ECM Faculty Focus
As we approach the festive season and mark the end of another year, I would like to reflect on my first year as Dean of the Faculty and highlight some of the successes we have achieved throughout the year.
Whilst we have spoken at length about the challenges we face, I believe it is equally important that we celebrate our achievements and that of our colleagues. The introduction of the Faculty newsletter, the Faculty Focus, has been a small step towards achieving this, and throughout the year we have seen a great number of our successes appear in it.
Our Strategic Review in 2009, and the vast involvement of staff from across the Faculty in contributing to it, demonstrates the dedication of staff to this Faculty and its future. I would like to especially thank the Co-Chairs, whose tireless efforts produced recommendations for our growth and success that I believe will put us on the path to achieving our goals. We have continued this work under the banner of One Faculty, One Future and I gratefully acknowledge the ongoing work of a number of staff in this endeavour.
We have seen this year the appointment of two new chairs in the Faculty: welcoming Caroline Baillie, our Chair of Engineering Education, and seeing the appointment of Eric May as the Chevron Chair in Oil and Gas Process Engineering. These two positions have added leadership and new capability to our Faculty, and will play important roles in moving us forward.
Individually, a number of our staff made fantastic achievements in 2009, with Winthrop Professor Cheryl Praeger being awarded the Western Australian Scientist of the Year, Professor David White being award the Anton Hales Medal and an ARC Future Fellowship, Winthrop Professor Mark Cassidy awarded an ARC Futures Fellowship, and Rob Greenhalgh's success in the WA Work Safety Awards, just name a few.
The success of our research also continues to grow, and will be further enhanced by the launch of two new centres: the UWA Centre for Energy, led by Winthrop Professor Dongke Zhang and the Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation, led by Winthrop Professor Cheryl Praeger. This follows the Faculty's outstanding success in the ARC's Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) funding, receiving 3 of the 5 grants awarded to the University through projects led by Winthrop Professor John Dell, Winthrop Professor David Sampson and Winthrop Professor Dongke Zhang. In addition, this year saw the official launch of the Centre for Ecohydrology.
I have great enthusiasm about our bid to the Education Investment Fund for the new "EngWest" postgraduate building. This is a remarkable opportunity to enhance our physical infrastructure with a much needed new building that will see teaching and research closely intertwined and offer our students an outstanding educational experience. Importantly, the building is designed to be sustainable and cutting edge, demonstrating to the community our commitment to leading edge education and research now and into the future.
On a sad note, this year saw the passing of Professor Alan Billings, the first Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University and, as Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, a leading figure in the development of this field at UWA.
Thanks goes to all staff in the Faculty for their contributions this year and their tireless work to make the Faculty the best it can be. Our staff, both academic and professional, are the backbone of our success and our potential, and it is wonderful to see the passionate contribution so many of you make. This has not been an easy year, but the efforts of so many have allowed us to continue on whilst also building on our foundations to achieve success.
As we enter into 2010, we will continue to work together as one Faculty to achieve the great potential that I have seen demonstrated across the previous year. I know that with a common vision, collegiality and teamwork we can make this a truly fantastic place to work and stand out as one of the foremost Faculty's of our kind in Australia.
I wish all staff a joyous and safe festive season and a well-earned break and look forward to working with each of you in 2010.