Inaugural Provost appointed to UNSW Sydney

Professor Anne Simmons AM has a long association with UNSW, as a student and more recently in a series of leadership roles.

Professor Anne Simmons AM has been appointed as the inaugural Provost at UNSW Sydney.

The recent Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic Excellence and UNSW alumna has served in senior leadership roles in Australian higher education for 20 years. As UNSW Provost, Professor Simmons will become the senior deputy to the Vice-Chancellor and a member of the University’s Management Board. She takes up the new position immediately.

In making the announcement, UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs highlighted Professor Simmons’ breadth of experience in university leadership.

“Anne has an outstanding track record of leadership at UNSW and her experience and skills make her an ideal candidate for this important new role,” Professor Jacobs said.

“At every level of our university's activities, from education and research to operational matters, Anne has demonstrated her strategic capacity, collegiality and ability to deliver excellence.

“She also brings remarkable depth and insight to her leadership, having successfully managed complex change involving our staff, finances and infrastructures.”

Professor Jacobs said the new Provost would have responsibility for UNSW’s faculties and service enhancement team.

“This is an important step for the University, reflecting the growth in scale, complexity and ambition of UNSW,” he said.

Professor Simmons said she was delighted and honoured to join UNSW as its first Provost.

“I look forward to helping the Vice-Chancellor and the University deliver on UNSW’s strategic plan over the coming years.”

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs says the new Provost, Professor Anne Simmons, has an outstanding track record of leadership.

Professor Simmons’ first association with UNSW was in 1979 as a Biomedical Engineering postgraduate student, later completing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

Since returning as an Associate Professor in 1999, Professor Simmons has had an outstanding track record of leadership at the University. She has been the head of two schools in the Faculty of Engineering: the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. She also played a key role in major initiatives in support of the Academic Excellence priorities of the 2025 Strategy. In her most recent position as Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic Excellence she implemented important developments in academic performance, quantitative benchmarks and education-focused roles.

In addition to her university leadership career, Professor Simmons has had a successful career in industry with the Nucleus Group, which included Telectronics and Cochlear. Her research activities have spanned biomaterials, sterilisation of medical devices and the analysis of complex blood flows. She has led programs of industry-based research relating to the development of blood contacting materials and devices. Professor Simmons has also taught courses in innovation, commercialisation and regulatory affairs in biomedical technology.

She chairs the Australian government’s Advisory Committee on Medical Devices and is a member of other national committees involved in the medical technology area. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to biomedical engineering in 2013.