields of advanced biomedical imaging and telecommunications.

New automated mining technology, developed at UQ in our School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering with research partners Plotlogic Pty Ltd, will allow workers to be removed from hazardous parts of the mining process and improve efficiency. The research shows how AI can use scans of the mine face to almost instantly identify valuable minerals and waste rock, allowing each stage of the mining process to be planned more effectively in advance.

And finally, the excitement continues to build with the construction of the new Andrew N. Liveris Building which is progressing rapidly. I encourage you to watch the construction update videos that our Chemical Engineering Head of School, Professor Justin Cooper-White, has hosted recently for a behind the scenes virtual tour inside the new building.

I hope you enjoy reading our latest stories and news in the first issue of Insight for 2021. Thank you for your ongoing engagement and support.

Yours sincerely,

Vicki