Welcome from the HoS

18 July 2019

Welcome to the 2019 mid-year newsletter! The School has successfully navigated its way through Term 1 of the new UNSW3+ trimester academic year. As anticipated, we faced various challenges throughout the term, but everything came together in the end. The School thanks all staff and students for their exceptional effort in transitioning our courses from a two-semester to three-term structure.

The School has a new neighbour with the Science and Engineering Building (SEB) opening on our old site. Each floor of the two buildings is connected by fully enclosed bridges, which has created a very diverse and vibrant local community of students and staff between our School and those from Chemical, Biomedical & Civil Engineering, Chemistry and several high-profile Research Centres and Institutes.

As you will see from the articles herein, the School has been very active on many fronts. First, congratulations to our talented staff and students for their ongoing publications in the world’s leading academic journals. We highlight one of these recent publications by Claudio Cazorla in the highly prestigious journal, Nature.

The School also continues to generate high impact research that addresses important global issues. Congratulations to Veena Sahajwalla for her major UNSW contribution to the 2018 ARC Engagement and Impact (E&I) Assessment, whereby Green Steel Manufacturing played a dominant role in securing the University’s highest possible E&I Rating within FoR codes '03-Chemical Sciences' and '09-Engineering'. Veena’s overall research on sustainable manufacturing continues to attract significant attention from both the media and government officials. We highlight a story of the recent visit from NSW’s Environment and Energy Minister, Matthew Keen, to the SMaRT Microfactory.

The School takes special pride in our undergraduate and postgraduate students and warmly welcomed our newest alumni in the May graduation ceremony. Our annual School awards ceremony was held just prior to the graduation in recognition of students for their outstanding achievements in the various degree programs. We sincerely thank our key industry partners and alumni for their generous contributions to these prizes and for making the journey to be present their awards.

Our very active student societies continue to work tirelessly in engaging with both new and existing students and our industry partners, and for creating a very close-knit School community. It was great to see so many events held so far this year, including MATSOC’s Industrial Training Presentation Evening, Career Expo, Q&A Industry Panel Evening, First Year Camp and Annual Harbour Cruise, through to PGSOC’s Peer mentoring Afternoon Tea, Movie Nights, Trivia Brunch to celebrate women in STEM on International Women’s day and the weekly Friday Afternoon Social Event. There was additional student engagement with local industry via exciting excursions to Liberty OneSteel and BlueScope Steel.

In 2022, the School will reach a special milestone as one of the inaugural Schools of the University. To celebrate our 70th anniversary, School alumni have teamed up with the School to publish a book on the History of the School. We warmly welcome all contributions from alumni, former staff and industry colleagues. If you wish to contribute, please complete the questionnaire in the newsletter and submit to HistoryOfMaterials@unsw.edu.au

On a final note, the entire School community wishes Laura McNally and her husband, Mick, all the very best in health and happiness with their upcoming (and first) addition to their family! School warmly welcomes Vanessa Jaraenroogvised. In Laura’s absence, Vanessa will continue to work on the School’s Quarterly Newsletter, Annual Report, History Book and many other interesting projects.

Once again, I would like to thank Laura, Vanessa, Jeremy and the numerous support staff and students, both within the School and University, for their tireless effort in publishing our quarterly newsletter!

Professor Michael Ferry
Head, School of Materials Science and Engineering