17 October 2013

University of Queensland academics and alumni comprise more than a quarter of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering’s 2013 fellows, announced today.

Eight of the 26 ATSE fellows for 2013, including three of eight new female members, have strong UQ links.

They are: Ms Kathryn Fagg (alumna), Professor Christopher Greig (alumnus and staff), Dr Bronwyn Harch (alumna), Professor Robert Henry (alumnus and staff), Professor Ross McAree (staff), Adjunct Professor John McGagh (adjunct), Dr John Ness (alumnus) and Ms Catherine Tanna (alumna). See bios below for more information.

UQ President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj congratulated all the new ATSE members, and said their election to the academy indicated intellectual achievement and positive social, environmental and economic influence.

“UQ’s strong presence in this distinguished league reinforces the fact that our people make exceptional contributions to society, the environment, the economy and multifactor productivity,” Professor Høj said.

“Such people contribute to UQ’s strengths as a top 100 global university, and enable us to partner with outstanding Queensland, national and global companies, government agencies, philanthropists and not-for-profit groups.

“They are part of the reason we can confidently offer partners a clear set of research strengths.

“We aim to further improve the positive impact of our research by doubling UQ’s income from non-government sources by 2020.”

Professor Høj said women traditionally had been under-recognised for their contributions to technology and engineering.

“It is particularly pleasing that eight of the new members are women, and that three – Kathryn Fagg, Bronwyn Harch and Catherine Tanna – are UQ alumni,” Professor Høj said.

“Two are also members of the Reserve Bank board.”

ATSE fellowships recognise Australia’s leading minds in technology and engineering, and are awarded to people who apply technology in smart, strategic ways for social, environmental and economic benefit.

Fellows are drawn from academia, research, government and industry.

The ATSE fellowships announcement follows a similar announcement in March, when the Australian Academy of Science included five UQ scientists among its 20 new Fellows for 2013.

More than 120 UQ staff (including honorary and adjunct appointments) and professors emeriti are fellows of Australia’s learned academies, which include the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities. A list of those fellows is available here.

The eight UQ staff and alumni who are new ATSE Fellows are:

Ms Kathryn Fagg

A UQ Bachelor of Engineering alumnus and Board Member of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Kathryn Fagg is a highly regarded senior executive with a range of experience, particularly in the industrial sector. Ms Fagg is an active and public advocate for women in leadership, particularly in engineering and operational roles.

Professor Christopher Greig

Professor Greig gained his Bachelor of Engineering, Masters and PhD in Chemical Engineering at UQ. He is an innovator and business leader who has made significant contributions in the sugar, mining and energy industry sectors. He is Professor of Energy Strategy and Director of the UQ Energy Initiative.

Dr Bronwyn Harch

Dr Harch has had an outstanding career at CSIRO where she heads its Computational Informatics function. She works in partnership with the organisation's National Research Flagship program to address key national challenges across the information and decision-making value chain for government, industry and the innovation sectors.

Professor Robert Henry

A UQ Bachelor of Science (Hons) alumnus and current Professor of Innovation in Agriculture at UQ, Professor Henry is renowned internationally for the quality and influence of his work spanning biotechnology, plant biochemistry and molecular biology. He has earned the accolade of being one of the most highly cited scientists in the past 20 years. UQ awarded him a higher doctorate (Science) in 2000.

Professor Ross McAree

Professor McAree is a UQ Professor of Mechanical Engineering who has made significant contributions to the Australian mining industry and global mining equipment manufacturering. Professor McAree’s research team at CRCMining and UQ is an internationally-recognised pioneer in the rapidly growing field of mining equipment automation.

Adjunct Professor John McGagh

UQ Adjunct Professor John McGagh is the Global Head of Innovation at global mining company Rio Tinto. He has led the development of important research and development centres in universities that are addressing key technical issues for the global mining industry.

Dr John Ness

Dr John Ness has a Bachelor of Engineering, PhD and a Bachelor of Arts from UQ and has been at the forefront of developing innovative designs for microwave components that are now used in wireless systems such as microwave radios and satellite terminals around the world. He has co-founded and led three start-up companies.

Ms Catherine Tanna

Catherine Tanna has a Bachelor of Laws from UQ and, as Chair of BG Australia, is a globally acknowledged leader in the gas resources industry. In her 20-year career, she has established a track record of achievement and impact, and has led large gas production projects in many parts of the world. She is a Board Member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and one of Australia’s most influential business women.

Media: Janelle Kirkland, UQ Communications, j.kirkland@uq.edu.au or 07 3346 0561.