We will shortly reach the end of an era when the “old” Materials Science and Engineering building is demolished in the coming weeks. The building is currently being prepared for demolition and is scheduled to be leveled shortly. For many decades the building served the School admirably but, in recent years, it simply became too small and too dilapidated. The building was ‘home’ to thousands of students and hundreds of staff members and will be fondly remembered by many.
Looking now to the future, last month Professor Sean Li travelled to China with UNSW’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs, and the Prime Minister to sign agreements with the Chinese government to establish a ‘Torch’ innovation hub at UNSW. This will allow Chinese companies to actively collaborate with UNSW researchers in the development of advanced materials. Already several Chinese companies have signed agreements to collaborate with Sean, and a number of ‘Torch incubators’ will be shortly established in our new building. It is expected that the Torch precinct will grow to a $100M enterprise by 2020 and eventually expand to the Randwick campus.
As many of you know UNSW has launched an ambitious ‘2025 Strategic Plan’ that will do much to shape the future direction of the university. It is expected that over $3B will be invested in a wide range of programs over the next decade. As part of the roll out of this program, the Vice-Chancellor is visiting all the Schools in the University throughout the remainder of 2016. We were delighted that Materials Science and Engineering was his first stop on this round of visits. Professor Jacobs and his team engaged very positively with the School and we are looking forward to elements of the ‘2025 Strategic Plan’ rolling into the School’s activities.
Finally, it is very noteworthy that many of our students and research fellows have gained significant international recognition through prizes and awards at international conferences and meetings. In recent months, Amanda Wang, Patrick Tung and Adnan Younis have all received awards and prizes based on their research. Congratulations to all three for their fine work!