Welcome from the HoS

Welcome to the final newsletter for 2019. Throughout the first year as Head of School, I have been overwhelmed by the incredible support from my colleagues and students. I am thrilled to share a number of School achievements over the last few months including UNSW’s Open Day and Centre, staff and student awards. The School hosted several events, including Open Day, NPU Student visit from China, higher degree research welcome through to excellent MyExperience student appraisals of our course and teaching.

I would like to commence by congratulating Kris Kilian, Sophie Primig and Danyang Wang for their deserved promotions to Associate Professor! These excellent achievements are based on their very strong track records in teaching, research and service and we wish them all the best for a very bright future.

Our successful Open day attracted many potential future students and their parents. School events were superbly led by Jeremy Platt who coordinated over one hundred amazing student and staff volunteers. UNSW had over 38,000 attendees and our students prepared and served over 1,750 nitrogen ice creams to our visitors!

A warm congratulations to the SMaRT Centre team lead by Professor Veena Sahajwalla for winning the prestigious 2019 Business Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Award for Outstanding Collaboration in Research & Development – Major Partnerships, based on their Polymer Injection technology for Green Steelmaking program, otherwise known as “Green Steel”. This is a major recycling research program in collaboration with industry partners (including OneSteel and MolyCop).

Congratulations to our undergraduate student, Scott Jones, as the first awardee of our new Infrabuild Steel (formerly Liberty OneSteel) undergrad scholarship program initiated by Sophie Primig! Scott will receive $5K annual support for his studies in 2019-2021 and the opportunity for several internships at Infrabuild Steel.

I would also like to congratulate the following PhD students and early career scientists for their selection into UNSW’s Women in Maths and Science Champions Program in 2019: Vivasha Govinden (PhD); Tasmia Zaman (PhD); Caitlin Healy (ECS); Samane Maroufi (ECS), and Paria Gharavi (ECS). This important development program is designed to support our female research students and early career scientists as they develop into exceptional science professionals.

The School hosted several distinguished public lectures by international and interstate speakers including Dr Pol Lloveras of Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Professor Shu Ping Lau of Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Professor Christopher Berndt of Swinburne University. Thank you to Claudio Cazorla Silva, Sean Li and Sophie Primig for organizing these events.

Also, the School welcomed nine new HDR students and 30 new undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students in Term 3. A big thank you to Michael Lai for organising the event and to our other staff and students for making the students feel so welcome in their new home.

Our student societies, PGSOC and MATSOC, have been incredibly active engaging with their peers and industry. They hosted a number of events including MATSOC Speed Networking, MATSOC Trivia, MATSOC and PGSOC Sports Day, PGSOC Movie Night, PGSOC weekly Friday Social and PGSOC R U OK? Phew!

While we have experienced many challenges associated with the transition to the new UNSW3+ academic calendar, the School’s MyExperience Course and Teaching Scores have remained very high in the first two terms. Thank you to all staff and students for supporting our school during this transition.

I close with a big thank you to Jeremy Platt, Vanessa Jaraenroogvised and the numerous support staff and students, both within the School and University, for their tireless effort in publishing this final newsletter for 2019!

All the very best to everyone for the rest of the year.

Professor Michael Ferry
Head, School of Materials Science and Engineering