From the President and Vice-Chancellor

Welcome to the Winter issue of UNSW magazine.

Ian Jacobs

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs

Our cover story profiles our three newest faculty leaders in the Built Environment, Arts & Social Sciences and Law. You will enjoy reading what they have to say about how creativity and innovation will be the driving force behind their implementation of the University’s 2025 Strategy.

New ways of thinking will become increasingly important as we seek to fulfill our aim to be among the world’s best research and teaching intensive universities. One researcher who illustrates this mindset is Mike Manefield, from the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. Together with his colleague Sabrina Beckmann, Mike has uncovered a remarkable way of extracting more gas from existing coal seams and even from food waste. This innovation will help increase the more carbon-friendly methane gas as an energy source and bring down global emissions to help us transition to a cleaner future.

Having influence where it counts is crucial if we are to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. When it comes to the vexed issue of international migration, the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law is compiling the evidence we need to properly inform public policy. Madeline Gleeson’s powerful new book Offshore: Behind the wire on Manus and Nauru offers perhaps the most comprehensive account of what is happening inside Australia’s offshore detention centres and is a must-read for anyone with an interest in forging a new, and more humane, way of treating asylum seekers.

Having influence where it counts is crucial if we are to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Our students are also having an impact. I am excited to read about the work of entrepreneur and aeronautical engineering student Solange Cunin, who has teamed up with hundreds of NSW high school students to make history by sending Australia’s first scientific payload to the International Space Station. We will all be watching keenly as the rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral as expected in November.

Elsewhere in the magazine, we talk to disaster risk expert David Sanderson, UNSW’s inaugural Judith Neilson Chair in Architecture, and discover why he believes architects have a crucial role to play in enabling communities to recover from disaster and in making our cities more resilient.

It is exciting to read about the important work being conducted by members of our UNSW community across so many areas. I hope you enjoy the issue.